Police Abuse

Body Camera Footage Shows Officer Killing Woman While Firing at Nonthreatening Dog

The Department of Justice calls puppycide an epidemic.

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Recently released body camera footage from the police department in Arlington, Texas, shows an officer fatally shooting a woman lying behind a shopping plaza after taking aim at her medium-sized, unrestrained dog.

The officer had been dispatched to perform a routine welfare check on the woman, Maggie Brooks, who was reportedly homeless and a regular at the shopping center in question. Footage shows the cop walking toward Brooks and asking her, "Are you OK?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," Brooks replies. The dog then trots toward the officer. Although the video makes it clear that the animal presented no threat, he nonetheless fires three shots toward the dog as Brooks lies mere feet away.

"Get back!" he yells at the dog, while opening fire.

"Oh my God!" Brooks screams after the officer inflicts the fatal wound. "Police shot me!"

As she cries out in agony, the officer moves back toward her and tells her to "get ahold of her dog."

At a news conference, Police Chief Will Johnson said the 30-year-old Brooks suffered a fatal wound in the "upper torso." The dog, weighing 40 pounds, was also struck and is currently in quarantine.

The officer on duty—who graduated from the academy this past February—is on administrative leave while the incident is under both criminal and departmental investigation. He underwent eight hours of training on encounters with canines prior to assuming his role.

While that training clearly didn't prepare the cop in question for the routine welfare check, he is not alone in using deadly force against animals who present no imminent danger. The Department of Justice estimates that 25 to 30 dogs are killed per day in what they call an "epidemic." As I wrote last week:

In Detroit, Michigan, 54 dogs were killed in 2017 alone. "The rise occurred at the same time Detroit is trying to fend off lawsuits from residents who say police wantonly killed their dogs during drug raids," wrote Reason's C.J. Ciaramella in September. In St. Louis County, a woman received a $750,000 settlement after a SWAT team killed her dog during a raid on her home over an unpaid gas bill.

Human bystanders are sometimes caught up in the officers' reckless behavior. A federal court recently ruled that Deputy Sheriff Matthew Vickers of Coffee County, Georgia, is protected by qualified immunity for his role in shooting a 10-year-old child in the knee while firing at a nonthreatening family dog.

Larry Hamilton, an acquaintance of Brooks, described her as a devoted caretaker to her pet. "She was a real loving person to the dog. Really caring, and you know, always made sure the dog was fed before she did," he said. "She was a good-hearted person."

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  1. This cop needs to lose his job. Then people should keep an eye out for him and kick the shit out of him on site. He won’t do well without a badge to hide behind.

    1. The cop needs to go to jail. He won’t. But he needs to be in prison. Sadly, he will likely get a promotion and a few months paid time off for this the piece of shit bastard.

      1. Dude is Barney Fife. The real criminal is the idiot who gave him a gun in the first place. That panic fire over a tiny dog like that is inexcusable… and if your evaluation and training procedures didn’t see that coming, you need new evaluation and training procedures.

      2. What I always find puzzling is when police dogs are killed:
        “‘I lost my partner from this, and he was also a family member,’ [Officer Phil] Lerza told the judge.”
        But when a cop kills a family pet, the family should just get over it. It’s just a dog…
        Apparently our dogs are little people, too.

        1. Nice point.

          It isn’t just some perception or sympathy either. The law actually recognizes police dogs as more important than regular people.

          1. That phenomenon gives you a deep insight into what humans really are and should scare the shit out of you.

        2. Compared to the First Responders™ in the dedication of the Republican platform cop immunity is important, not your dog.

      3. He should be charged and defend himself in a fair trial with his own money. Would you be if you did this?

    2. Lose his job? This fucker needs manslaughter 1.

    3. Mailmen, meter readers, UPS & FedEx drivers deal with dogs more than cops do and do not have to resort to killing them. What is going on in the law enforcement community that says killing people’s dogs is okay?

      Also, I can’t think of many better ways to get yourself shot than to shoot a persons dog.

      1. I hate my dog and want him gone. We got him for the kids and they couldn’t care less. If someone in a clown suit shoots him, I will willingly spend the rest of my life trying to destroy that person’s life.

    4. Imagine if a civilian saw a “threatening cop” approaching him and opened fire. The double standard is absurd. This cop should be fired, jailed, and sued for his reckless and murderous behavior.

