Puppycide

Detroit Cop Shoots Family Dog in Front of 9-Year-Old

"She's not a vicious dog at all. … She's a sweetheart."

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A Detroit family is distraught after a police officer shot their 15-month-old dog on Friday. A 9-year-old had been walking the dogs when they got loose and took off. The boy flagged a police officer down for help retrieving the animals, but local news outlets report that the officer instead shot the dog.

Nine-year-old Elijah Hughs, the nephew of Sonya Davis, was preparing to take Davis' two dogs for a walk when they got loose and ran down the street. There are conflicting stories about what happened next, but a Detroit police officer shot Stormy, a 15-month-old pit bull mix, in the face. The family is now facing approximately $8,000 in medical bills to fix the dog's completely shattered lower jaw.

"I was devastated," Davis told The Detroit News. "She's not a vicious dog at all. … She's a sweetheart."

Detroit TV news outlet Fox 2 reports:

Elijah tells Fox 2 he was walking Stormy and their other dog Bandit Friday afternoon on Detroit's East Side.

They got loose and ran Elijah flagged down a Detroit Police car telling them his dogs got loose.

"One of the police officers jumped out the car and they shot Stormy and then she ran," he said.

Detroit Police say they had gotten a 911 call about vicious dogs in the area, when they got on scene they say Stormy charged at them.

"We don't know if the dog is friendly or not its running toward the officer and the officer have to make a split decision at that time," Captain Keeth Williams with Detroit Police said.

An x-ray showing Stormy's completely shattered lower jaw // Detroit Dog Rescue

According to Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR), a local no-kill shelter, police left the family to deal with their grievously injured pet. The family contacted a local news station, which put them in touch with the DDR. The group is fundraising to cover the Davis' veterinary bills.

The Davis family is filing a complaint with the Detroit Police Department, which said it is investigating the incident. If the family pursues legal action, they'll join a string of civil rights lawsuits against the city for wantonly shooting dogs.

The shooting happened to occur on the same day Reason reported that Detroit agreed to pay out $60,000 in another dog shooting lawsuit brought by Nikita Smith, whose three dogs were shot by a Detroit narcotics unit during a marijuana raid in 2016.

Last year, Detroit paid $225,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin, who claimed Detroit police officers shot their three dogs while the animals were enclosed behind an 8-foot-tall fence—all so the officers could confiscate several potted marijuana plants in their backyard.

In 2015, the city approved a $100,000 settlement to a man after police shot his dog while it was securely chained to a fence.

Last year, Reason reported that Detroit police shot 54 dogs in 2017—twice as many as Chicago, a city with roughly 2 million more people. About a third of those shootings were by the Detroit Police's Major Violators Unit, which conducts drug raids throughout the city. A previous Reason investigation found the Major Violators Unit had a nasty habit of leaving dead dogs in its wake and generating lawsuits.

While violent drug raids are responsible for many of the dog shootings, Detroit also has a large number of stray dogs and little in the way of help for police who have to deal with them. In many of the cases reviewed by Reason, officers struggled to corral aggressive dogs running loose on the street while waiting in vain for animal control to arrive.

But in other instances, Detroit residents said their dogs were shot with little hesitation. For example, in May 2015, local country singer Alison Lewis was playing with her cattle dog mix Millie in the open field where the old Tigers Stadium used to stand when the dog ran up to a police officer. The officer shot Lewis' dog in the face. Police described it as a jumping, barking pit bull that charged the officer, according to the Detroit Free Press. "That's absolutely not true," Lewis told local news channel WXYZ. Detroit settled with Lewis for $8,000.

"What we do know is Detroit Police are asked to do too much and they're not trained to work with all dogs," Detroit Dog Rescue wrote on Facebook. "The city STILL needs adequate animal control officers, vehicles, extended hours, and a facility."

