“It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - mentally unstable cops”

Owners of dog slain by police are awarded attorney fees




A judge has almost doubled what the city of Des Moines must pay to the owners of Rosie, a dog shot and killed by police in 2010. He added $50,000 in attorney’s costs and fees to the $51,000 the city had agreed to pay the owners.
A federal judge has almost doubled the amount of money the city of Des Moines must pay to the owners of Rosie, the Newfoundland fatally shot by police in 2010, adding $50,000 in attorneys’ costs and fees to the $51,000 the city has already agreed to pay the dog’s owners.
At a hearing earlier this month, U.S. District Judge James Robart dismissed the city’s efforts to limit the amount of money paid to the attorneys for Deirdre and Charles Wright, whose pet Newfoundland was shot four times by police after they used a Taser on the dog and chased it from its yard.
The city’s lawyers had asked that the fees paid to animal-rights lawyer Adam Karp be reduced by the amount of money that had been donated privately by friends, fellow Newfoundland owners and others outraged by the incident to help cover the Wrights’ legal bills.
Des Moines had also asked the court to determine the city did not have to pay for any fees the Wrights accrued during a yearlong battle to have the two police officers charged criminally before the Wrights filed their lawsuit in federal court.
Robart ruled against the city on both fronts, and in doing so chastised its attorneys for unnecessary hyperbole in their briefs and propounding “ridiculous” arguments, according to a transcript of the April 1 hearing.
Documents filed by the city’s outside attorney, Shannon Ragonesi, accused the Wrights of “persecution” in their attempt to seek justice against the officers in criminal court, even though no charges were ever filed.
“The treatment of the Jews by the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, that was a persecution. What Nazi Germany did in the Third Reich, that is a persecution,” Robart said. He named others: the expulsion of the Acadian people from Nova Scotia by the British; the treatment of the Aboriginal people in Australia; ethnic cleansing.
Robart said using that sort of hyperbole demonstrated not just “terrible writing” but a “lack of civility.”
“When someone seeks to believe, rightly or wrongly, that they are attempting to bring these people to justice, that is not a persecution,” the judge said.
Shannon Ragonesi, an attorney who represented Des Moines and the officers, said the city and its police department admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. She pointed out that the Wrights’ lawyers had asked for nearly $98,000, but received just half. As for the judge’s criticism, Ragonesi pointed out that it was directed at her writing style and not a “reflection of the court’s opinion of my client’s action.”
The Wrights had sued the city and police officers Michael Graddon and Steve Wieland for killing the 115-pound dog, which had escaped from the Wrights’ backyard while they were out of town overnight Nov. 7, 2010. The dog was sitting in their driveway barking when neighbors called police, worried that she might run into the street and be hurt.
The officers responded and decided to shoot the dog within minutes of arriving. They first used Tasers on the dog twice, and chased her four blocks into a stranger’s backyard, where Rosie fled into a blackberry bramble. Graddon shot the dog four times with an assault rifle as she stood there.
The entire incident was captured on audio tape, one officer can be heard exclaiming “Nice!” after the first round was fired.
The officers were not disciplined for the incident, and Ragonesi pointed out earlier that two reviews of the event concluded the officers had acted appropriately.
Outrage over Rosie’s killing spawned memorials and a legal-defense fund. Ragonesi had asked Robart to subtract any fundraising from legal fees owed by the city, arguing it violated rules preventing attorneys from “double recovery” of fees.
“That is not the situation we have here,” Robart said. “where people wish to contribute to a fund to finance litigation in support of the principles that they believe in, namely, don’t shoot dogs.”

The city agreed to settle a lawsuit involving the police shooting of


Minneapolis, Minnesota: The city agreed to settle a lawsuit involving the police shooting of two dogs for $225,000. SWAT members executed a search warrant on a home, looking for a weapon. They shot the homeowner’s two dogs. The lawsuit says that the 3-year-old daughter was sitting feet away from the dogs when they were shot. The weapon was never found and no arrests were made. ow.ly/k7Cus