    5. Lose his job? Hell no, he needs to be imprisoned! Cops seem to see dogs as targets of fun given the size of the dog who CLEARLY was no threat to anyone. This cop should be imprisoned both for manslaughter and shooting the dog, then he can live the life of some prisoner’s “Bitch”. Don’t forget the Vaseline, you crook piece of shit cop.

    6. That’s one citizen Served(tm) and Protected(tm). Only 330 million left to go.

      I swear, the real live human (supposedly) cops are less competent than ED-209.

  2. Any guess as to what percentage of suburban dogs are gun-shy and could be effectively repelled by blanks?

    1. I’d believe north of 50% but would be dubious much above 90%. Even relatively avid shooters who own dogs likely don’t expose their dogs to gunfire.

      1. Not making the case that the exception obliterates the rule, but I take my dog shooting all the time. She literally has zero reaction to gunfire.

        1. My dog runs and hides if a door slams too loudly lol

        2. my dog turns into a quivering pile of goo if he hears door slamming, thunder, fireworks, etc. So, I’m assuming he would metaphorically and literally lose his shit if he heard gunshots.

          1. My dog is so relaxed about shooting, she’ll try to wander forward of the firing line to sniff around.

          2. But she’s relaxed about very little else, so there’s that. She’s very not relaxed about strangers and mountain bikers.

        3. Not making the case that the exception obliterates the rule, but I take my dog shooting all the time.

          I suspected the number to be non-zero. I know lots of suburban shooters who shoot indoors but a few who hunt and have dogs they’ve trained.

        4. She might already be deaf then.

    2. all of them. It takes special training to get bird dogs to get used to shotguns and even though they are breed for it, a few of them never overcome it.

      1. all of them.

        Sorry, no. Raised bird dogs growing up. I’d agree that, if you tried, you could condition any dog into being gun-shy but I’d guess for every one that is gun-shy and can’t be retrained, there’s one that’s naturally tolerant of it.

        I was gonna guess ~5-10% at either end but then I’ve never considered how toy dogs might skew the numbers.

        1. Do toy dogs shy away from toy gunfire?

        2. Dogs is dogs. Toy dogs can handle gun shots if exposed to them and treated the same as a big dog. My pug used to go to firework displays with no problems.

          When I had the kennel, we used to play Happy Thunder to teach all dogs to handle the almost daily thunderstorms in Houston and had special rates for 4th of July and New Years so we could work with dogs. Even dogs that were left with meds for anxiety, didn’t need them after a few minutes of Happy Thunder. It worked 100% of the time on all dogs even toy dogs.

          That being said, any sudden, unexpected noise can frighten a dog and, just like with humans, they know when they’re in danger and will react to the shots even if they are used to them.

          1. Dogs is dogs.

            A hairless Chihuahua is not a dog.

          2. I used to take my big Chow to the range. The first round would always startle him but he was relaxed after that. I had to keep him tied up because he would wander out in front of the firing line. He once laid to next to a prone shooter he didn’t even know.

    3. That seems to imply the concept of cops walking around with a gun loaded with blanks. As awful as cops are when it comes to shooting, the notion of them walking around with a gun that has blanks is also terrible. They can’t seem to tell the difference between their regular gun and a yellow taser. They certainly won’t know the difference between regular gun and one with blanks.

      1. They shouldn’t be allowed to have real bullets.

    4. All of them. Dogs typically need to be trained to ignore the sound of gunfire

    5. Couldn’t he have tased the dog instead of shooting it?

    6. Wouldn’t matter, as the current crop of “cops” (read fiends) LOVE shooting anyone and anything just for fun, and/or to make themselves feel like the “tough guys” they most certainly are not. Pussy ass dog killing cops should be sent to prison.

    7. My dog hides under the bed if a firecracker goes off a block away.

  3. He underwent eight hours of training on encounters with canines prior to assuming his role.

    If he doesn’t get brought up and convicted of manslaughter, then I’d say the 8 hours of training paid off.

    1. Eight hours is more time than he spent handling a gun before they gave him permission to carry one in a professional capacity. In Texas, it’s 3 days of training that only includes a few hours of actual shooting.

  4. 8 hours of canine training – shooting at a knee high moving target.

