Police Abuse

Cop Shoots Dog on Friday, Gets Fired on Monday, No Appeal Available

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On Friday, an unidentified police officer in Hometown, a suburb of Chicago, shot and killed a 14-month-old family dog in front of the dog's owner and the owner's 6-year-old daughter. ABC 7 has the story:

[Owner Nicole] Echlin says [her dog] Apollo had run out of the front door. Hometown police had been alerted, and encountered the dog as he returned to the front yard. Echlin says she tried coaxing Apollo back in the house, but he turned and bared his teeth at one of the officers. According to police, that's when the officer withdrew his weapon and fired one shot, striking the dog.

Echlin says she questioned the use of deadly force- especially in front of her daughter- but she says the officer showed no remorse.

"He just said it had to be done. He walked up to me, told me that and walked away," said Echlin.

Killing a dog for doing what dogs do most certainly didn't have to be done. Firing the cop did, and Hometown's police chief, Charles Forsyth, did just that on Monday, calling the incident and aftermath an "emotional rollercoaster" for the family, the community, and the police department. A Justice for Apollo Facebook page garnered more than 10,000 likes since being created on Friday.

ABC7 identified the police officer only as a 15-year-veteran of the force. Forsyth told me this morning he would not be releasing the name of the fired officer but also said there is no built-in arbitration or appeals process for the now ex-cop to turn to. He suggested the officer, like any employee fired by his employer, could launch a lawsuit if he wanted, but confirmed that the officer was no longer with the department and would not be drawing a pension.

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  1. Nuts unpunched.

    1. Yes, kind of a gentle caress. Not sure how to respond…

      1. I know. Part of me likes this new, unfamilar sensation; the other part is screaming “bad touch!”

    2. Hell, this is a nut massage, what with the recent spate of puppycides to which we’ve been treated.

    3. Soothing salve applied to crushed testicles.

    4. Best part is “No appeals process!”

      1. It is right up there with “and would not be drawing a pension.”

  2. Is it April already?

  3. I bet they were trying to get rid of this guy anyway, this just gave them an excuse.

    1. Yeah, after 15 years you would think this would take more than a couple days to sort out unless he already has a history.

  4. I think we just found the next head of the FBI.

    Well, in libertopia, anyway.

    Oh, and I mean the chief, not the goon. Here in Americastan, the goon is more likely to become a federal official.

    1. Libertopia has an FBI? LAME

      1. Well, yeah. Its like five guys, and they only investigate politicians.

        1. Its like five guys

          Do they also sell greasy cheeseburgers and consciously sourced fries?

        2. Well, yeah. Its like five guys, and they only investigate politicians.

          Plus, they’re unarmed, and if they want to make an arrest, they have to plead their case to state of local authorities, who will decide whether or not to make the arrest.

  5. there is no built-in arbitration or appeals process for the now ex-cop to turn to.

    Now I know that you’re just fucking with us.

    1. Yeah.

      Are we sure this isn’t reposted from the Onion ?

  6. Well this is good news but I’m assuming this pig is in a union so we’ll see.

    1. Well this is good news but I’m assuming this pig is in a union so we’ll see.

      My guess is that he’s not, which is why he’s not afforded a shot at arbitration. That’s a typical union perk.

      1. The HPD website says their officers aren’t even full-time. So probably no union.

      2. Union members don’t magically get arbitration rights because they are in a union, they get them (and so do non-members) if provisions for them are in their contract or exist under state law. The unions just sometimes provide legal representation to their members (and I guess non-members covered under union negotiated collective bargaining contracts).

        1. In other words, the problem is not so much the unions as the contracts.

          1. Unions are the disease. Union contracts are the symptom.

  7. And my expectation is that the union will battle tooth and nail to get this guy reinstated. Successfully.

    And the cop will quietly get his job back, with back pay.

    I truly, deeply want to be wrong.

    1. I don’t think small town pds like this generally have their own unions. The cops join state-wide associations. Because those associations are state-wide, they don’t focus as much on cases like this. The chief made it clear there was no public employee process available to him. I doubt the FOP will want to spend money on a lawsuit by someone no longer technically eligible to be in their union. The cop in Texas who shot the 90-something-year-old woman who he said was brandishing a firearm didn’t get his job back either. He lawyered up but nothing has come of it and he doesn’t seem to be getting any union help. If either gets his job back you’ll read about it here!

      1. Thanks Ed!

    2. He’ll just shuffle on over to Cook County where every monstrous act by a police officer is “following procedures”.

  8. I wonder how many towns over the fired cop will go to get a new cop job.

    1. Evanston? Northbrook? Nazitown?

      1. Skokie?

        1. That’s what I said, Nazitown.

          1. It’s just a short march from Chicago…

      2. Hoffman Estates?

        (The main character in the comic Buck Godot was modeled after a police officer in Hoffman Estates)

    2. One – Chicago.

      He was probably doing this as resume-padding.

  9. He will end up in another department with an even bigger chip on his shoulder.

  10. Killing a dog for doing what dogs do most certainly didn’t have to be done. Firing Echin did, and Hometown’s police chief, Charles Forsyth, did just that on Monday

    Bwa? I cannot read this sentence.

    1. Yeah, that was tough. How about:

      The dog didn’t need to be killed for behavior that comes naturally to the animal. The cop, however, had to be fired for behavior that comes naturally to the animal.

    2. Echlin is the homeowner, not the cop, so the chief can’t fire her. stupid chief.

      1. Ed Krayewski = SLOPPY.

        He couldn’t even be bothered to go to the Facebook page to find the officer’s name.

