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Someone sees wallet flying off the roof and thinks it's a carjacking(?).
Tennessee police pull Mom, Dad, and child out of car, handcuff them, then blows the head off their dog with a shotgun!
Something seriously wrong in the U.S. lately.
Added: Chief of police and Mayor apologized to the family, but then covered their butts on their web site [cookevillepolice.com]:
the officer took the only action he could to protect himself and gain control of the situation.
[edited by: lawman at 4:33 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]
The dog wasn't threatening and ma, pa and junior in the car should've have been a tipoff to reduce the gung-ho tactics.
The Cooksville police are trying to distance themselves. According to their web site, they were only backing up the THP. But then they try to exonerate themselves by saying that the cooksville pd felt threatened by what he perceived was a pit bull (it wasn't a pit bull).
[edited by: martinibuster at 5:13 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]
A dog that travels with its family, is a member of the family. In some states, they even have rights.
I hope the "officer" that killed the member of that family is very proud of his actions.
The good old boys at the station are probably laughing it up over this one, and wondering why anyone is upset.
My guess is that the entire incident will go unpunished, and shuffled off with an "oh, well." There's probably a rule in the police handbook that tells officers to shoot all dogs that approach at a crime scene - Although this was a totally innocent family put in a bad situation by an overzealous citizen with a cell phone and "officers" with little respect for citizens or life in general. The only crime committed here (before the murder of that dog) was that fool having a badge and a gun loose in public - with authority no less.
PS. I am glad PETA is involved in this, but they hardly rock. My friends lost two very expensive "family member" horses when loonies at PETA went around to their horse show and "liberated" them from their cozy stalls in the dead of the night. They released dozens of well cared for and loved animals to run free. Several were hit by cars and trucks on the neighboring freeway. Yeah, PETA rocks. They need to apply common sense to what they do also. But in this case... good for them!
[edited by: bigjohnt at 5:14 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]
I would like to know if the dog looked happy and friendly though, that's not wat the cooksville police chief says...
I would like to know if the dog looked happy and friendly though, that's not wat the cooksville police chief says...
That is irrelevant, there are other ways to control an animal (pepper gas, let the owners calm him down, etc) - you have to remember that the cops were the ones attacking the the dog's owner, and it is normal for a dog to protect his/her owner.
First let's dispel some of your myths. One, that the cops feel good about this, and are celebrating at the station. I don't think I ever met a cop who didn't love dogs. No cop wants to shoot one.
Celebrating? Cops are no different than anyone else. They have families and friends. No one is happy about a situation like this, and I guarentee you these cops are devastated.
The toughest thing about law enforcement is you constantly make split second decisions. Make the wrong one, and you could be dead, in prison, or unemployed. Cops, like all human beings are not perfect. Thus they make mistakes. What happens when you guys make mistake on a webpage? You fix it and go on with life. Well cops lives are often decimated by a wrong decision made in an instant.
Dogs are often killed by police officers, and numerous officers are seriously injured by dogs. A guy I went to the academy with was bit in the groin(lost blood!) by a 'family pet', because he didn't want to shoot it. He ended up in the emergency room. I saw an officers arm shreaded and her career ended because of a dog biting her. My training officer was serisouly bitten even after him and another officer shot the dog 9 times, and it kept coming.
I am a huge dog lover too, and it is very sad what happened, but lets not blow it out of proportion. K9 dogs are trained to bite, and they like it. You will often see dogs wagging their tails while attacking. Fact is the dog was going at the officer aggressively. Whether or not he was going to bite him, is not really known. Ask yourself if you had to choose in a second between ending an animals life, and possibly losing your career which would you chose?
Despite all that, I will say that shooting the dog and deciding to conduct a felony type stop were both bad decisions. Like I said we all make mistakes. When you find yourself making no mistakes in your own life, then maybe it might be more fair for you to judge.
Thousands of officers across this country make tons of split second decisions, most of which go well, and save peoples live. When they go wrong and make a mistake, try and cut them a little slack please.
Re stupid police officers: It's hardly a suprise if law enforcement work attracts more than its share of bullies. I don't know what can really be done about it, though, other than prosecuting police officers more agressively.
When they go wrong and make a mistake, try and cut them a little slack please.
Whatever happened to preliminary investigation? I would think they would have checked the plates to see who the vehicle was registered to and then performed a normal roadside stop to investigate further.
Based on the video, it does not appear that this was a normal roadside stop. Their initial information was tainted from the THP and they assumed that this was a car jacking right from the start.
Here in the US you are guilty until proven innocent which isn't the way it is supposed to be. There are major flaws in our legal system, I know because I've had to personally deal with those flaws.