  5. What kind of training did he get? I’ve had a few encounters with unrestrained dogs while jogging, and whenever I see one the first thing I do is find something with which to fend it off. He clearly is concerned about the dog but does nothing until it charges. It’s apparent that his go-to action in case the dog is a problem is to fire his weapon. What a joke. BTW, in all my encounters with charging dogs, maybe 10 total, not one actually attacked me. They all stopped short when I made no aggressive moves. THIS is what cops should be taught. As an aside, it’s laughable that the writer describes the dog as trotting and that it was clearly not a threat. The officer’s actions were clearly uncalled for, but we don’t need to sanitize the situation.

    1. The numbers I would like to see are the number of LEOs, nationwide, who have suffered any serious injury inflicted by a dog. Or any injury, actually. There aren’t any fatality numbers because I don’t believe a LEO has ever been killed by a dog.
      But they are obviously willing to kill another person to assuage their inexplicable terror of dogs.

      1. It’s not LEO-specific, but according to Wikipedia, 30-50 people die (in the US) from dog bites each year, 4.5 million are bitten, with 6,000 to 13,000 of those million+ bites leading to hospitalization (that is, less then 1% of dog bites require hospitalization, and less then 0.01% of dog bites lead to death).

        We are currently at 28 dog-related fatalities this year.

        Two more things I noticed on the wiki page. First, there are few enough cases, each year, you can enumerate them. Second, the majority of fatalities involve either a very young child (toddler and younger) or old people (50+).

        Pit bulls are, of course, the most common breed involved.

        1. I went through the itemized list from 2010 to today, and didn’t find a single case of dead police. But I did notice three cases where the killer-dog was a police dog.

          Police dogs kill more people then dogs then kill police.

        2. “Pit bulls are, of course, the most common breed involved.”

          I wouldn’t trust breed identifications attached to these cases unless DNA testing was done on the dog to confirm breed.

      2. It’s not inexplicable. For every 10 shots fired at a living being they get a free lap dance and donut platter at Legs and Eggs.

    2. He did everything wrong.

      Never should have pulled his weapon in the first place. And if you are gonna shoot something, you don’t wildly fire while running backwards. Movie heroes hit stuff that way, but real people don’t. Plus, you don’t shoot an animal for barking at you – especially not when you are on a “wellness check”.

      Running backwards is the last thing you do when a dog threatens you. Might as well tape steak to your chest.

    3. The dog was probably running to him to lick his doughnut scented fingers!

  6. “Explain String Theory!” “Get back!” he yells at the dog, while opening fire.

    sheesh.

  7. “”Get back!” he yells at the dog, while opening fire.”

    Surprised it wasn’t “Stop resisting!”

    1. Too bad there weren’t three cops, then one could yell, “Don’t move!”, one could yell “Get on the ground – now!”, and one could yell, “Drop the weapon” when there was no weapon.

      1. Exactly this. I see this all the time on Live PD (I watch to know how the PD work). Person is given 3 or more conflicting orders then thrown to the ground and asked why he didn’t follow directions.

  8. Holy Shit. That was the worst case of bad firearms training I have ever seen. This was not some ricochet, the woman was directly in the line of fire. If you have to shoot the dog, you should at least be aware enough to move to take the woman out of the direct line of fire before you pull the trigger. If this guy is prosecuted, I think you could make the argument that he was grossly negligent and go for manslaughter. Having said that, most absolutely cops suck with their guns. They just don’t get enough training. So I guess his defence would be that he was not properly trained (and its probably a good defence). Show this video to your liberal friends next time they tell you that only the cops should have guns….

    Aslo, FWIW, someone should sit all cops down and make them watch a few Cesar Milan videos and 95% of dogs wouldn’t get shot. The other 5% could be saved by pepper spray.

    Fucking stupid….

    1. I’m a civilian who conceal carries, I’ve never been “professionally trained”. The idea of pulling my firearm out and shooting someone– even someone who’s an imminent threat when I can’t guarantee my background is beyond my comprehension.

      I remember a story from my hometown when I was a kid where a university campus police officer was shot in the face while sitting in her patrol car. She drew her weapon and pointed it out the cruiser window, but refrained from pulling the trigger because in her semi-blinded state, she couldn’t guarantee the safety of passers-by. That woman was a hero cop.

    2. Seems like the cop might be the biggest pussy on the goddamn planet.

      1. That’s exactly what I thought when I saw him backpedal at incredible speed because some 40 lb dog was barking at him.

        Too many pussy cops on the street these days.

