Court To Cop: We Don't Need On-Point Precedent To Deny You Immunity For Killing A Dog That Couldn't Hurt You

from the Officer-Cure-of-Millhaven dept

Cops kill dogs. And they do it at a rate even the Justice Department is concerned about it. This comes from pro-cop site PoliceOne, so if there's any bias in this article, it's for cops rather than timcushinghatescops.com.

No one keeps records on how many privately owned dogs are shot and killed each year by American law enforcement officers so there are no hard figures. But a perusal of the Web and social media will tell you it's a lot.

Laurel Matthews, a supervisory program specialist with the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (DOJ COPS) office, says it's an awful lot. She calls fatal police vs. dogs encounters an "epidemic" and estimates that 25 to 30 pet dogs are killed each day by law enforcement officers.

If that estimate is even close to accurate, that's nearly 10,000 dogs killed by cops per year. While it's true a number of these dogs may be strays, there's no ignoring the fact that dogs make cops act like bunnies with handguns whenever they're anywhere nearby. If a dog acts like a dog around a cop (i.e., barking at someone it doesn't recognize, etc.), it has a good chance of ending up dead.

Six of eleven circuits have declared the unjustified killing of a family dog is a violation of Fourth Amendment rights. People are protected against "unreasonable seizures" of their property, and the ultimate "seizing" is the summary execution of pets they own.

But courts are inconsistent in the application of this principle, so cops continue to kill dogs at an alarming rate and are only stripped of their qualified immunity at an equally alarmingly low rate. In one case, a cop kept his immunity despite missing the non-threatening dog he was trying to kill and wounding a nearby child instead. In other cases, cops have killed dogs while entering houses without a warrant, raiding a house over an unpaid gas bill, and while responding to a burglar alarm accidentally tripped by a family member entering the house.

Here's a little bit of good news -- both for dogs and the Fourth Amendment -- from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. (h/t Gabriel Malor)

A cop who killed a non-threatening dog has had his immunity stripped and will have to face a lawsuit over his unjustified actions. Here are the events that led up to the pet's killing, as recounted by the court [PDF].

On September 24, 2017, [Officer Michael] Roane drove to Ray’s property to assist with an arrest warrant that was being served on Ray for domestic abuse. When Roane arrived on Ray’s property, four other officers were already present and parked in the driveway. Ray’s dog—a 150-pound German Shepard named Jax—was secured by a zip-lead attached to two trees that allowed the animal limited movement within a “play area” of the yard. Rather than park in the driveway like the other officers, Roane parked his truck within the dog’s “play area...”

Reading this complaint in the light most favorable to common sense, Officer Roane placed himself in danger and then tried to use his self-inflicted peril to justify shooting the family's dog. Pretty tough to do when you're surrounded by actually "reasonable" officers.

… prompting the other officers on scene to shout and gesture toward Roane, indicating that he should “[w]ait” and “[l]et [Ray] get her dog.”

Roane did not do this. He did not wait. He did not allow anyone to secure the dog. Instead, he "exited his vehicle and started walking towards the house."

Things then happened that anyone -- including Officer Roane -- would have expected to happen. Roane advanced towards the house. The dog advanced to the end of its zip line. The dog was forced to de-escalate because it had run out of line and was being called back by its owner. Officer Roane had no such restraints and was unwilling to listen to the other officers' attempt to rein him in. But it does appear from the allegations made in the lawsuit Roane knew he was not in danger.

As Roane emerged from his vehicle, Jax began barking at and approaching Roane. Roane responded by backing away from the dog and drawing his firearm, while Ray ran to the zip-lead and began shouting Jax’s name. “In a short moment,” Jax reached the end of the zip-lead and “could not get any closer” to Roane. Roane observed that the dog could not reach him, and further observed that Ray was now holding onto Jax’s fully-extended lead and continuing to call Jax’s name. Roane therefore stopped backing up.

Roane's decision to end his retreat signalled he knew he was able to avoid any contact with the dog whose area he had entered and proceeded into over the protests of other law enforcement officers. That should have been the end of it.

Instead, this was the end of it.

Roane took a step forward, positioning himself over Jax, and fired his weapon into the dog’s head. The dog died from the wound.

Instead of being stripped of his "Human Race Participation Card," Officer Roane will only be stripped of his immunity for his apparent cold-blooded killing of an animal he recognized posed no threat to him as long as he remained outside of the zip-line's reach.