Detroit is a particularly notable example of a national problem. Exactly how many dogs are shot by police every year is unknown, but there have been so many that there are databases and Facebook groups dedicated to tracking the phenomenon. In January, an Arkansas cop was fired after video showed him casually shooting a 9-pound dog. Reason has a whole category for "puppycide" stories. Last year, I reported on a new pilot program to train police officers how to read dog behavior, a tacit acknowledgment that police have a dog problem.

Until such training is more widespread, stories like this, and expensive lawsuits, will continue to play out.

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116 responses to “Detroit Cop Shoots Family Dog in Front of 9-Year-Old

  1. “We don’t know if the dog is friendly or not its running toward the officer and the officer have to make a split decision at that time,” Captain Keeth Williams with Detroit Police said.

    “The armed resident doesn’t know if the people breaking down his door are actual police or imposters claiming to be and has to make a split second decision at that time.”

    I wonder how that would play with Williams.

    1. I think we learned that in Houston.

    2. If a pit bull that I don’t know comes running at me and I have a gun on me, Imma probably shoot it in the face as well.

      1. One more asshole checks in.

        1. You can call him a childish name if you like, but almost 100% of the time when a dog turns on its owner and maims or kills him or her, it’s a pit bull. This is a fact. You can pretend it’s not true, but that doesn’t make it so. There’s a reason it’s the preferred breed among drug dealers.

        2. Yeah, you.

      2. Coward!

        You can’t take a (relatively) small creature! You’ve got a gun, draw it and wait for it to bite you (your non-dominant arm) first! Then shoot it if it does!

        1. YO[re seriously suggesting a person should wait for the dog to attack and latch onto your arm BEFORE you defend yourself?? Am I reading this right??

          You’re insane.

          1. So,if I, as a normal citizen, simply blew the head off of your pet in public because I “felt” like it might hurt me, that’s okay with you?

            If I shoot you in the face because I “felt” like you might hurt me, that’s okay with you?

            Fuck off, dude. Self defense doesn’t include “maybe”.

          2. No you don’t have too. But its not hard to look at a dog and see which mode it is in: kill or friendly.

            The post office deals with more dogs than cops, and yet they rarely get attacked.

            Cops don’t care: its shoot first and don’t ask questions later.

      3. If any dog was coming at you to attack you would not have time to draw your weapon take aim and fire -you are a fucking idiot. An attacking dog is fast and you have time to piss your pants and that is all. The cop is lying.. But hey its a pitbull mix and we all know all about dogs don’t we? You moron. The other fucking idiot the cop had time to aim instead of getting back in his vehicle and now a young person can go through life hating cops as well he should and will never trust another one again. We do not even need police but hey have worked hard to make us needy and copsuckers like you reinforce their bullshit to where only cops have Rights. You POS.

  2. Fuck this guy in particular.

    “Hey, mister police officer, our dog got away, can you please help us?”

    BANG BANG BANG BANG! “Problem solved, kid.”

    What a psychopath.

    1. every pitbull owner is a psychopath

      1. Citation Needed!

      2. That’s not true…some are drug dealers, and some are delusional about their dogs that “wouldn’t hurt anyone”…until they do.

  3. An unleashed pit bull mix is a threat to the public. An owner that doesn’t want such an animal to be put down needs to keep in under control (and insured). An adult who permits a nine-year-old to walk a pit bull does not deserve to get either the dog or the nine-year-old back.

    It’s just a dog. People should worry as much about the cow, chicken, pig, or fish that was sacrificed for dinner.

    1. That first sentence is idiotic.

      1. I suppose I should have included the qualifier ‘not cabined reliably’ for the pedants at this site.

        1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
          May.11.2019 at 6:13 pm
          “I suppose I should have included the qualifier ‘not cabined reliably’ for the pedants at this site.”

          No, you shouldn’t have posted such an idiotic statement to begin with, asshole.