A bad day at the park in Staten Island



What police describe as a fight between three dogs left one woman bitten and one dog shot at Staten Island’s newly opened Schmul Park over the weekend.
Police officers say they fired shots after one of the dogs “attacked” her owner, but members of the owner’s family say she was bitten while attempting to break up a fight, and that the dog who was shot –  her pit bull, named Baby Girl — wasn’t even involved in it.
Witnesses said they heard three to five shots, and WABC reported that police officers shot at all three dogs to prevent the situation from escalating.
But they hit only one, Baby Girl, according to Gothamist,
A brother of the dog’s owner said in a Facebook post  that the dog was shot after the incident was already under control, and that  Baby Girl wasn’t involved in the incident:
“The bullet entrance and exit wounds show the dog was running away, NOT [TOWARD] the cop like that coward officer claims. The fight was already under control, yet hero cop of the day felt it necessary to pull out her gun and shoot. THIS DOG WASN'T EVEN THE ONE THAT WAS FIGHTING.”
The owner’s brother also claims police left Baby Girl unattended in the back of a truck after she was shot, and told the family they couldn’t find her.
Police say three dogs were involved in the incident, and that at least two of them were fighting. When Baby Girl’s owner tried to break up the fight she was bitten on the hand.
“Responding officers tried to help her, and in the attempt to get the dog off her, shots were fired,” a police spokesman said.
The owner was treated for hand injuries at Richmond University Medical Center.
S.N.A.R.R Animal Rescue Northeast, the group that rescued Baby Girl before she was adopted, supported the brother’s account, saying Baby Girl was running away from the two other fighting dogs when she was shot in the stomach.
A post by the rescue group’s  founder, Robin Menard, indicates all three dogs belonged to the same family.
“Baby Girl was NOT involved (it was two other family dogs) and was running AWAY from the fight when cops fired 3 rounds. Baby Girl was shot in the stomach. She is now fighting for her life and her adopters are paying for a 6000 surgery. They are doing whatever they can. Baby Girl has never had an issue with people or other dogs. She is best friends with a bunny rabbit… Yes. A bunny!

Illinois resident Charlotte Weaver files lawsuit after police kill family dog




Charlotte Weaver, the owner of a 6-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback family dog, filed a lawsuit on April 4, 2013 against the village of Hazel Crest and Officers N. Lagunas and James Rollins for killing her dog. Hazel Crest is a suburb of 14,000 south of Chicago.
This tragic story began on December 24, 2012 when officers from the Hazel Crest Police Department were responding to a call about an escaped convict possibly hiding in the basement of Weaver's next door neighbor. Police are alleged to have opened the gate leading to her back yard, where on Christmas eve morning she let her dog Kobi out of her home and into the fenced-in backyard.
Since the gate was left open, this allowed Kobi to exit, where he wandered into Weaver's front driveway where the officers were talking. Weaver had no idea the officer's had left the gate unsecured at the time she let her dog out of the house.
Police stated in their report that they didn't open the gate, nor did they go in her back yard.
In the lawsuit filed by Weaver, one of the officers is quoted as saying "Ma'am, your dog was getting ready to attack one of my officers." The Hazel Crest Police Department defended the actions of the two investigating officers by saying Kobi was on a public sidewalk when the shooting took place. Each officer is charged in court documentsas having fired two bullets at Kobi, killing this family dog.
Weaver went to the Hazel Crest Police Department to file a complaint, where she was rewarded with a citation for violating Hazel Crest Ordinance Section 5-23. She was charged with having a dog at large, which is against the law in Hazel Crest.
Weaver is seeking damages for unreasonable seizure, aggravated animal cruelty and emotional distress. Lance Ziebell with Lavelle Law in Palatine will be handling her case. This suit is also called Dog-Killer Cops Face Kafakesque Lawsuit.
If this had been a dog shooting involving a private citizen, charges such as criminal trespassing, felony cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct would likely have been filed against Kobi's killers.
The case will now go to trial, where the police department will argue they didn't open the back gate, and because Kobi was about to attack, they felt killing a family dog was necessary as their own lives were in danger.
Readers, what are your thoughts on this case? Are the police lying about leaving the gate unlatched? Did they have the right to shoot and kill Kobi? Or is this another case where police will get away with killing a family dog because being an officer will shield them from the punishment they deserve?