Unimaginably, the lower court said this was all fine and reasonable.

On September 20, 2018, the district court dismissed Ray’s federal claim for unlawful seizure of Jax and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining two state-law claims. In so doing, the district court concluded Roane’s actions had been reasonable under the totality of the circumstances and he would be entitled to qualified immunity.

Oh absolutely not, says the Fourth Circuit. Taking the allegations in favor of the complainant, there's plenty that's not settled here and it's certainly fucking not settled when it comes to Roane's actions once he moved out of harm's way. Stepping back in to kill a dog that could not reach him isn't reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

Officer Roane tried the old QI trick: state that no precedent exactly on point exists. In other words, no other cop killed a 150-lb German Shepard named "Jax" in this backyard, in this jurisdiction, at this time of day, etc. QI has become "Steamed Hams" and every apparently unjustified rights violation can't be a cop's fault because the rapidly-evolving situation is the Aurora Borealis localized entirely in this part of the country at this time of year etc.

The court declines to swing at this bad pitch. QI isn't just about point-by-point precedent. It's also about the reasonableness of the officer's actions. And it doesn't see anything reasonable about Officer Roane's decision to shoot a leashed dog in the head after ensuring he could safely do so.

Viewing all facts in the complaint and inferences arising therefrom in Ray’s favor, it is clear that Roane shot Jax at a time when he could not have held a reasonable belief that the dog posed a threat to himself or others. Accepting these facts, we hold that a reasonable police officer would have understood that killing Jax under such circumstances would constitute an unreasonable seizure of Ray’s property under the Fourth Amendment.

Roane's wish to have his novel dog-killing recognized as novel by the Appeals Court fails. "Reasonable" still means "reasonable," even if this officer found a new way to kill someone's pet:

Viewing all facts in the complaint and inferences arising therefrom in Ray’s favor, it is clear that Roane shot Jax at a time when he could not have held a reasonable belief that the dog posed a threat to himself or others. Accepting these facts, we hold that a reasonable police officer would have understood that killing Jax under such circumstances would constitute an unreasonable seizure of Ray’s property under the Fourth Amendment.

The court says that even if the cop found a cool new way to kill dogs, it's not going to hand out immunity without a fuller examination of the facts.

We acknowledge that there is no “directly on-point, binding authority” in this circuit that establishes the principle we adopt today. Booker, 855 F.3d at 543. Until now, we have never had the occasion to hold that it is unreasonable for a police officer to shoot a privately owned animal when it does not pose an immediate threat to the officer or others.

Gun down a defenseless dog and, well, have fun defending yourself in court, "on-point" precedent notwithstanding.

In Altman, we held that privately owned dogs are protected under the Fourth Amendment, and further established that the reasonableness of the seizure of a dog depends on whether the governmental interest in safety outweighs the private interest in a particular case. 330 F.3d at 203–05. Based on these broader principles alone, it would have been “manifestly apparent” to a reasonable officer in Roane’s position that shooting a privately owned dog, in the absence of any safety rationale at all, is unreasonable.

No immunity for Officer Roane. The case goes back to the trial court that failed so badly the first time around. If an officer can avoid interacting with a dog they perceive as threatening and still accomplish their objectives (i.e., arrest a suspect), then they should do so. Anything else is objectively (and subjectively) unreasonable. Roane placed himself in harm's way, ignored other officers' advice to not place himself in the dogs' play area, and killed a dog only after it had reached the end of its lead and no longer posed a threat to him. Fuck this guy. He deserves whatever the plaintiff can extract from him.

Filed Under: dog, police, qualified immunity


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 7:18pm

    Someone invent a cloning machine, it's got some work to do

    Well that's certainly a welcome surprise, a court that isn't willing to follow the usual 'no one is dumber than a cop' rule and instead actually expects them to act in a sane and reasonable manner, even without a ruling on the books exactly detailing the situation in question.

    Now, sure would be great if every other gorram judge in the country would follow suit and stop treating people armed by default and given extensive legal power and protections as mentally deficient individuals who have to have everything spelled out to them and get a pass on any action that isn't.

    Hopefully the lower court will take their benchslap well and hand out a penalty fitting for the crime, just a pity that the scum involved will likely be able to make the taxpayers foot the bill.

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    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:22am

      Re: Someone invent a cloning machine, it's got some work to do

      Yup. We should expect MORE from those we empower and entrust to serve the public good. The penalty should be more severe when those people are found to have violated that trust.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re: Someone invent a cloning machine, it's got some work to

        I agree, and it is depressing to note that the complete opposite is the norm.

