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Article posted Oct 23 2013, 10:58 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: William Norman Grigg Print

The Smell of Fear

by William Norman Grigg

Either as a result of their hyper-acute sense of smell, or an instinctive ability to decipher behavioral cues, dogs have an uncanny ability to detect fear. Owing to the relentless indoctrination they undergo regarding the primacy of “officer safety” and the supposedly all-encompassing threat environment in which they operate, cops exude a dense musk of fear that dogs can probably detect. This might help explain why casual encounters between dogs and cops frequently end with the dog being shot and left to die.

On October 7, Cherrie Shelton of Albany, Georgia saw Patches, her two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, gunned down by a probation officer named Antoine Jones on her front porch. Shelton began to explain that the tiny dog – who posed no conceivable threat to anybody – didn’t bite. By that time, however, Jones had already pulled out his gun and taken aim. He fired a single round that entered the dog’s left side, exiting through its stomach.

Shelton spent a half-hour desperately trying to save her dog. When she angrily demanded to know why Jones – who had visited the home before – shot the harmless dog, the 300-pound emissary of the tax-fattened class insisted that the 12-pound Jack Russell Terrier made him “fear for his life.” The Georgia Department of Corrections later issued a statement saying that its valiant officer had “acted appropriately” by slaughtering a dog that posed no threat.


Patches the dog.

On October 20, it was Boise resident Gabrielle Stopkai’s turn to watch as a police officer gunned down the family dog, a mixed-breed named Kita. The officers had visited the neighborhood following a reported robbery, but were not responding to that call when they passed by Stopkai’s home. Two weeks earlier, the five-year-old dog had given birth to a litter of six puppies, and she had become predictably apprehensive when strangers would approach.

The officers claimed that Kita had “charged” them, snarling and acting “aggressively.” Stopkai and other witnesses insist that the dog’s behavior, while territorial, wasn’t threatening. The encounter lasted five seconds, ending when an officer fired a single shot into the back of Kita’s head from a distance of about three feet. Among those who witnessed this act of casual cruelty was Stopkai’s two-year-old son.


Survivor: One of Kita's six motherless puppies.

According to Stropkai, the Boise Police Department told her they wouldn’t even bother to investigate the actions of its officers, because the reflexive destruction of her dog is within department policy.

“As with every citizen, a person has the right to defend themselves,” sniffed Boise PD information officer Charles McClure. This is true, but irrelevant. Anybody not wearing the habiliments of the state’s punitive priesthood would be required to demonstrate that the dog had posed a genuine threat, and would face civil and criminal liability for the gratuitous destruction of another individual’s property.

Police are supposedly bold and intrepid defenders of the public weal, yet every time a cop guns down a dog we’re told, in effect, that officers are uncommonly timid and high-strung creatures who are all but paralyzed with fear at the approach of an unfamiliar canine. We never hear or read about people who provide useful services being “forced” to defend themselves against supposedly aggressive dogs by killing them. Yet “puppycide” by police is something that occurs every day.

The critical variable is not the behavior of the dog, but the sense of impunity granted to police officers. They don't shoot dogs because they have to, but because they can.

Police consider themselves entitled to shoot any dog that barks in their direction. They likewise claim the supposed authority to arrest and prosecute any Mundane who “threatens” or “distracts” a police dog – or, as they would describe the creature, “K-9 officer.”

It’s common for police departments to hold retirement ceremonies for police dogs – in fact, the day after two Boise police officers gunned down Kita, the department announced the “retirement” of a drug detection dog named K.C. Retired police dogs are frequently given official funerals, and sometimes listed in the roster of “fallen officers.”

Not surprisingly, things are handled much differently when a police dog inflicts actual injury on a member of the productive class.

A police dog in Brazil, Indiana attacked an 11-year-old boy and mangled his leg during a War on Drugs agitprop event at the county courthouse. The officers immediately reacted to this assault by drawing their service revolvers and gunning down the dog. No, of course they didn’t: The official response was to cut the victim in for a share of the blame.

“One of the children – an 11-year-old male – had moved quickly,” insisted Brazil Police Chief Clint McQueen. “The dog responded quickly, grabbed the boy’s leg, which caused a couple of puncture wounds. It was only a few seconds before officers had control of the dog, got him to release the bite.”

That precious interval – “a few seconds” – is all it takes for officers in different circumstances to shoot any dog that barks at them, or appears ready to do so. Rather than being destroyed immediately, the police dog was taken out of service for evaluation. McQueen promises that it won’t do “police work” until test results are available. Neither retirement nor destruction of the officially licensed attack dog appears to be an option.