          1. You did notice that is was the Rev, right?

            1. Absolutely!
              The rev needs to be identified as an asshole at every opportunity!!

              1. You’re one of the good ones, Sevo.

                1. Actually, an unleashed kirkland is a threat to the public. He needs a muzzle too.

                  1. No, he needs flying lessons.

                2. Sevo is destined to be a miserable, inconsequential malcontent at the impotent fringe of our society for the rest of his deplorable life, his misanthropic and stale preferences stomped to irrelevant bits in the culture war. He will be replaced by a better American. This makes him cranky and a whiner.

                  1. And you are nothing but a fucking troll; I suspect you add about as much to any aspect of your miserable life.

      2. of course it is not, dullard

      3. The rest of them aren’t any better.

    2. When I was six my dad had the boxer dog drag me across concrete for as far as it took me to regain footing. It was character-building.

      1. Then he tripped you. Then he beat you for tripping. Then he beat you for crying?

    3. ‘Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
      May.11.2019 at 4:39 pm
      “An unleashed pit bull mix is a threat to the public.”

      Do you post here to prove how stupid lefty assholes are?
      If so, you’re doing a wonderful job.

      1. The “Do you post here to prove how stupid lefty assholes are?” says far more about the author of this comment than it does about any stereotype “lefty”

    4. You know, for a while now, I’ve wondered if you were real and just disagreed with everyone or were just a troll. Now I know. You can be safely ignored.

    5. Go fuck yourself, Artie. You don’t know shit about dogs, or anything else.

      -jcr

      1. I know you will spend the rest of your bigoted, irrelevant life complying with my preferences and those of the others who constitute the liberal-libertarian mainstream. Open wider, clinger.

        1. Go find a running woodchipper and dive into it feet first, waste of oxygen. You’re a hating LEFTIST. The word ‘liberal’ does not apply to you, fuckhead.

    6. Somewhat agree with you. Dog lovers will have their anecdotes about pit bulls, and obviously many if not the greatly majority of the animals won’t become a problem. However, dogs are arguably the most dangerous large animals we have and Detroit, in particular, has a serious problem with roving bands of them. The girl’s story doesn’t quite contradict that of the DPD and I am not going to begrudge a Detroit cop opting not to get bitten by some strange, charging, notorious animal in an area with previous reports.

      1. You sound like quite the snowflake, Goodchild.

    7. I thought this comment fit better with the Openborders Liberal-tarian joke account.

      You simply can’t make this stuff up!

    8. Unleashed idiocy like yours is a threat to the public. So, in the head or in the chest?

    9. This right here, Rev? This is a clear cut case of sociopathic tendencies. Or full blown sociopathy, even.

      I have pets. I cannot imagine the anger and resentment and hate I would fell if someone just killed them. Leonard in particular is my buddy cat. Had him since he was small enough to hold in the palm of my hand. Leonard is a member of the family.

      Just a cat? Not to me. And the fact that you can’t understand such a simple concept makes it pretty clear that you can’t understand simple human emotions.

      I read every comment you make, Rev. I’ve been lurking for years now, and I’ve seen all the idiotic thing you post. They all make sense in light of this.

      You are a literal monster. A thing, not a person. Less than the animals you’d gladly have someone else kill for fun. Completely worthless, the absolute epitome of a garbage life.

      There is nothing in this world you could ever do to make it better. You are a drag on humanity as a whole. If there was an action you could take that would help uplift humanity, even a little, it would be to commit suicide.

    10. Your stupidity is more of a threat to the public than any pit bull mix.

  4. When the cops are out of uniform do they shoot every dog that runs up to them? If I’m legally carrying a firearm can I shoot every dog that runs up to me?

    1. Do they, like, tie police officers down and make them watch video of video of dogs ripping out men’s throats? Why are they so terrified of dogs that they just shoot them at every opportunity instead of any other way normal humans deal with dogs?

      1. Ludovico Technique.

      2. If the only tool you have is a gun, every dog looks like a target.

      3. My theory is that the police hiring process now selects _for_ cowardice.

        1. No, it selects for paranoid psychopaths.

    2. How many bites must a citizen endure before becoming entitled to defend himself from a dog? If a large dog — let alone a dog whose breed is known to be risky — runs at a person on public property, I see no reason to expect that person to await manifestation of the dog’s intentions. Leash laws exist for ample good reason. A dog owner that permits his animal to menace others on public property — or private property other than the owner’s — doesn’t deserve to keep the dog.