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  • icon
    radarmonkey (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 8:38pm

    Fuck Roane! And fuck QI in general and totality!

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  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 8:54pm

    QI has become "Steamed Hams"...

    I believe Judge Sol Wachtler said that a ham sandwich could get qualified immunity, or something like that.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Feb 2020 @ 9:13pm

    Left unchecked, Roane would likely end up killing another person in much the same way he killed that dog. I can only hope that if his department won’t fire him, it will at least keep him on desk duty for the rest of his career. He deserves that much punishment at a bare minimum.

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    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:08am

      Re:

      That is true. Serial killers usually start on animals. He needs to lose his gun, his badge, and his job, stat.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:59am

        Re: Re:

        I just post signs like, "Warning Pitbull with Aids." Its easier than taking care of actual Pitbull with aids. Plus, I know it can't be shot!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        This, exactly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:10pm

        Re: Re:

        A smart serial killer gets a badge before going on his spree, secure in the knowledge that if there is even the most tenuous shred of plausibility that he really did reasonably fear for his life, he will be cleared of wrongdoing.

        Only stupid serial killers just rush out and start killing people.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 3 Feb 2020 @ 10:07pm

    Perhaps a big part of the problem is that we arm cops. When trouble arises, humans will respond with the tools at hand. When it happens to be a gun, well gee, isn't that handy. If we only gave them Billy clubs, we would hear about how many dogs they clubbed to death. I think it's time to arm our police with silly string.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:34am

      Re:

      It certainly needs to be harder for a cop to pull out the lethal weapon option, especially with all the (mostly) non-lethal options available. As far as I know, police-grade mace works as well on dogs as on people. Why you'd ever have to shoot a dog I don't know. Safer for everyone around, as the kid who got shot by a cop trying to kill a pet can tell you.

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      • icon
        Jeremy Lyman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re:

        Drawing your service weapon should be a self-defense last resort, not the big red "Easy" button when something upsets you.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cops in Cleveland zoomed in and jumped out of moving squad car to shoot a 13 year old at a park with a squirt gun as first resort.

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      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Police grade mace works BETTER on dogs than on humans. Bear mace is typically only half as strong as civilian grade mace, and police grade is twice as strong as civilian grade.

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  • identicon
    David, 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:11am

    Dream on.

    He deserves whatever the plaintiff can extract from him.

    A pound of flesh, but not a drop of blood. In other words: the taxpayer is going to pay for all of it, and not a drop is coming out of the officer's personal pocket.

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  • identicon
    Kitsune106, 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:19am

    You know

    When we can use the same arguments as police to defend ourselves....

    The problem for.me.is that police.need better training. I do boffer larp at night and so understand some of the stresses when adrenaline hits and unsure. I think the main issue though is not fear but anger at being annoyed and lashing out.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:17pm

      Re: You know

      When we can? By law, we always could! The definitions for the words reasonability, immediate, threat and justification are and always have been identical for all citizens, police or otherwise.

      The only differences between police use if force and any use of force are that firstly, where most citizens can at most stand their ground and defend, police can advance towards danger and still claim self defense; Secondly, that police often cannot be sued (QI) for their on-duty actions while most other citizens can be sued even if they did everything right!

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:44am

    Cops kill dogs.

    ...

    If that estimate is even close to accurate, that's nearly 10,000 dogs killed by cops per year.

    And dogs kill innocent children, generally without warning. So why are we talking like these cops are doing something bad, rather than providing a valuable service to the people?

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:39am

      Re:

      Nice strawman. Last year, 16 kids were killed by dogs. SIXTEEN. Even if you needed to immediately shoot those dogs, and I don't think that's the case, it's still the vast minority of all dog shootings. I'd bet good money that the vast majority of dogs killed were of no danger to anyone.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re:

        So 16 isn't enough? How many dead kids does it take before we acknowledge that people trying to domesticate vicious wolves into "cute" pets is a bad idea and a detriment to society?

        Having a pet wolf for a companion was useful in primitive times, to give hunters an edge in taking down animals for food or protecting them against other vicious predators, but civilization has long since moved beyond such days. It's long past time we left dogs in the graveyard of the past where they belong, alongside clubs and stone knives.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          As cops kill far more people than dogs, how many dead and injured innocents are required before you admit arming cops is a bad idea?