        Who’s the goddamned web editor around here anyway?

  11. Fired is great, but how about charges that, you know, little people might face?

    1. If the dipshit got fired and has no union protection, perhaps a civil suit?

    2. The owners of the dog need to sue the wrongdoer (the man acting as a cop) by making a CLAIM of trespass. The trespass being the destruction of their property (the dog). Making the CLAIM establishes a court of record (common law) and the man has to answer – no lawyers allowed.

  12. I am happy to hear the news, but I hope it doesn’t forestall a lawsuit by the dog’s owners.

    1. I am happy to hear the news, but I hope it doesn’t forestall a lawsuit by the dog’s owners.

      Hopefully just against the shooter, not against the department. It looks like this chief immediately stood up and did the right thing.

      1. If there is no evidence that there was training and/or direction by the department that led to this, then yes, I agree.

        1. Plaintiff’s attorneys often plead just the opposite, however. Absence of proper training and/or oversight can be just as egregious. A normal human would hope that “murdering an animal companion in front of its owners” constitutes behavior so outside the bounds of decency as to not constitute an act in the course of the officer’s duties (thereby making the officer personally liable and the department not), but, well, I read Reason regularly and no other conclusion can be drawn than cops do, in fact, consider “murdering an animal companion in front of its owners” to be ENTIRELY an act in the course of their duties. (sigh)

          1. Cops kill pets because it is a show of power.

            1. Cops kill pets because it is a show of power.

              Yep. Imagine being able to shoot a family pet in front of a 6-year-old girl and her father, and they can’t do anything about it. The feeling of raw power must be sublime.

              But I’m sure there are those who don’t care so much about a show of power, but instead are after the opportunity to fire their weapons and watch something bleed to death.

  13. The officer ? identified by the Justice for Apollo Facebook page as Robert Norris ? located the dog and followed him back to his home.

  14. Finally. A police Chief with balls to do right by the people.

    Let’s just enjoy it.

  15. A feel-good story and chuckle-worthy alt-text. Today is looking up!

  16. A pet peeve is seeing every cop refered to as a “veteran”, regardless of how long they’ve had the job. e.g. a “two year veteran”.

    In this case, 15 years legitimately makes Norris a veteran.

    So there’s that.

    1. “veteran” implies “shot at on the front lines while fighting for Americans’ freedom” and “must be competent because he’s been around so long”. That’s why they use it.

      Kyle Orton is an NFL “veteran”. Shit, at this point Tim Tebow is an NFL veteran.

      1. Another way to look at it is that Tim Tebow is a veteran in the same sense that a kid who washes out of Army boot camp is a “veteran.”

        He just bought a house in the neighborhood across the street from my office. Something like $1.4 million, so he’s obviously not hurting for money..

        1. Yeah, Timmy’s doing just fine.

          Some details on the Tebow rookie deal

          Base salary

          2010: $1.295 million (fully guaranteed)

          2011: $1.618.75 million (fully guaranteed)

          2012: $1.942.5 million (fully guaranteed)

          2013: $2.266.75 million (fully guaranteed)

          2014: $2.590.5 million ($567,500 guaranteed)

          Advance/Signing bonus

          $975,000 on Friday (salary reduced to $325,000)

          $6.275 million due 29 days after start of 2011 league year. Typically season starts March 1, but it’s written this way in case work stoppage delays start of season. (Salaries from 2011-14 reduced to offset advance)

          One-time playing time bonus (contractually considered likely to be earned)

          Tebow collects $1.537.5 million if he plays 35 percent of the offensive snaps in 2010, or 45 percent of the snaps in any of the seasons 2011-14.

  17. Hometown? Is that anywhere near Anyplace, USA?

  18. Poorly trained dog, poorly trained cop.

  19. I’m not in any way justifying what the cop did, but the owner wasn’t exactly the most upstanding member of society. From the Chicago Tribune article’s comments section:

    “IMAGES
    Look at owner’s Facebook post from July 20th( a screenshot that she removed shortly after the incident) in which she finds much humor and actual PRIDE in the dog being loose and unrestrained and biting postal workers, chasing police officers and “trying to eat children” despite her mother being given citations for the dangerous dog’s failure to be restrained in the past.
    From her post you can see that she obviously thinks it’s funny to have her dog bite people doing their job and scare children.
    And this is a “responsible pet owner”?

    No. Responsible pet owners don’t share these views. Not at all.
    This woman and her family knew full well of the dog’s nature and failed this poor dog through their incompetence and negligence. And from the Facebook post, one could allege, intent. Poor dog. BAD bad bad owners!”

    1. And yet the Postal Service manages to avoid shooting dogs.

      1. It’s strange that they can afford military monster trucks, but can’t find funding for pepper spray.

    2. Where was animal control?

  20. Nice alt-text.

  21. Sometimes you jsut have to roll with it

    http://www.WentAnon.Tk

  22. The silver lining — the little girl learned a valuable lesson about the police and what kind of monsters they are.

  23. Firing is a start, but if you and I did this we would be in Jail, A badge shouldn’t give you special rights!!!

    1. The badge doesn’t give special rights. As a matter of fact, a police actor has no rights; only duties, responsibilities and obligations.
      The problem is that the public has been dumbed down to the point that they have no idea how to assert THEIR rights.
      The government schools (indoctrination centers) are doing their job – to everyone’s detriment.

  24. http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..-1.1862334

    I didn’t see any word on this story here at Reason where a cop killed a dog because he was in fear of his life from the dog. Dog was inside a car with the window half rolled up.

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