      1. You are seriously scared of dogs man. Are you Black?

        1. I believe dogs should be leashed and that owners who allow their dogs to run at others have no reason to complain about the treatment of their dogs. I also do not believe people should be expected to give any dog a free bite, except perhaps on the owner’s property.

          Why do capitalize “Black?” Are you literate?

          1. Understand I intend more emphasis than I usually direct at you when I say this. Go fuck yourself, Rev.

          2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
            May.11.2019 at 6:45 pm
            “I believe dogs should be leashed and that owners who allow their dogs to run at others have no reason to complain about the treatment of their dogs.”

            So you *ARE* stupid along with being an asshole.

      2. How many bites crimes must a citizen endure before becoming entitled to defend himself from a dog man? If a large dog man — let alone a dog man whose breed race is known to be risky — runs at a person on public property, I see no reason to expect that person to await manifestation of the dog’s man’s intentions.

    3. I guess the Rev has given you his answer – yes, you are free to shoot every dog that runs up to you. I’m assuming this also includes the dogs that are responding to your approaching them.

      1. I’m headed to the dog park.

        1. I hope you’re packing iron

          1. Is there another reason to go to the dog park, other than to practice your aim?

            Oh wait. . .he’s not a cop. Nevermind.

  5. Until repeal is more widespread, the senseless initiation of deadly force will continue to cost and kill voters… and their dogs.

    1. If the dog was running toward someone and unleashed, the initiation of force was warranted.

      1. Human beings are far more dangerous than dogs so I hope for your sake I never see you running toward me.

        1. In fact, now that I think of it, why didn’t the cop shoot the fucking kid when the kid came running up to him to tell him his dogs got away from him? Surely in Detroit 9-year old kids are more dangerous than 15-month old dogs.

        2. All-talk, disaffected wingnuts are among my favorite faux libertarians, Jerryskids.

          1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
            May.11.2019 at 6:34 pm
            “All-talk, disaffected wingnuts are among my favorite faux libertarians, Jerryskids.”

            Bigoted assholes are my faves, bigoted asshole.

        3. your post Is a non sequitur to the issue at hand

      2. I beginning to think you’re serious, Rev. It’s been hard to tell around here, lately.

        Is it too unreasonable to demand the armed law enforcement offices have the skills of the average mail carrier, meter reader or pizza delivery kid?

        1. Postal employees, utilities employees, and hospitality employees should not be expected to tolerate dogs running at them, either. If dog owners can’t do better, they should not be heard to complain.

          1. And Hit and Run commentators should not be expected to suffer psychopathic trolls justifying shooting animals and endangering the public, yet here we are.

            1. Well cynophophia is common.

              The rev seems to affected.

            2. Tens of millions of animals are killed daily by the American meat industry. People weeping, whimpering, and ranting about this unleashed dog, in the described circumstances, are pathetic. And unlikely to see their low-quality preferences prevail in America any time soon. They can whine and attempt to persuade others as much as they wish, though.

              1. Sure, that fine LEO should take the canine carcass home and grill it for dinner.

                Just imagine if the cop had a non lethal weapon, like a taser, then he might not have to kill the dog. If only….

              2. You wouldn’t even make healthy soylent green, fucko. People would choke on your toxins.

              3. Hang on there, Rev.

                Have you ever actually interacted with a domesticated cow? My grandfather, damn his demon soul, used to own a farm I spent plenty of time on.

                Domesticated cows are the most stupid, smelly, useless beasts you can imagine. They’re far more meat than brains. I’d be surprised at this point if they even have the neurons left to feel pain.

                Same goes for domesticated turkeys, chickens, and other farm-bred animals. These are NOT intelligent creatures. I would barely consider them sentient in any real capacity. Killing them for their meat is the equivalent of cutting down a tree at this point.