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        • icon
          Contumacious (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:09am

          Speaking of...

          My question is, why we tolerate you in a civilized society.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So 16 isn't enough?

          No. It's not even enough to call it a data point, when you consider how many children weren't killed by dogs, asshole.

          And if you're so concerned about those 16 who were, where were the fucking parents?

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        • identicon
          KD, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So should police dogs also be culled along with everyone else's "vicious wolves", as you describe them?

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:17pm

              Go tell a cop that their police dog must be killed for the good of society. See how far that gets you with them.

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              • icon
                SteveMB (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:41pm

                Re:

                Oh, and he should carry a nice big cudgel or knife or something, and state that he's ready to do the deed right there and then.

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              • identicon
                dickeyrat, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:08pm

                Re:

                "...the good of society. " Unfortunately, this is due to become an important catchphrase among the pigs of society, thanks to Alan Dershowitz' gratuitous use of the concept while attempting to defend our Respected And Beloved (Criminal) Leader, during his ride in the clown-car known as the U.S.Senate. Recall that Dershy essentially said all was fair--if the perp "believed" his actions were for the "good" of society, or specifically the country. "He believed he was doing good", will be right down there with all-Amerikan mantras such as, "they just want our women", "he knows his place", anything utilizing "...those people...", and "Make Amerika Great Again!".

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... but civilization has long since moved beyond such days.

          I disagree.

          We still have dogs to help hunt. We still have dogs to help protect our properties. We still have dogs to help herd animals.

          We also have dogs to assist people with emotional and physical problems in day to day life.

          Most importantly, humans are social creatures by nature. Having that extra connection (which is both easily maintained and unconditional) can make all the difference.

          So civilization has not outgrown dogs. If anything, Dogs have grown alongside civilization.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Holy crap - it's (an unnecessary) competition with dogs for a social niche, innit? That's why they feel so threatened

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        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So 16 isn't enough? How many dead kids does it take before we acknowledge that people trying to domesticate vicious wolves into "cute" pets is a bad idea and a detriment to society?

          Almost 60 kids drowned in bathtubs. How many dead kids does it take before we acknowledge that people trying to clean their dirty children is a bad idea and a detriment to society?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Basic Cop kit standard issue:

          1: Badge

          2: Club

          Obsidian knives are also sometimes used in surgeries. Not technically stone but in the same category.

          To answer the rest of your extremely stupid question.

          No, obviously.

          As many as it takes to turn cute pets back into vicious pack hunters. So about 10,000 years worth.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't blame wolves. I had a 3/4 timber wolf and it was as gentle as a kitten. I also raised a wolf female and she too was shy and gentle. Its the guard dogs like mastiffs and pitbulls that do the killing.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I have also known 120 lb pure muscle with teeth dogs that were also gentle as a six year old child. Its the dog owners that rile and mistreat animals and who raise them to be vicious to blame.

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          • icon
            Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Pit bulls are only as vicious as they are trained to be, the same as any dog. They were originally bred to be nanny dogs for small children, to protect them from livestock and wild animals. Although it should be mentioned that enough people equate tough with vicious, and breed dogs accordingly, that a pit bull sub-breed is starting to emerge that actually is more inclined to be vicious.

            Parenting styles that don’t tell the dog “this is a puppy not an intruder” about kids contribute to the problem as well. And just like humans, some individuals are just bad, whether by nature or nurture.

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        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some people, including kids, die of eating clean, nutritious food or drinking pure water every year. But we don’t ban eating or drinking those things because the benefits of not dying of starvation or dehydration outweigh the risks.

          Sure, people are killed by dogs. But tens of thousands benefit from dogs for every one person harmed. There is literally nothing on Earth that does not harm someone somehow, or cannot be made to harm someone. If even one person being harmed necessitated a ban, everything would be banned.

          And some of those banned things would be things we cannot survive without, so those bans would harm billions.

          All risk assessment is based on calculated odds. It has to be, otherwise we’d have to ban food and water. How many incidents of harm are there per 100,000 people is the standard. That lets you know the risks. Then you must look at how many people per 100,000 benefit from that thing, and whether the benefit is one of necessity or convenience.

          Then you must weigh harm versus benefits. Necessity carries more weight than convenience, and only a sociopath would take high risk to others for the sake of his own convenience. But even the most empathetic person must, at some point, say “Okay, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks, so we’d harm more people by banning this than by allowing it.”

