Main > officer shoots dog a different prospective (149 replies)
officer shoots dog a different prospective
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 00:41
I thought long and hard about posting on this subject. I wrote a very long thread to the post but it did not appear. I don't know if it was too long or a server problem.
I am deeply sorry for what happend to Max. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. He died doing what he was supposed to do. That makes him a great dog.
I am deeply disturbed by the fact that everyone here seems to be quick to play judge jury and exocutioner in a situation we know very little about. The only perspective we have is from a distraught family and media story. I know we all know how factual and objective the media is.
I am a police officer and am even more disturbed at the fact that another police officer is so quick to judge one of his own with little information, write a letter to this officer's department, and give the members of this board incorrect information.
I will post several short posts to ensure this gets all gets through.
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 00:53
First things first. Contrary to what another officer says, there does not have to be an immediate risk of great bodily injury or death before we DRAW our weapon. There are numerous occations in which we draw our weapons absent an immediate threat. Too many to list. We need an immediate threat of great bodily injury or death to ourselves or others to DISCHARGE OUR WEAPON.
As for the officer's right to be there. The information provided by the owner of the dog stated the officer was on the property to serve a BENCH WARRANT. Clairification on that was asked for and not given. A bench warrant is a mandate by a judge to arrest a person does not matter what the crime is. Failure to obey a court order to pay child support is a crime. The last known address of the person named in the warrant was the property in which the dog was housed. The officer had every legal right to be on that property and search the property. The fact that supposedly the department was informed that the person did not live at that residence in not relevant. If we as LE officers believed every Mom and Dad that said Johnny was not home or did not live there, we would miss alot of suspects. Are we supposed to believe that there is not a possibility Mom and Dad are hiding or misleading to protect their son?
So the question as to weather the officer had the legal right to be on the property is, yes he absolutly did if the warrant was a Bench Warrant which is the information provided. Additionally, the newspaper article stated that the person "thought" the warrant was for back child support. Doesn't matter. Bench warrant mandates an arrest and the officer was legally performing his duty.
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:02
Now as to an officer's legal right to use deadly force....
Graham VS Conner is the supreme court decision which sets forth the guidlines in determining a legal use of deadly force. This is for deadly force committed upon another person not a dog but it still applies.
There are about 7 differnent critiria set forth by this ruling. One of the most important is the court held that "LE officers are required to make split second decisions, often during times of extreme stress. The actions of an officer are to be judged by the information the officer had at the time the force was applied and not with the hindsight of 20/20."
It disturbes me that this is what is happeneing here. Armchair quarterbacking someone with the hindsight of 20/20, with no experience in the job the officer was doing, and with very little information. The information that is provided is inconsistant, one sided, and hyped by the media and emotion.
What do we really know about the situation? Very very little.
by seriously on 26 May 2007 - 01:03
That's what I was trying to say also GARD.
I was troubled that another officer was so quick to believe for fact everything that was claimed, and then go to post a rant that does nothing but arm a civil attorney and discredit this officer without knowing all the facts. He even went so far as to write his boss which was absurd.
I agree that the death of the dog was a shame.
by greatestgsd on 26 May 2007 - 01:10
|Let me ask you this, officers, how many shots does it take to kill a dog? Yes you are right, not enough information to make judgements, but come on now! 7 shots? I don't think I would want him to be my partner on a murder warrant! Maybe one day he will have your back! Nice thought huh!|
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:13
Law enforcment officers cannot operate on conjecture and emotion. To get to the truth you must question and investigate. There are many questions here that need to be answered and we do not know.
It was stated the officer acknowleged the dogs presence. How do we know that? I question how this information was obtained. It is my departments SOP that an officer SHALL NOT discuss the discharge of a weapon with anyone other than their immediate supervisor, the District Attorney, or an Internal Investigator. This directive also goes up the chain of command. When an internal investigation is under way, information is not released to anyone.
So did the officer really know the dog was there? If so did the officer know the dog was tied up? If so in the officers perspective when the dog went after him, did he know the rope or chain would contain the dog? The answer is we simply do not know.
It was stated the dog "snapped" at the officer. How do we know that? Was the dog protection trained? It was stated the dog was of East German lines. We know that East German lines carry more aggression, so what was the dogs reaction to the officer? We do not know.
The ONLY thing we know for sure about this event is that an officer was legally on the property attempting to make a lawfull arrest. He was bitten by a dog, and he shot the dog. That is all we know to be a fact from the information that has been provided. That is all we know as fact.
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:21
Bare with me, I am still posting....
So now we have the question of the number of shots fired, the injury to the officer, and the officers history of shooting dogs.
