officer shoots dog a different prospective - Page 1

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by Get A Real Dog on 26 May 2007 - 00:05

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 - 00:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05

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 - 01:05


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 - 01:05

I shouldn't have been so harsh....I'm sorry, it's just frustrating, okay greatest?


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