Police officer shoots and kills local woman's dog




HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -  Christine Orlando's dog was fatally shot by an Horry County Police Office early Tuesday morning. Orlando reached out to WMBF News after her dog was killed because she thought the way the situation was handled, was wrong.
"My dog didn't have to die," Orlando said.
According to the Horry County Police report, two officers responded to an apartment in the county because two people (Orlando and her roommate) were arguing over the electricity in their apartment. Once the officers arrived and Orlando opened the door, the report states her dog, a black flat-haired retriever charged out of the apartment into the breezeway and began- attacking one officer. Orlando said her dog was not attacking, but nipping at the officer's ankles.
According to the police report, the officers each asked Orlando to restrain her dog, but the dog continued to bite the first officer's feet.
"Never at any moment did they ask me to bring my dog in the house or give me the option to refrain my dog in any shape, way or form," Orlando said.
The report states the second officer pulled out his gun and the dog left the first officer, went back into the apartment briefly and then charged the second officer. The second officer shot the dog once in its head, according to the report.
"He shot my dog in the head. My dog stumbled into the house, laid up against the wall and within 60 seconds, he was dead," Orlando said.
The Horry County Police Department is not investigating this incident further. The HCPD's policy on using deadly force states officers can discharge a weapon to destroy an animal when it represents a threat to public safety. But Orlando said her dog has never hurt anyone and was not going to hurt the officers.
"These officers need to get educated on how to handle their responses to animals because his behavior escalated to a circumstance and it became something that it didn't need to become¬¬¬," Orlando said.
Orlando said if the officer felt threatened, she wished he would've handled the situation differently.
"I turned to the officer and I said, ‘with all due respect, why if you felt the need to shoot my dog, why couldn't you just shoot him in the leg? Hurt him. Don't kill him,'" Orlando said.
Neither of the officers suffered any injuries as a result of the incid

Dogs Shot by Police



This is a very disturbing account posted on this page April 9, 2013 about a dog named Melo who was maced by a Fresno, CA police officer because he was barking inside his fenced yard at the police and a police K9 who were apparently outside the yard. There is no better way to demonstrate the arrogance of these police officers than to quote the account of what they did and said from this report by the family: 

"Then another K-9 officer comes out from the side of my neighbors and says that he sprayed him because he looked like he was going to jump the fence. I asked was he about to jump the fence? The officer replied "No, but I wasn't going take that chance. You're lucky I didn't Shoot him." By then I was furious and the cop told me to step outside of my gate and said he can do what ever he wants. Then his Sergeant came to talk to me and told me that their dog cost $12,000 and if the officer feels like his K-9 was in danger then he can spray or even shoot him if he wanted to." 

The sheriff of Bates County, Missouri cannot defend himself from

The sheriff of Bates County, Missouri cannot defend himself from a turkey without using lethal force. He was on private property investigating a problem with some trash, and while there says he was attacked by Mr. Camo, a pet turkey. According to this article, after attempting to fend off the turkey for "several minutes," "the deputy went ahead and shot the turkey because he was in fear for his personal safety." 

Why didn't he just leave the property? Was the trash problem really that urgent? Why didn't he at least leave a note for Mr. Camo's family to let them know he had shot and injured their turkey? Too much trouble? Too little concern for the suffering of a sentient creature capable of suffering? Mr. Camo's family came home, figured out he had been shot and took him to a vet to be humanely euthanized. There was nothing humane about the behavior of the deputy, and he certainly did not demonstrate any courage or wisdom. 

As often happens in these cases, the police have dragged up stories in which Mr. Camo reportedly scratched or bothered other people. Perhaps he had. Perhaps Mr. Camo should have been better confined. However none of that justifies the sheriff's deputy in shooting him. The only justification would have been an attack in which there was imminent serious harm to the deputy - and the fact that he had been able to fend off the turkey for several minutes without using lethal force gives the lie to that argument. RIP Mr. Camo. I wish a smarter and more courageous and humane deputy had decided to check out the trash in your yard. 

Thanks to Linda Rogers for posting this distressing story of cruelty.  