          Despite your extremely obvious hatred/fear of dogs, that decision has already been made long ago about dogs. It is reviewed now and then, but the equation has not changed. The equation is highly unlikely to change. Dogs have a massively greater benefit to society than potential harm, so they stay.

          Some people refuse to accept those equations, whether out of an irrational dislike of something or a personal refusal to choose one life over another, even when their refusal to make a choice condemns someone to be harmed. It also happens due to ignorance of reality, whether innate or encouraged by outside manipulation, something that is happening in the US to strengthen the anti-gun movement — over 90% of the media is owned by political activist billionaires, who ensure that the majority of the population never hears about the fact that for every 1 person murdered with a gun, around 200 are saved from being the victims of violent crimes (including murder) with guns, every year.

          None of those misguided beliefs change reality or what must be done to promote the survival of the many over the few. Or the one.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 10:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          16 children a year, compared to roughly 90 MILLION dogs in the us.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wyrm (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, this is not significant enough to condemn all dogs as "walking targets".

          Going by your insane logic, why do we not simply kill all humans as a danger to humanity and nature? There are far more than 16 child deaths by the hands of humans each year than there are by the "hands" of dogs.

          The answer is obvious, and unless you provide significant statistics that a vast majority of dogs are killing children, we should go by the same logic for dogs as we go for humans: only kill an individual when he is a danger, preferably after making sure there is no other way to neutralize the threat.

          Also many dogs save lives and help people, both emotionally and functionally. They are not a simple relic of "domesticated wolves used for hunting". If that's all you think dogs are, you are more of a relic of the past than they are.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:30am

      why are we talking like these cops are doing something bad

      Because they did. If your dog was barking at a stranger but otherwise posed no threat to the stranger, would you want justice done if the stranger killed your dog for no reason other than the stranger could? And if so: What makes justice any less necessary or deserved when the stranger wears a police uniform?

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:40am

        Re:

        If your dog was barking at a stranger

        If I actually had one, and was inflicting it upon those around me, I'd deserve whatever happened.

        Predators have no place in modern society, whether of the human or the wolf variety.

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        • identicon
          Glen, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re:

          So, dog barking at someone to protect his property is a predator. Got it.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:42am

          If I actually had one, and was inflicting it upon those around me, I'd deserve whatever happened.

          Well, then, I don’t suppose you’d mind if someone shot you in the face for having a dog. After all, you said it yourself: “I’d deserve whatever happened.”

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:58am

            Re:

            On multiple levels no less, after all if barking is grounds for execution, and they're supporting that, then it seems by their own standard they themselves have no place in society and should get the hell out, leaving it for those less bloodthirsty.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:31pm

              Re: Re:

              Cops are worse than the criminals. There must be evidence of that somewhere. Until I find it, I'm going on the fact I never hear of criminals fucking with the public like the cops do.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:50pm

              Re: Re:

              Dog barks are their equivalent of a human yelling “Hey! Pay attention!” If shooting a dog for barking os justified, then shooting a human for raising their voice would be equally justified.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:50pm

              Re: Re:

              Dog barks are their equivalent of a human yelling “Hey! Pay attention!” If shooting a dog for barking os justified, then shooting a human for raising their voice would be equally justified.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:52pm

            Re:

            Shot in face?? That sounds like something a t roll writes.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 1:54pm

              Re: Re:

              Normally yes, and while it's just a wee bit overboard I read it as a 'turnabout is fair play/be careful what you suggest' test. If owning a dog means you deserve whatever happens to you, then 'shot in the face' would fall under the category of 'whatever', showing just how stupid that argument is.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:49am

          Re: Re:

          'It is better to be thought of as a sociopathic and/or psychotic individual, than to post a comment like the above and remove all doubt.'

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Hey, I'm not the one in this discussion claiming that 16 dead children "isn't even a data point"!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              bob, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, 16 kids dying to attacks by dogs is bad when you take that stat out of context.

              Comparing the number of people killed by dogs vs the number helped by dogs and you will find it is not a good enough reason to get rid of dogs.

              Now if you compare the number of people killed by police, drivers, natural disasters, gun violence, accidental deaths, etc. You will find that statistically the number of people killed by dogs isn't something to worry about or put addition resourses into curbing right now.