Because this “unfortunate accident” – as McQueen described the event – involved an “officer,” the doctrine of “qualified immunity” will protect the handler from civil liability for the injury inflicted on the child.


Officer Fredericksen and "Aik."

Lynwood, Illinois Police Chief Michael Mears followed that formula perfectly last April when Aik, one of his K-9 “officers,” attacked a terrified child.

“This is just one of those unfortunate accidents,” Mears said, no doubt with a “sucks to be you” shrug.

Julia Klooserterman was walking with her four children in nearby Lowell, Indiana when a dog in a neighbor’s yard charged at them. Rather than pulling out a handgun and killing the animal, the mother interposed herself, shielding her children with her body. She couldn’t protect all of her children. Aik charged the group from the rear, knocking one of the children to the ground and biting him on the neck.

The dogs are owned by Lynwood Police Officer Brandin Fredericksen, who was not on duty at the time of the attack. Lowell Police Chief Erik Matson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the matter was closed once Fredericksen provided rabies documentation to the police.

Lynwood Chief Mears blithely assured the Sun-Times that Aik is a “social dog” that has “participated in demonstrations with the public without incident” since mauling the child. If Aik had been a privately owned pet that so much as growled at a member of Mears’ department, it would be dead.

Any encounter with a strange dog can leave a person unsettled. This is true of postal carriers, private delivery and service personnel, and police officers. But only cops consider themselves entitledto shoot dogs on sight. Apparently, there is something about being given a badge and a government-issued costume that brings out the latent cowardice in people thus attired.
_
William Norman Grigg publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.





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Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 23 2013, 11:42 AM

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75145 > Police are supposedly bold and intrepid defenders of the public weal

I wonder if anyone can recall even one real story when the police actually defended a member from the public.
Marc v

Posted: Oct 23 2013, 6:40 PM

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11892 I am not a defender of police by any means; However,............ Miami-Dade police officer Vicki Thomas chose to buy a penniless mom some of the groceries she was caught trying to steal instead of arresting her. Dailymail.co.uk

Anonymous

Posted: Oct 24 2013, 3:57 PM

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9632 don't you morons know anything? every cop is 100% in his right to wipe out anyone who risks their safety, which includes dogs. after all their job is to put themselves in dangerous situations and kill or capture their targets. what would happen to you if you and some buddies strapped on a bullet proof vest, a handgun, and grabbed a carbine and busted down someones door that crossed you, and then a dog came at you? you'd clearly shoot the dog, i mean you would shoot the inhabitants just as quickly...
terry wagar

Posted: Oct 25 2013, 3:30 AM

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98246 In Portland Oregon the police are womanizers and they like having affairs with other people's wives and they give those women permission to poison off their husbands for life insurance money's and the police and hospitals cover up the poisonings by denying the victim emergency services and refuse to take toxicology tests when requested by victims!

Police and hospitals cover up victims 911 calls and calls for help and threaten victim with arrest if victim even goes to a hospital.

http://wifepoisonedme.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/joan-wagar-admits-she-is-poisoner-hospital-refuses-to-help-victimsmallpdf-com.pdf
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 28 2013, 4:58 AM

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98198 Pet owners do have one ace up their sleeve: the court system. Cases that have made their way through the legal system in recent years demonstrate that judges no longer accept that family pets can be shot dead simply as a matter of procedure.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, for example, ruled in favor of the Hells Angels in a case where police officers shot two dogs during a raid. Calling the shootings “unreasonable seizure” [PDF], the court chastised the police for failing “to develop a realistic plan for incapacitating the dogs other than shooting them.” The Hells Angels eventually received a total of nearly $1.8 million in a settlement.

Scott Heiser, senior attorney and criminal justice program director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, tells Pets Adviser that three major things account for unjustified police shootings of dogs:

1) Poor training of police officers on matters of deadly force
2) Internal reviews of the shootings that are “less than objective”
3) The failure of victims to file a lawsuit and aggressively seek justice through the courts

According to Heiser, more people who lose their pets in unnecessary shootings should file suit, citing the constitutional protection against unlawful seizures (Fourth Amendment). “If the Hells Angels can win one of these cases, other victims in these types of cases can too,” he says.

refs:
http://aldf.org/ (Animal Legal Defense Fund)
http://www.animallaw.info/articles/dduspoliceshootingpets.htm (Discussion of Police Shooting Pets)
http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/9thUSCircuit%20unreasonable%20search%20n%20seizure.pdf (Hells Angels case)
Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Page 1 of 1


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