Dog owners seek $350,000 in ‘Brad Pitt’ killing


The owners of a dog shot to death by a Riverside police officer have sued the city for $350,000, writing that that the killing of Brad Pitt the pit bull was “so extreme and outrageous that it went beyond the bounds of decency.”
Lindsey Gonzalez-Rivera and husband Luis Rivera are seeking $150,000 each, plus punitive damages of $50,000 from Officer Ryan Wilson, and unspecified attorney’s fees. Police Chief Sergio Diaz and the Police Department were also named as defendants in the lawsuit filed March 28 in Superior Court in Riverside.
The City Council rejected a claim for $75,000 in September. City Attorney Greg Priamos declined to comment Thursday, April 18, other than to say, “We intend to defend the lawsuit.”
Police on Aug. 23 were serving an arrest warrant on a murder suspect on North Orange Street. Officers were deployed around the area in case the suspect fled, and Wilson was assigned to take up a spot in the Riveras’ backyard two doors down from the suspect’s house.
Accounts of what happened next differ.
Police said Wilson entered the backyard, and he was surprised, cornered and attacked by the dog. That’s when Wilson shot the dog.
The lawsuit, filed by Los Angeles-based attorney Nick Pacheco, says that when Wilson approached the chain-link gate to enter the yard, the dog barked at Wilson from inside the yard. Wilson fired one shot through the gate and into the dog’s head, the lawsuit says.
Riverside police officers are allowed to shoot animals “To kill a dangerous animal that is attacking the officer or another person(s), or which if allowed to escape, presents a danger to the public,” the department’s use-of-force policy states.
“The dog was not a dangerous animal attacking defendant Wilson or any other person, nor did Brad Pitt present a danger to the public since he was locked up in his own backyard,” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiffs have suffered grief, anguish, shock and horror as a result of defendant Wilson’s intentional act of killing their pet, Brad Pitt.”
The dog’s owners are seeking compensation for pain and suffering, and medical and psychological expenses.
Their dog provided “solace, affection, friendship and love for the period of his life. Brad Pitt maintained a special relationship with plaintiffs, situationally and emotionally similar to that of a human family member or relative,” the lawsuit says. “The manner in which Wilson shot Brad Pitt was so extreme and outrageous that it went beyond the bounds of decency.”

Manchester Cop Shoots and Kills Loose Pit Bull



The Manchester man who's dog was shot by a Manchester cop after it reportedly got loose and charged at the cop is facing a number of citations for the incident.
According to Manchester Police Capt. Christopher Davis, the man, identified as Luis Maysonet, of 62 Alexander St., is facing citations for two counts of having an unlicensed dog (Maysonet apparently owns another dog at the same residence), and citations for a roaming dog, a nuisance dog and an unvaccinated dog.
The citations are not criminal charges and will only result in fines.
Davis said that the unidentified cop that shot the dog continues on active duty.
"It's an unfortunate situation, but it's not considered an cop involved shooting," Davis said.

Original Story

A Manchester Cop drew his gun and shot a loose dog that was charging him Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hartford Courant.

According to the Courant, an cop responded to a report of a loose dog on Alexander Street that had apparently leapt through the screen of a second story window.

The cop was waiting for another cop to bring dog treats and a snare so he could capture the dog, according to the Courant, when it charged him. The cop drew his weapon and shot the dog dead, according to the Courant.

The cop is not named in the story. The dog was described as a "pit bull," according to the Courant, and its owner was not home at the time of the incident. 

Cop shoots dog, Indiana city helps pay for animal’s surgery





Police in Muncie, Ind., are paying a family more than $2,000 to cover the veterinary bils after an officer shot their dog when it charged him. Police Chief Steve Stewart says officers were called to the neighborhood April 3 for a report of gunshots that turned out to be unfounded and heard a dog barking aggressively. Police say the homeowner put the pit bull in a back room so she could speak with the officers, but it escaped and charged Officer Ryan Yeager, who then fired several shots at the dog.