As for the number of shots. If a law enforcement officer discharges their weapon in defense of themselves, we shoot until the threat is eliminated. We do not shoot to wound, we do not fire warning shots, we do not shoot at arms or legs. We shoot center mass or head shots to neutralize the threat immediatly.
Contrary to what another officer says, our FIRST responsibility is to make it to the end of our shift and back to our families alive and in one piece. That is our first responsibility. I'm sorry for the suspect that went into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone when I told him to show me his hands and I am sorry to the person who's dog went after me when I jumped the fence chasing a bad guy, or attempted to serve an arrest warrant. I am sorry but I will make it home to my loved ones alive and in one piece.
This is where there is a big gap between LE and the general public. There is no way you can understand the thought process and training unless you do the job. There is no way.
The injury to the officer is not relivant either. If I shot a man who attacked me with a knife, and I only susstained a small cut to my are, would my actions be justified?
by greatestgsd on 26 May 2007 - 01:21
|Ok, I will give you that, do we know if it is true that he has shot other dogs too? Is that a matter or record or not?|
by seriously on 26 May 2007 - 01:24
Go and walk around the neighborhood serving a warrant. When you come around one of the corners, I have placed a dog there. He is about 85 pounds and is a GSD. He's gonna reel off a porch and bite you. Now, I want you to carefully count your shots that you unload in all this. Be fair and don't overdue it. Don't worry about it being a moving target, calmy get your footing, take a deep breath and Clint Eastwood him with only one shot.
A worse thought is having one of you naive idiots try and judge how I do my job.
by seriously on 26 May 2007 - 01:26
|I shouldn't have been so harsh....I'm sorry, it's just frustrating, okay greatest?|
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:31
Now as for the officer's history of shooting dogs and his effort to "rid the county of vicious dogs one by one" or what ever that news article said. It said that the officer MAY have been involved in shooting "as many as three other dogs." Ok let's think about this. Do we KNOW how many dogs this officer has shot. No we do not. Do we know how long this officer has been on the job? No we do not.
Do we know the circumstances of these other incidents. No we do not. How do we know he didn't shoot a dog that was protecting a drug dealers house when they entered on a search warrant. How do we know he did not humanly shoot an injured or sick dog? We don't. How do we know he did not shoot a roaming dangerous dog that had bitten several people. We don't.
It was said the officer shot a dog in broad daylight, in a residential area, with a shotgun. Ok well I can tell you if an officer had to shoot a dog in a residential area a shotgun would have been the correct weapon to use in that situation for the safety of the residents of the area. I can tell you that LE officers do not walk around residential areas in the middle of the day, carrying a shotgun for no reason. I highly doubt an officer gunned down a harmless dog in the middle of the day with many residents in the area. I highly doubt that.
by animules on 26 May 2007 - 01:34
seriously, (and other LE here)
Your jobs are probably one of the most frustrating ones out there. I have not seen anything you need to apologize for here. Opinions are being expressed from both sides and emotions are high. Besides, after a week on jury duty I could feel the same way.
It's very sad what happened and I hope a full investigation resolves Max's death. I do hope they bring in outside jurisdiction to run the investigation and eliminate the preception of a false report, whatever the outcome may be.
by greatestgsd on 26 May 2007 - 01:39
|seriously, I work with police officers all the time, I have seen good ones and I have seen some that will make you wonder! I don't judge how anyone does their job. The facts will speak for them. I am one of those people who care deeply for their dogs. It breaks my heart to even think this poor dog had to suffer like he did. I live on a busy highway that is always having deer being hit, it is hard for me to have to shoot a deer that is hurt, let alone, having to shoot him more then once. Did this dog keep attacking him after he was hit? That is also something we don't know. Even with all the unanswered questions, I still think this officer was wrong. I would be more afraid of humans then I would be of a dog. I guess this would be a different story if it was a human and not a dog.|
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:43
As for the the disposition of the dogs body. We have no way of knowing what is really going on with that. Maybe a vet could confirm that decapitation is the only way of testing for rabies? Maybe the dog's body is needed for the internal investigation. Maybe the department is examining the bullet wounds for trajectory and location to either confirm or discredit the officer's account of the event? WE just do not know.
This whole story is filled with may bees and we don't knows. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to judge this officer's actions, string him by the balls, and demand he be fired when we know nothing of this story to be fact. Again the only thing we know as fact is an officer had a legal right to be on the property, a dog bit him, and he shot the dog. THAT IS ALL WE KNOW TO BE A FACT.