                Dogs and cats, though. . .there are wheels turning. They feel emotions. They feel pain, sadness, loneliness, anger, satisfaction, happiness, and more. I’ve owned one (a tortoise shell cat named Belledonna) that was smart enough to figure out my bullshit and started playing me like a fiddle over the years. She was a person in a cat body.

                Fuck you, Rev. You want people and their pets dead for your own selfish motivations. See my above post regarding the kind of worthless slop this state of mind makes you.

                I sincerely hope you get cancer of the ass and pass away before you manage to affect anyone else in any way with your psychopathic nonsense.

              4. My only hope is that poetic justice is served and you’re mauled to death by a German Shephard.

                That’s the absolute best you deserve, fucktard.

            3. one less pitbull is a good thing

          2. Whether they should or should not be forced to tolerate them is irrelevant though, and a weak dodge. They DO Tolerate them, and far better than police. Which makes police other people who are ok with shooting the dogs look extremely inept and pathetic.

          3. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
            May.11.2019 at 6:43 pm
            “Postal employees, utilities employees, and hospitality employees should not be expected to tolerate dogs running at them, either. If dog owners can’t do better, they should not be heard to complain.”

            Bigoted assholes are expected to post gibberish worthy of an ignoramus, and we are rarely disappointed, bigoted asshole.

      3. From TFA:

        Last year, Detroit paid $225,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin, who claimed Detroit police officers shot their three dogs while the animals were enclosed behind an 8-foot-tall fence—all so the officers could confiscate several potted marijuana plants in their backyard.

        In 2015, the city approved a $100,000 settlement to a man after police shot his dog while it was securely chained to a fence.

  6. I read this headline as ” Detroit Cop Shoots Family in Front of 9- Year Old Dog.”

    Frankly, I don’t like it either way.

    1. Well, dogs are definitely worth saving more than humans.

  7. Once again, never call police for help unless you want someone/thing to end up dead.

    Feel bad that a 9 year old had to learn that lesson.

    1. X1000, TFTF. You said it.

  8. So now the dog and the kid know to avoid the cops.
    Poor kid will have to turn to dealing drugs in order to pay the vets. Then he will have so much cash he will need a really mean pit bull to protect himself.
    This begins to look like a vicious circle.

  9. The United States needs more immigration.

  10. “She’s not a vicious dog at all….she’s a sweetheart”

    This is pretty much what every dog owner says after their dog bites someone.

    1. Inspector Clouseau, approaching a dog next to man sitting on a park bench: “Does your dog bite?”

      Man on bench: “No”

      Inspector Clouseau approaches dog and is promptly bit.

      Inspector Clouseau: “I thought you said your dog does not bite”

      Man on bench: “That is not my dog”

    2. Bearded Spock
      May.11.2019 at 11:21 pm
      “She’s not a vicious dog at all….she’s a sweetheart”
      “This is pretty much what every dog owner says after their dog bites someone.”

      Is that after the dog was shot?

      1. “after their dog bites someone”

        Try to pay attention.

        1. Try to not be an asshole, Blowhard.

      2. That’s a stupid comment. If a dog bites me I’m gonna shoot it. End of discussion. I should be able to defend myself against an unprovoked attack..or does that only count if it’s a human attacking me?

    3. Dogs are very territorial and family protective. The most vicious dog licks the hand of its owner, but will attack someone who violates its space or threatens its owner. Even otherwise docile dogs have this instinct unless they have been conditioned to be less aggressive.

      Don’t you know anything about dogs?

    4. bingo, esp trash pitbull owners

      1. YOu are one weak-assed faggot, Goldy.

  11. There are conflicting stories about what happened next…

    Really? A jack-booted thug clipped a sweet puppy. What “conflict”?

    The family is now facing approximately $8,000 in medical bills

    A pentobarbital shot is $8K now? That’s outrageous.

