Cops Gun Down Cow That Escaped Slaughterhouse, Ignore Nearby Pedestrians

Chris | InformationLiberation
Jun. 15, 2014

From the Baltimore Sun:
A 780-pound steer headed for slaughter in West Baltimore seized a chance at freedom Friday, leaping a barbed-wire fence and taking a brisk two-mile walk along North Avenue that ended when the animal was gunned down by police in Mid-Town Belvedere.

The steer was first spotted about 10:15 a.m. after escaping from the George G. Ruppersberger & Sons Inc. slaughterhouse in the 2600 block of Pennsylvania Ave., according to police. It was shot less than an hour later.

Scores of people took pictures of the felled animal at North Charles and Preston Street, and the incident became fodder for social media, which lit up with pictures, Internet memes ("Cow Ripken") and fake Twitter accounts posting the supposed musings of the steer.

But witnesses also raised serious questions about the appropriateness of police opening fire on the animal with people nearby.

Ellie Beziat said the animal was trotting 15 feet from her and her boyfriend when she saw an officer lean out of a moving cruiser and fire shots at its head. She said there were about 10 other pedestrians in the street.

"I don't know whether the [animal] needed to be shot, but I do know you shouldn't be firing out of a moving police car with pedestrians standing there," Beziat said.

Police said the steer had become "increasingly aggressive" and officers were unable to contain it. "We have to take into account the safety of the surroundings of everybody," Sgt. Sarah Connolly, a police spokeswoman, said of the decision to shoot the steer.

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