I still cannot believe that a fellow officer jumped on this bandwagon, gave incorrect information to this board, and wrote this officer's department recommending he be fired. I wonder if his department and fellow officers know this and how they feel about it. I wouldn't want a partner who doesn't know what circumstances to draw there weapon, question another officers actions knowing nothing to be fact. I definatley would not want an officer to investigate a crime if they operate on emotion and hearsay.
by gsdsch3v on 26 May 2007 - 01:46
|Since you bring up Graham v. Connor let's look at some of the other considerations of graham v connor (which is basically a test of reasonableness of use of force), Severity of the crime- failure to pay child support, was the suspect sought actively fleeing/evading police- no where is a "fresh pursuit mentioned, immenent danger to public/officer- dog tied out on bright yellow rope the officer went into the dogs space, were there other doors/windows that the officer could have looked thru/knocked on? Graham v Connor also has as one of its main points totality of circumstances. Was the officers action of invading a tied dogs space truly necessary for the situation at hand or did he have other choices available that would have kept him out of the dogs reach in the first place and he just chose not to use them. Could he not have stopped by again when someone may have been home? I have to keep the reasonableness considerations of Graham V. Connor in mind every time I deploy my K9 so I would expect the officer to consider that before firing his weapon on a tied up dog.|
by jdh on 26 May 2007 - 01:46
While I agree that we should use the greatest caution when passing judgement, what little information we have from posts indicates: 1. That the officer mistakenly entered the wrong premises. 2. That the dog was chained leaving retreat as an easy choice. 3. That the dog "nipped" him, as opposed to a serious attack. It would seem that the officer was not acting in self defense, but rather went on the offensive. 4.That this was not the first dog that the officer had shot in an apparently reckless manner.
As I posted to the other thread, I have seen many bites both legitimate and "unplanned". In my opinion the most common cause of unintended bites is human error, while the most common reaction is revenge x 10 on the dog which in most cases was doing what any reasonable person would expect him to do. As I stated, I am sympathetic to and appreciative of the law enforcement community, but I also recognize that such a job brings with it a level of responsibility and need for sound judgement that is not expected of the general population. I would like to see a world in which police officers are held to the highest standards of conduct AND are paid on a level commensurate with the demands, pressures, risks and implications of the job. If I find that my understanding of the basic facts in this case was flawed, I shall immediately retract my comments both here and in e-mail to Sheriff Coffey. If you have credible information that contradicts what we have been told, I would consider it indispensable in the pursuit of truth. Best Wishes, Jonah
by greatestgsd on 26 May 2007 - 01:51
|Well said Jonah, I will do the same.|
by gsdsch3v on 26 May 2007 - 01:53
|JDH- Well Said.|
by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 01:56
Finally, in this society we want to blame the easy target. We do not want to accept responsibility for our actions. The ONLY person to blame here is the person who broke the law and did not give the court hsi real address. If this person abided by his court ordered child support, and wasn't trying to duck the court by not updating their address, the officer NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE and none of this would have happened.
I am the ultimate dog lover. I am also a cop. To hear of the horrible death of a valued family memeber makes me sad. I feel for Max's owners. I am truely sorry that this has happened. He died doing what he was supposed to do. Protect his home and family and that makes him a great dog.
All I ask is that people do not jump to conclusions run on emotion. Do not condem a man and potentially harm his livelyhood and family without any facts. Until proven otherwise; this is a man who risks his life everyday to serve and protect his community. Let's not forget that.
Max died a hero. My wish is that his family finds solace in that fact. I hope they don't let the officers actions, right or wrong, to overshadow that fact.
With my deepest sympathy.......
by Hundguy on 26 May 2007 - 02:15
Get a real dog, when does common sense come into play here?
You give many great questions but after re-reading your posts it's all abit round & round we go.. We have the info from the paper and that is it... I am sure there are times that you beleive what is in the paper when it suits you and your opinion!! An investigation yes and I fully await the results.. I feel only the dead dog and the officer know what truely happened, and GOD of course.. But that is the way all crimes work A!!! People have to fill in the blanks to decided what has happened..
"""get a dog wrote,
It was stated the dog "snapped" at the officer. How do we know that? Was the dog protection trained? It was stated the dog was of East German lines. We know that East German lines carry more aggression, so what was the dogs reaction to the officer? We do not know."""
Do you think the officer knew he was of east german blood? or if he was protection trained? There are a few statements you made in "hindsight 20/20"" to make your point...
I have not read any of your back posts yet, real dog, but are they all going to be as fair and balanced as you are trying to be here? I doubt it, I am sure there will be posts that you formed opinions without knowing all the facts!!!! That is how people are I guess..
I just hope everything works out here.. If the officer was in the wrong I sure as hell hope he gets what he deserves and does not get the usual let the officer resign and slip away, to show up in my town..... If they find no fault, I hope they explain in detail what happened and address all the facts including the multiple dog kills by Deputy Dahmer....
Best Regards,Dennis Johnsonwww.johnsonhaus.com