    3. A game warden told me once that when he had to deal with a potentially hostile dog he would spray the cuff of his pants with pepper spray and the dog would not come near him. Why that isn’t taught to police is beyond me.

      1. This is a very good point.

        If some guy from Game, Fish and Parks or DNR, with NO back-up in the middle of Wyoming, Idaho, the Dakotas, or Montana can manage to not be murdered by every coyote, wolf, bobcat, mountain lion, bison, and badger, they clearly have something to teach these 10-ply police officers…

  9. For some reason, I just wasn’t interested in watching a video of a woman getting murdered.

    1. Me neither. I’ll take their word for it that a piece of shit cop murdered an innocent person while murdering an innocent dog. It’s not a stretch in this country.

      1. While failing to murder an innocent dog.

        The woman died. The dog was just in quarantine. Seeing as it’s owner is now dead, it will probably be put down, but as relayed by Binion, the dog was not yet dead.

        1. The dog is in quarantine to rule out rabies, after that it’s toast.

      2. That El Paso killer will prolly get a job offer from the Arlington police, or at least a retainer as a pep talks consultant.

  10. What I’d like to ask this cop is, is this the first damn dog you’ve seen in your life? Did your Daddy give you a .45 when you were 4 and tell you that dogs were like grizzly bears and sharks and tigers that you shoot on sight and always make sure you save that last bullet for yourself just in case the first 5 don’t take down the dog? What the fuck did you do about a barking dog for all the years before you were a cop, you stupid piece of shit?

    1. No, the state gave him a weapon when he was an adult and taught him to unload his pistol at any moving object that he perceived to be a threat, and then gave him the zillion pound gorilla of a public sector union to back him up.

  11. “Ma’am, I’m firing rounds in your direction like a fucking retarded lunatic. Could you please control your dog?”

    1. It’s proof that it was all just an innocent mistake. He was talking to her as if she was still alive.

      1. Mistake Yes. Innocent. No. This “officer” was criminally negligent at best.

  12. I’d believe north of 50% but would be dubious much above 90%. Even relatively avid shooters who own dogs likely don’t expose their dogs to gunfire.

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  13. We need to do away with limited immunity. When cops know they will be held to the same standard as a citizen with a concealed carry permit they will be MUCH more careful.
    No wonder people are killing cops.

    1. That and make the settlements payable from the police pension fund. You’d see a change overnight and the guys costing other guys their retirement would be drummed out quite rapidly.

      1. Brilliant idea! They could send fidgety cops out to check on cop pension welfarees and pocket the savings…

  14. The officer did not kill the woman, the gun killed the woman! We need to take away all guns from police.

  15. Bravery is contagious, and, oh brother, so is cowardice. Th issue here is systemic: All of the police “training “ done today focuses on the safety of the officers. That any and all people and situations are life threatening. That an officer’s duty is first and foremost his welfare: everything is a danger, grandma has a firearm concealed, etc. institutional cowardice is legion in policing. During Columbine, a swat team positioned on the opposite side of campus refused to enter while listening t automatic rifle fire because of the lack of information “ read GUTS”. At Parkland……yellow, gutless, cowardice. Dozens, nay, hundreds of instances of “shoot first, ask questions later”. Don’t you dare say to me that these men are heroes! Some, maybe many, might be some time but not with the training they get currently.

    1. Yep. It used to be “To Protect and Serve”. Now it’s “Get Home Safe at End of Shift”.

      And with qualified immunity letting cops literally get away with murder, they have no reason not to shoot with little or no provocation.

      1. Also rape. Don’t forget the rape.

  16. “Are you OK?”
    “Yeah, I’m fine,”
    BANG! BANG! BANG!
    “What about now?”

    1. Still fine.

      I shot you. You’re bleeding all over the place.

      It’s just a flesh wound.

      #BlackKnight

  17. After he shot her and she didn’t obey his command, because she was dying, I think his training says he is allowed (“strongly encouraged” per the actual training text) to shoot her again.

  18. Americans would be outraged if the cop aimed at the nonthreatening prostrate woman but accidentally killed the dog. Where, as here, the only fatality was an untouchable, Americans will not be outraged unless the heroic officer is prosecuted. The outrage will be short-lived even if convicted because Trump would grant clemency.

  19. Animal control officers get leather boots to avoid ankle bite injuries, clubs and dog pepper spray. They corral dogs that pose threat without guns. Cops run away and shoot people in the line of fire of non-threatening dogs.