This is a disgrace to law enforcement. They blew that dog's head off right in front of the family. I watched the video and what little I could see of the dog, it sure didn't look like a pit bull in attack mode.
The officers were warned by the family that there were dogs in the car and to please shut the doors. They did not take that into consideration.
I support our law enforcement officials every year when I pay my taxes. I abide by the laws (or most of them anyway) and do my best to contribute to my community. Thankfully I do not live in Cookesville, Tennessee or I'd be in front of that police station right now picketing.
Based on my feelings right now after watching the video numerous times, I hope the officer is expelled from the force. There are other methods they could have used to defend against the dog. Blowing the dog's head off with a shotgun should have been a last resort.
I really hope that family finds an excellent lawyer and sues the Cookesville Police Department. Arrrggghhh, pisses me off so bad that I even sent an email to the Police Department expressing my dissatisfaction with their actions!
[edited by: pageoneresults at 6:19 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]
I doubt the good ole boys at the station were celebrating either. The police officer should have closed the door to avoid dealing with the dog. Its that simple. They should have run the plates and had proof of a crime. I talked to people in the police and they are upset and agree that it was very bad. It is really unfair that a shotgun wielding cowboy pegs all local police as incompatent.
If you shoot a K9 dog you would be in big trouble, but for this to happen and have the department to explain it away so easily is disturbing.
Well I live in Tennessee and saw the video a few times last night on the news, the dog wasn't "going at anyone" agressively. It was yapping and wagging its tail happy to be free of the confines of the car. The reference to the K9 unit is irrelevant, this wasn't a police dog.
Secondly, they had enough officers there to shut the door without endangering anyone.
Third, if the officers really perceived the dog as a threat they had ample time to shut the door of the car thereby negating the threat. Everyone was in handcuffs but the officers and the dog.
Just as an afterthought, they give mail carriers and officer pepper spray. Quite effective on dogs.
I think PETA is a disgrace....not in their ideals but in the way they conduct themselves. Ridiculous. They need to keep their opinions to themselves and find something more productive to do with their time.
Yeah, I want to work long hours, get bitten by dogs (and terminally-ill drug addicts), brawl with drunks, have to walk up to unknown vehicles in the dead of night in the rain, or at the side of a busy freeway after the bars close, deal with the broken, bloody bodies of children at motor-vehicle accident scenes, and have my split-second decisions judged by so-called experts and the media who weren't even there... And make a huge salary of $28,000 a year. I especially want to play the "make a mistake and get sued or make a mistake and die" game - sounds like a lot of fun for me and my family. Where do I sign up?
Thank you for your service.
But in this case these cops are the bad guys. They do indeed give a bad name to decent folk who are out there performing an extraordinary service.
You are paid to be above human... we hold our police force to a higher standard because they need to be more perfect than the average human being. This is what you sign up for, this is what is expected. Can't hack it, Brinks Security is probably hiring... you can work the graveyard shift guarding the lumberyard.
But, what about this poor unsuspecting family? Can you sympathize with them? Here they are, coming home from a holiday vacation. Poor guy leaves his wallet on top of the car and drives away from a gas station. Someone calls the cops and tells them there was carjacking.
If this is what we as Americans can look forward to in our everyday lives, then we have problems. I personally would have left my mark on at least one of those officers. Yes, I probably would have ended up in jail with a charge against me but it would not have stuck for long.
They were wrong from the very beginning when they pulled the family over. They received misinformation from the THP. That family was guilty of carjacking and didn't even know it. Imagine if there were children in the car, I mean, younger children. That event would have scarred them for life.
Yes, we all make mistakes. I doubt few of us here though make mistakes where a life is taken, whether it be human or animal. As one mentioned above, pepper spray works wonders on animals and the police always have a can of it very handy.
Based on the video, the officer was in the wrong. That is my own personal opinion and it sure looks like they are going to come under heavy fire for thier mistakes. Friggen cop blew that dog's head off almost at point blank range with a shotgun.
I've watched all the cop shows and truly respect our law enforcement officials. It takes a special person to don a bullet proof vest everyday and protect our citizens. What this cop did was not right. He made a split second decision and it was wrong (based on the video). I wonder if he would have shot a family member if they were coming at him because of our ingrained flee or fight mechanisms.
Yes, I probably would have ended up in jail with a charge against me but it would not have stuck for long.
Umm... no. Whether the officer is right or wrong, you'll never make your case if you even try to strike a blow. And if you *are* dealing with a trigger-happy disgrace to the uniform, a physical assault isn't likely to improve your physical safety any more than your legal standing.
Heck, with some of the people peace officers have to deal with on a regular basis, I could understand it if they reacted to assault like a drawn gun. Not approve, mind you, but understand.