Man's best friend remains a cop's worst enemy. At least, that's what the numbers appear to show. Cops claim the job is dangerous -- hence the ~1,000 people killed every year by law enforcement officers. Trigger-happy cops: "Hold our beer."
The exact number of dogs killed by law enforcement officers is difficult to quantify because there is no official record of these deaths across American agencies. Laurel Matthews, a program specialist with the US Department of Justice’s community-oriented policing services office, says fatal encounters are an “epidemic” and estimates that 25 to 30 pet dogs are killed daily by police.
Even while suggesting cops are killing ~9,000 dogs a year, the DOJ's specialist still couches the data in cop-friendly language: "fatal encounters." No officers have been killed by dogs, but plenty of dogs have been killed by officers. The fatalities run in one direction.
And that estimate may be on the low side. Records of people killed by cops are incomplete, thanks to the DOJ's long-running belief any reporting on police shootings should be purely voluntary. But there's no shortage of reporting on the epidemic, which has deemed law enforcement "puppycide."
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, two more dogs have been shot by a police officer for no apparent reason at all. The dogs will survive but the owner is now saddled with medical bills she wouldn't have had if responding officers had handled the situation with more common sense.
Returning early from a camping trip, one of Jennifer LeMay's daughters accidentally set off the burglar alarm while attempting to disarm it. LeMay called the company and told them what had happened but apparently officers had already been sent out to investigate.
It should have seemed obvious someone was home, but neither officer approached the front door of the house. One climbed over the privacy fence and into LeMay's backyard. When he did, he was approached by one of LeMay's dogs. In the video, posted to Facebook, the dog can be seen approaching the officer, but not in a threatening way. If anything, the dog appears cautious and curious.
But the lesson to be learned here is try not to leave your dogs in the yard if police officers might need to be in there for any reason at all ever.
The video, with no audio, shows an officer standing in the backyard. He then approaches the house and goes out of camera range. A moment later, he steps backward rapidly with his gun drawn.
Ciroc, a white and brown dog, trots toward the officer and stops about 10 feet away. The dog looks distracted but does not appear to be charging the officer. The officer fires, the dog falls and then scrambles to his feet and runs away. At the same time, a black dog runs into camera range. The officer shoots several times and the dog flees.
The officer appears to assess the scene for about 18 seconds before he exits the yard by climbing over the fence.
LeMay's 13-year-old daughter saw the whole thing from the upstairs window. That probably wouldn't have made a dent in the official narrative, but the incident was also captured by the home's security cameras. Nevertheless, there's still an official narrative:
"We are aware of the recent incident involving MPD officers responding to an audible residential burglary alarm and while at this call an MPD officer discharged their firearm, striking two dogs belonging to the homeowner. Anytime an officer discharges their firearm in the line of duty there is an investigation ... by the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit. We are in the process of reviewing the video posted online, as well as the officer's body camera video. We have reached out to the owner of the dogs and will continue to do so during the investigation."
In other words, the MPD is trying to find some way to spin this. The video looks pretty damning. If the officer didn't want to be scared by someone's pets, perhaps he or another officer could have taken the last step first.
After the dogs' shooting, another officer knocked on the front door. The 18-year-old explained that she'd triggered the alarm and that it had been deactivated.
Then there's this part of it, which shows MPD officers really don't know what they're doing when it comes to dealing with pets. And they clearly don't understand… or care… how attached regular people are to their canine companions.
The family didn't instantly take the dogs to the emergency vet because police told the family that "animal control" would be there in minutes to access the dogs' medical needs. No one showed up, LeMay said.
The alarm was accidentally set off at 8:50. The alarm was deactivated by the alarm company after notification by the homeowner by 8:54. For some reason, twenty minutes later, cops show up and one of them shoots two dogs. Even if the cops weren't notified by the security company, what made them think the best approach was to invade someone else's private space and shoot two pets on sight before making any contact with the people inside the house? An overabundance of caution would seemingly indicate staying a safe distance from the premises while they determined who was actually inside the house, not entering the backyard with a gun out and shooting animals that had more right to be there than the uniformed, armed interloper.
Then there's the fact the officer left after shooting the two dogs. What happened to the burglary investigation? It could be this was the point the other officer finally knocked on the front door of the house, but once again, this step should have been taken long before a cop invited himself into the backyard and try to kill the yard's inhabitants for reacting -- in a non-threatening way -- to his intrusion. Is no one else alive -- humans or pets -- allowed to feel "fear for their safety?" Or is that solely the "right" of cops, who do things to increase the danger of situations and are allowed to shoot their way out of it.