Illinois resident Charlotte Weaver files lawsuit after police kill family dog



Charlotte Weaver, the owner of a 6-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback family dog, filed a lawsuit on April 4, 2013 against the village of Hazel Crest and Officers N. Lagunas and James Rollins for killing her dog. Hazel Crest is a suburb of 14,000 south of Chicago.
This tragic story began on December 24, 2012 when officers from the Hazel Crest Police Department were responding to a call about an escaped convict possibly hiding in the basement of Weaver's next door neighbor. Police are alleged to have opened the gate leading to her back yard, where on Christmas eve morning she let her dog Kobi out of her home and into the fenced-in backyard.
Since the gate was left open, this allowed Kobi to exit, where he wandered into Weaver's front driveway where the officers were talking. Weaver had no idea the officer's had left the gate unsecured at the time she let her dog out of the house.
Police stated in their report that they didn't open the gate, nor did they go in her back yard.
In the lawsuit filed by Weaver, one of the officers is quoted as saying "Ma'am, your dog was getting ready to attack one of my officers." The Hazel Crest Police Department defended the actions of the two investigating officers by saying Kobi was on a public sidewalk when the shooting took place. Each officer is charged in court documents as having fired two bullets at Kobi, killing this family dog.
Weaver went to the Hazel Crest Police Department to file a complaint, where she was rewarded with a citation for violating Hazel Crest Ordinance Section 5-23. She was charged with having a dog at large, which is against the law in Hazel Crest.
Weaver is seeking damages for unreasonable seizure, aggravated animal cruelty and emotional distress. Lance Ziebell with Lavelle Law in Palatine will be handling her case. This suit is also called Dog-Killer Cops Face Kafakesque Lawsuit.
If this had been a dog shooting involving a private citizen, charges such as criminal trespassing, felony cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct would likely have been filed against Kobi's killers.
The case will now go to trial, where the police department will argue they didn't open the back gate, and because Kobi was about to attack, they felt killing a family dog was necessary as their own lives were in danger.

Myrtle Beach woman mourns dog’s death, disputes police account of shooting



A Myrtle Beach area woman, whose dog was shot and killed by an Horry County police officer, said her dog was not an aggressive animal.
“It’s an absolute tragedy and it should have never happened,” said Christine Orlando, whose dog, Hayden, a 10-year-old rescue retriever was killed Tuesday morning when police were called to her apartment for a civil dispute.
“He started nipping at one of the officer’s feet. That’s what he does. That’s his way of saying just back up. Not in a threatening way. He never lunged,” Orlando said Thursday morning. “He had never done any harm to anyone in his life. He was one of the most amazing animals. He did not need to die.”
Horry County police were called about 5:15 a.m. Tuesday to an apartment at 913 Marshfield Circle for a civil complaint between two roommates regarding electricity being turned off, according to the report. The dog’s owner was arguing with her roommate because he shut off the power to their apartment.
When the officer’s arrived, one officer knocked on the door and heard a dog barking, according to the report. When the dog owner opened the door, the black retriever, weighing about 100 pounds, charged out into the breezeway and attacked one of the officers, according to the report.
The report stated the dog bit the other officer’s foot, while he yelled for the woman to get her dog, but the dog continued and ignored “any verbal or physical attempts of the complaint to restrain it,” according to the report.
The officer tried to draw his gun, but was unable to do so because the woman “pushed down on his holster,” according to the report. Another officer asked the woman to restrain her dog and the dog briefly ran back into the open door of the apartment. Then it ran back out into the breezeway.
One of the officers used his gun and shot the dog once in the head, which killed it, according to the report. The officers did not suffer any injuries during the incident and they called Horry County Environmental Services to take the dog for proper disposal.
Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler said the incident was not under investigation.
Orlando disputed the account in the police report and said she argued with her roommate about some money due on Thursday, so he shut off the power to the apartment. Orlando said instead of continuing the argument, she called police.
The apartment was dark and Orlando said she was unaware her dog followed her from her bedroom when she went to answer the door for police. Orlando said her dog did not return to the apartment and she did not grab at an officer’s gun.
“There was a lot of yelling involved with the officers, which heightened the circumstance,” Orlando said and noted her dog took note of the officer drawing his gun. “I immediately acted on impulse and jumped in front of the officer and begged please do not shoot my dog. . . As soon as a he had a clear shot, he shot my dog in the head.”
Orlando said no blood was drawn and the officer’s uniforms were not damaged by her dog nipping at their feet.
“My dog never returned back into that house. The only time my dog turned to come back into the house was when he came back in to die. I never pushed anybody’s gun back into the holster,” Orlando said. “This is just insane. They were called for a reason and it turned into an absolute nightmare.”