              Of course for the family and friends of those 16 people it is traumatic and no one is saying its okay. But I'm more likely to be killed by a police officer on a power trip than by a domesticated dog. So stop acting stupid and just admit you made a bad comment out of context.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Cops killing pets is trending upward and that they are getting away with it has to stop.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:39pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I think the state should step in and require owners of dangerous animals to enroll in an animal safety course. That course should also be neccessary to receive a license to own a dangerous animal. It should be a course that requires owners to properly train an animal. And make it illegal to train potentially dangerous animals to be killers.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You realize that that would require a license to have kids, and make it illegal to operate a police or military academy, right? Humans are apex predators.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:41pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    It would be a better world if governments weren't training people to be killers also. I guess I'm dreaming over the rainbow..

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Gun violence is a bad example. Yes, it’s a lot riskier than dogs, 10,200 people were murdered with guns in the last year we have complete numbers for. But... According to US government numbers, around 200 people are saved from violent crimes — including being murdered — with guns every year, for every one person murdered with a gun.

                You won’t hear media corporations that are owned by staunchly anti-gun political activist billionaires reporting that, but the official government reports don’t lie.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  bob, 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  but the official government reports don’t lie

                  One can hope, but in the era of Trump in government I have less faith in any official statement/report not lying. For sure that hurricane was going to hit Alabama, no one altered that official map at all.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 11:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I'm calling B.S.

                  According to offical sources, in 2017 the per capita rate of viooent crime was 382.9 per 100000 people. That adds up to less then 1.25 million violent crimes a year. Considering this I'm very skeptical of the claim that guns prevent roughly 2 million violent crimes a year.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:30am

              Yeah, you’re the one calling for the deaths of all dogs in American society. Nothing wrong there~.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:34am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Right - that would be me.

              I see you never answered where the fucking parents were...or is it the dog owners job to watch someone else's fucking kids?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:00am

          Re: Re:

          You’re barking at strangers right now bro...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 10:58pm

      Re:

      In 2018, 36 people were killed by dogs, in comparison, 15498 were murderd by human beings. With roughly 3.5 humans for every dog that means that in the US, of a fixed period of time a dog is approximately 2 ORDERS OF MANGITUDE less likely to kill someone else then a human being, and that is only if we count murders.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    john Katos (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:35am

    Seems like he should be charged with animal cruelty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:54am

    Personally, I feel he should be found guilty and chained in a pool filled with piranha and give him a bloody nose. If he survives for the 20 minute bath, he is obviously innocent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Improbus (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 6:53am

    Dog Killers

    Dog killers deserve everything they get, just like child molesters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    KD, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:39am

    Police dogs vs. everyone else's dogs

    Why are police dogs more valuable than other dogs? If you kill a police dog you are charged with killing an officer. If the police kill your dog, nothing happens, except in the case above.

    I've recently read stories about police leaving their dogs in hot cars and in turn the dogs die from the heat but the police are not charged.

    These double standards are sickening. The police should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:11pm

      Re: Police dogs vs. everyone else's dogs

      The laws do hold them to a higher standard, but our corrupt system considers enforcing those laws to be unfair to the cops! Any rights violation you can sue a cop for and win under civil law is also a violation of criminal law. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Department of Justice’s own website:

      https://www.justice.gov/crt/deprivation-rights-under-color-law

      Under federal court doctrines, any federal crime that can be charged as a felony if a firearm is used to commit it becomes that felony for mere possession of a firearm while committing it. Even if the victim never became aware the gun was present. As such, it’s almost unheard of for a cop to commit a misdemeanor Section 242 violation. Section 242 is a law that it is almost impossible for people who are not public officials to break, since the term ‘color of law’ refers to use of official authority.

      Police are only supposed to be exempt from breaking laws if that law breaking is necessary in the line of duty. And that duty NEVER includes violating rights. But between oversight that rubber-stamps every act as necessary/justified and cops lying about circumstances, they get away with almost everything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:25am

    cats will reign supreme

    People killing off dogs and in some cases dogs killing people is exactly why cats will take over the world.

    That just need to evolve opposable thumbs and they will finally be rid of the need for humans. Unless they keep us around as slaves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    revenge, 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:05pm

    revenge

    shoot the cop. Im serious.
    shoot the cop and maybe other cops will get the message....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:39pm

      Nope. Just all the nope

      The only 'message' that would send/enforce is 'if you've got a badge shoot first and/or shoot at the first sign of any potential threat from anyone without a badge'.

      They're bad enough already, sinking to their level just adds to the number of killers and gives them even more excuses to open fire at the first opportunity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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