    1. ..but one less pitbull…

  12. [a] I appreciate the difficult job police officers have.
    [b] I understand the deficit of training often cited for the actions of some officers.
    [c] I do not appreciate the fact that undertrained personnel hired under “warm body” programs are turned loose with deadly weapons, licensed to kill, and rarely help responsible for their actions under the “oops” policy. Buying off lawsuits with taxpayer dollars doesn’t teach offending officers anything likely to change unacceptable behavior.
    [d] Two tours in Yemen doesn’t qualify one to deescalate and gain control of urban squabbles and loose puppies at home.
    [e] Perhaps new officers should be required to work unarmed and under supervision for a period of time before being given a deadly weapon.

  13. every idiot pit bull owner says the same stupid thing

  14. We are dog people. Just got back from the walk.

    Very difficult to say exactly what happened. One thing seems clear to me. Sending out a nine year old alone to walk two dogs, at least one of which is a larger stronger breed is irresponsible.

    It is very possible that the police over reacted in shooting the dog. I tend to be on the side of the dog.

    Looking at the X-ray. At least one side of the mandible from the mandibular angle through the body is shattered. Any surgery will require placing plates and screws, possibly bone grafting to repair the defect. Very big deal. If the estimated cost is 8k the vet orthos are not looking at profit here.

    1. Very difficult to say exactly what happened.

      When has that ever stopped the internet?

  15. Americans should be shooting cops on sight. Just in case.

  16. I was once charged by a pitbull. I was not bitten or harmed but can say honestly I have never been more threatened. Had I been armed I may have shot the dog.

    It’s interesting to note, however, that animal control officers are armed only with dog spray and a baton. They wear leather boots to protect themselves from bites. I know an animal control officer and she said getting bit by a dog is a job hazard. They are expected to use non-lethal force but it’s seemingly okay for cops to gun down dogs on a whim.

    Each scenario can be different. This officer may have been charged but there’s plenty of other scenarios where police officers drop a dog without proper justification.

  17. Police officers should be entitled to the same rights of self defense as anyone else. But they should not be entitled to additional rights. I say this as a retired military officer from a family with a lot of cops. Protect and serve. They really do forget the serve part. You should be able to expect a police officer to take some risk to do their jobs. I have been attacked by large dogs and it is not that hard to defend yourself. I few years ago, a neighbor’s large untrained black lab came tearing after my elderly cur (a medium sized hunting dog). A swift kick to the head sent the lab away. If I had been armed, I might have shot the owner for not training his dog. If civilians are expected to deal with dogs without shooting them, cops with all their “training” that justifies privileges should be able to.

  18. If you shoot my dog, just run, because I’m going to go all Liam Neeson in “Taken” on you.

    So, just …run.

  19. goddammit. asshole.

  20. The Captain’s name is Keeth? Seriously?

  21. A valuable reminder to avoid Detroit, especially if your dog needs to go for a walk.

  22. I hear the cat was egging them on.

  23. It is high time that cops are disarmed. They have not stopped crime nor ever saved a life except their own. They kill more civilians by mistake than CCW permit holders do and their rate of traffic stop to execution of driver is far too speedy of a trial.
    And I promise you that those police will charge the dog’s owners with something such as failure to control a dangerous canine and attempted murder by use of a canine on a police officer….
    I am ashamed of my country, truly and honestly.

    1. In this case you should be.

      If it was a German Shepherd we wouldn’t be having this conversation because it would have not made the news.

  24. Really? Can’t tell if a dog is friendly or not? Bullshit.

  25. “We don’t know if the dog is friendly or not its running toward the officer and the officer have to make a split decision at that time,” – moron police captain.

    You know what else takes a split second? Recognizing the warning signs of dog aggression. Running at you is not one of them.

    No excuse.

  26. Way more to this story. The morons in Detroit are infamous for letting their dogs roam.

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  28. […] one day after announcing the settlement, a Detroit cop gunned down a 15-month-old puppy in front of a nine-year-old. The kid asked the officer for help after the dog got loose and ran down the street while on a […]

  29. […] Don’t “flag them down” either. […]

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