Police officer shoots and kills local woman's dog



HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Christine Orlando's dog was fatally shot by an Horry County Police Office early Tuesday morning. Orlando reached out to WMBF News after her dog was killed because she thought the way the situation was handled, was wrong.
"My dog didn't have to die," Orlando said.
According to the Horry County Police report, two officers responded to an apartment in the county because two people (Orlando and her roommate) were arguing over the electricity in their apartment. Once the officers arrived and Orlando opened the door, the report states her dog, a black flat-haired retriever charged out of the apartment into the breezeway and began- attacking one officer. Orlando said her dog was not attacking, but nipping at the officer's ankles.
According to the police report, the officers each asked Orlando to restrain her dog, but the dog continued to bite the first officer's feet.
"Never at any moment did they ask me to bring my dog in the house or give me the option to refrain my dog in any shape, way or form," Orlando said.
The report states the second officer pulled out his gun and the dog left the first officer, went back into the apartment briefly and then charged the second officer. The second officer shot the dog once in its head, according to the report.
"He shot my dog in the head. My dog stumbled into the house, laid up against the wall and within 60 seconds, he was dead," Orlando said.
The Horry County Police Department is not investigating this incident further. The HCPD's policy on using deadly force states officers can discharge a weapon to destroy an animal when it represents a threat to public safety. But Orlando said her dog has never hurt anyone and was not going to hurt the officers.
"These officers need to get educated on how to handle their responses to animals because his behavior escalated to a circumstance and it became something that it didn't need to become¬¬¬," Orlando said.
Orlando said if the officer felt threatened, she wished he would've handled the situation differently.
"I turned to the officer and I said, ‘with all due respect, why if you felt the need to shoot my dog, why couldn't you just shoot him in the leg? Hurt him. Don't kill him,'" Orlando said.
Neither of the officers suffered any injuries as a result of the incident. 

Trigger happy cop shoot at dog at Staten Island's Schmul Park in Travis




Police block off Schmul Park in Travis following the dog shooting incident.Bill Lyons
Police officers shot at a dog after it attacked its owner earlier this afternoon in Schmul Park, Travis.
Around 1 p.m. Saturday, police responded to the Roswell Avenue park where a woman's dogs turned on her after she tried to separate them from fighting, police said.
Witnesses described the dogs as pit bulls, however, police could not confirm last night the breed of the dogs.
"Responding officers tried to help her, and in the attempt to get the dog off her, shots were fired," a police spokesman said.
Officials could not say whether the dog had died, or if the officer's bullets had even struck it. The woman suffered hand injuries and was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton, police said.
Ray Rehueo, who lives across the street from the park, said that two women were walking their three pit bulls at the far end of the park, near the dirt ball fields. Two of the dogs began to scuffle, and apparently attacked their owner when she tried to break it up. One dog was off its leash, he said.
Rehueo heard five gun shots and then saw the dog running up from the field, bleeding heavily from its side. Blood stains still marked the pavement at the scene on Saturday evening.
Rehueo said that a police officer patrolling the park saw the attack and was the one who fired on the pit bull.
"He saw how aggressive the dog got and shot it. I'm sure he did the right thing. You see a pit bull attacking a woman -- practically taking her hand off -- you gotta do what you gotta do," Rehueo said.
Police could not confirm that account, and said it was also unknown whether the dog sustained its injuries from the shots fired or from its fight with the other dog.
Several other witnesses, who declined to give their names, said that they have feared something like this happening for quite some time. "I always see these dogs off their leashes. It was just a matter of time before they attacked someone, even if it was the owner," said a witness who lives near the park.
He also said that on one occasion, the same pit bull ran up to his young daughter, who was playing in the driveway at the time. "It's scary. There's too many kids around this area to let dogs off their leash. No dog is harmless. They have teeth. They could bite." 

"How to choke your dog" classes to be conducted by Fairfax County Police


 Why be accused of gunning down an innocent dog when you can simply choke him and blame it on a bad heart?

    That's the theme of a training class to be held in June by the Fairfax County Police Department. The classes, which are free and open to all, cost $2,000,000. Turn out is expected to be mostly by other cops who also have a deep psychological need to be taken seriously.