    1. Every time some bootlicker tells me I should do a ridealong to see how tough a cop’s job is, I offer to take them up on it if….they do a ridealong with a 12 year old delivering newspapers – no gun, no pepper spray, no body armor. Just 90 pounds of underweight kid and a rolled up newspaper. Then they’d learn real heroism.

      Needless to say, they never want to take me up on it.

  20. Incredible….The lack of situational awareness of this LEO just defies any reason or logic. A poster had this one correct – this LEO should not get qualified immunity and should be prosecuted for manslaughter. Never mind losing the job….how about depriving this guy of his liberty? Because he sure in shit deprived this innocent woman of her life.

  21. My conclusion:
    Wearing a uniform and a badge and carrying a department issued weapon is NOT AN ASSURANCE OF QUALIFICATION TO DO THE F’N JOB!

    We’ve been so inured to believing that certification is so essential and doing nothing for ourselves but letting the ________ do it because they are qualified and privileged, that we’ve become hapless little sheep with often less than capable shepherds. That needs to change.

    1. In Texas, cops get three days of firearms training in the academy even of they have never held a gun before and many of them haven’t. They only get a few hours of shooting time, if that.

      There is no time or attempt to teach how to shot in stressful situations as is painfully obvious in this video. He could have easily stood his ground if he hadn’t panicked and taken the time to aim and shoot. Not that he should have because he was in no danger but he could have and a human life would not have been lost.

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    1. Maybe officer could look into this as his next career because it would probably a whole lot safer for the people around him.

  23. He knew that woman was directly in the line of fire.

    Even IF he was correct about the need to shoot the dog a couple simple steps to his own right would have changed the angle and meant he was more safely shooting towards the backstop of a brick wall.

    This video only confirms my earlier suspicion that the cop was reckless.

    1. If he had actually been aiming at the dog, the woman would not have been in the line of fire. The line of fire would have been down and directly in front. He shot up and to the right because he was so panicked he didn’t bother to aim.

      1. ?

        I look at the still frame at the very top of this article and, judging from the butt of the pistol see a straight line between it and the woman, with the dog square in the middle.

        The elevation may be lightly different (doubtless had she been standing she’d still be alive) but the windage is aligned.

        1. (I’m also thinking this guy was more Weaver than isosceles.)

        2. If you watch the video, the gun is jiggling all over the place as he runs. He never really aims it, just kind of starts shooting.

        3. The elevation of the gun in that still shot is far to high to hit the dog. The dog is close enough to the officer that the gun would have to be pointed down, somewhere around 45 degrees, it looks like he is holding the gun arms all the way out at shoulder height with the gun level.

  24. He underwent eight hours of training on encounters with canines prior to assuming his role

    ——
    Apparently that training focused on shooting any dog he encountered.

    Seriously, he had to have come across dogs in all the years prior to this. Dealing with dogs is not rocket science.

  25. Why should he be in jail? The courts know that we are docile enough that there’s no risk of vengeance if they just let him off. The court’s job has been done for it already.

    1. And heaven forbid he might end up in a cell with the guy who left his kids in the car. A real flight risk, that one was.

  26. He probably joined the force to kill someone.

    He shot at a dog, missed and killed a woman. Good enough.

    Who’s looking at his internet history?

    1. #PanicyMagDump

  27. Have passed the red-flag law yet and established a 1-800 hotline?
    Someone needs to call this one in.

  28. Fuck the 8 hours of “dog-encounter” training. Hom bout basic rules of firearms? Specifically rule number 3 (of 4) – Alays be sure of your target, and whats behind it.
    This cowardly little shit should have never been issued a firearm.

  29. Do we need any more evidence that we are degrading into a fascist country?

    1. Are???? More like have degraded.

  30. Lots of cop hating commies here I see.

    1. I see exactly one cop-sucking piece of human garbage.

  31. Why do people allow their dogs to run loose? So irresponsible!

  32. What a bitch.

    Years ago a neighbor’s pitbull broke through a window screen and charged at me and my little dog. I just grabbed it and held it down until the owner came out. Shooting it (an option here in AZ) never even crossed my mind.

    and i’m 6′ 175 lbs (lanky, not shredded).

    These guys are pussies

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  34. Such a horrible act, wearing a cop uniform does not justify this act
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