Pit bull owner says dog who died was shot while running away, not for attacking cops



Pat Guglielmo says his 2-year-old pit bull, Baby Girl, was shot in the back by police as she was trying to run away from officers, contradicting a police account that the animal charged them. Baby Girl died on Thursday.
Cops killed his Baby Girl.
The grieving owner of a 2-year-old pit bull mortally wounded by a cop’s bullet in Staten Island says police had no reason to kill his beloved pet.
“They killed our baby,” owner Pat Guglielmo said of Baby Girl, who died of her wounds Thursday.
Baby Girl died five days after she was shot at Schmul Park in Travis.
Guglielmo’s fiancĂ©e, Patricia Ratz, had taken the doomed dog and two other pit bulls for a walk when the other dogs started snapping at each other.
One of the dogs bit Ratz when she tried to intervene, police sources said.
Police contend two cops shot Baby Girl when the animal charged them, yet Guglielmo says his dog was running away when she was hit.
“The bullet went right through her back,” he said, disputing the police account. “(The police) lied. They said they were being attacked, but that’s so false.”
Police are standing by their account, but also say the shooting is still being investigated.


Cops Open Gate, Letting Dog Loose, Kill Dog, Cite Owner for Having Dog Loose, Lawsuit Alleges




Weaver FamilyIt all started with the escape of two inmates from a federal prison in downtown Chicago in December. A regional manhunt included police in the village of Hazel Crest, a Chicago suburb, where cops shot and killed a six-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. The dog’s owner said the dog was in their yard, which was closed, while the police department said officers feared for their safety before shooting the dog three times.
 Now the owner, Charlotte Weaver,  has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the police opened the gate to her yard, which allowed the dog to get free. The lawsuit further claims that when she went to the police department to file a complaint  about the opening of the gate and the shooting, she was given a citation for having a loose dog. More details about the lawsuit via Courthouse News. More puppycides stories from Reason here.

Cop murders family dog, gets ONE DAY without pay as punishment and where the hell is the US Justice Department? Why don't they do something?




Officer who shot family's dog suspended for day without pay


Punishment related to bullet that went through apartment

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign police officer who fired his gun in a residential neighborhood last fall, killing a dog and sending a round through a nearby apartment, has been suspended for a day without pay.
The News-Gazette obtained the report of Officer Andre Davis' discipline through a Freedom of Information request. The discipline was meted out March 6, according to the letter from Davis' supervisor, Lt. Robert Rea.
Davis was a patrol officer on Nov. 17, 2012, when he reacted to two dogs fighting at Crescent and John streets in the evening by drawing his weapon and firing.
Police reports — also obtained earlier under the Freedom of Information Act — revealed he fired seven shots at the dogs, killing the family pet of Jake and Kathy Saathoff as their teenage daughter watched.
She had been walking their Labrador retriever, which was on a leash, when an unleashed pit bull terrier approached and began fighting with it.
Police were called when she and another man were unable to separate the animals.
The pit bull terrier ran away after the shooting but was caught and euthanized about 10 days later when no one claimed it. Besides bite wounds from the Labrador retriever, the pit bull terrier's right leg was cut by a grazing bullet wound.
Since the shooting, Davis has been reassigned to the department's detective division. His letter of suspension does not exactly spell out the conduct for which Davis was suspended.
"Your actions violated Rule 4(H) of the Rules and Regulations of the Champaign Police Department." Rule 4(H) states, "Officers shall carry and use firearms in accordance with law and departmental directive."
Police Chief Anthony Cobb declined to explain what that means.
But Jake Saathoff said he was told by Champaign police Lt. Jon Swenson that Davis was being disciplined, not for killing his family's dog, but because one of his bullets went through a first-floor apartment at the nearby Round Barn Manor, 2000 W. John St. No one was harmed.
Swenson referred questions about the discipline to Cobb, who told The News-Gazette it was based on the totality of the circumstances.
The punishment is the second that Davis has received in his 8-year career with the Champaign Police Department over a weapons violation.
In November 2009, he was given a letter of reprimand for a September 2009 incident in which he drew his weapon and fired at a suicidal man who he believed was about to get a gun from the trunk of a car. The gun discharge was deemed to be accidental by an internal firearms discharge review board and resulted in Davis getting remedial training with a firearms instructor.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz said her office reviewed the entire report of the November incident and found no violations of any criminal laws by Davis.
"Reckless discharge of a firearm specifically does not apply to a peace officer in the official line of duty," she said. "This matter is best handled internally by the Champaign Police Department or through a civil action; there is no evidence of criminal intent on the part of the officer."
Saathoff, who had several communications with City Manager Steve Carter before his retirement last month, remains convinced that the city is not holding Davis accountable for fatally shooting his dog.
"He's being disciplined for the round going through the apartment building, not for killing the dog," Saathoff said.
Larry Krause, the city's risk manager, said Wednesday that he is still trying to come up with a figure to compensate the Saathoffs, a task he has been working on since at least two months.
"I am working on it. I don't have a time frame because I'm still doing my research to see what we can do," he said.
Saathoff maintains that his family is less interested in a cash settlement than they are Davis' punishment and the department's policy regarding treatment of animals.
"It's not about money. It's about the police department not holding that officer accountable. They're not holding him accountable because that was for the round going through the apartment building. They're saying they can kill a dog any time they want to and that it's within policy," he said.
"Carter keeps calling it an accident. It wasn't an accident. He deliberately shot that dog. He intentionally killed our dog. That's in his report," Saathoff said.
"The city thinks they're trying to put a price on a dog. It's more that these are civil rights violations. The killing of a dog is a violation of the Fourth Amendment because it is a seizure. The fact that the city deems all animals to be dangerous and allows police officers to shoot them is a violation of due process. It takes a court of law to deem a domestic dog dangerous. There was nothing in that report that said our dog was vicious or dangerous or that anyone was at risk," Saathoff said.
In the wake of the dog shooting, Cobb initiated a review of the department's use-of-force policy. It has since been amended to clarify that an "aggressive animal must present an imminent threat to a human being before deadly force" can be used.
Cobb also said in January that the department would begin training to help officers better handle calls involving vicious animals, something officers had not been previously offered. He said Tuesday that training is supposed to begin this month.
Saathoff said he and his wife have consulted with Springfield attorney Stephen Hedinger about what happened to their pet. A biographical sketch about Hedinger on the website of his firm, Sorling Northrup Attorneys, says Hedinger "is in the vanguard of the emerging practice area focusing on legal issues related to animals."
"I hope it doesn't go to that (litigation) but if it does, it does," Saathoff said

Cops set dog on man, man sues 10 to 1 the cops get away with it


Pierce County, Washington: A man is suing the county over a police dog attack. The lawsuit says the man didn’t act aggressively toward the dog or officer and posed no risk to them. 

Civil rights group calls for investigation of Rayne police




RAYNE — Racial tensions in Rayne reached a boiling point Thursday when more than 20 black community members protested against alleged police misconduct and asked state and federal authorities to investigate their claims of racial profiling and discrimination.
"Police brutality, harassment and intimidation do exist in Rayne, and we want to give the police chief a chance to root it out," said the Rev. Raymond Brown, president of the New-Orleans based civil rights group National Action Now.
The allegations are tied primarily to a single Rayne Police Department officer, and Chief Carroll Stelly maintains his employees have not unjustly targeted or abused black residents.
"While Chief Stelly supports the protestor's First Amendment right to free speech, he stated that all issues brought up in the protest have been investigated by an internal affairs inquiry and found to be unsustained," Detective Richard Gray said in a news release after the protest.
Rayne police officials were unaware of the protest until the group formed at the department's offices, and Stelly was in Lake Charles at the time for a graduation ceremony for three new officers.
The protesters targeted Officer Joseph Cormier, whom several residents claimed has lied in police reports, falsified speeding ticket information and beaten a local resident without reason.
"There might be a bad apple among you that you don't want to acknowledge," Brown said. "We believe this officer is rotting all the good officers on the force, and if he was in Orleans Parish, the chief of police would have fired him long ago."
Brown came to Rayne after talking with Wendell Price, a Rayne resident who claims Cormier beat him nearly one year ago. According to Price, he was letting his three dogs use the bathroom in the front yard of his home on April 2, 2012 when several officers drove though the neighborhood.
Price said he later learned those officers were searching for a different black male who had been involved in an earlier crime and who had a tan dog similar to Price's. Price said one of the officers who drove by, Cormier, saw his tan dog, pulled into his driveway and immediately told him to put the three dogs in a cage.
Price said he asked the officer why he had to put his dogs in a cage since he was on his own private property, and Cormier allegedly then told him to comply or face arrest. Price, however, said he continued to question Cormier's directions.
"That's when he took his baton out and started beating me repeatedly," Price said. "My two-year-old and my five-year-old had to witness this — their father getting beaten by a white cop for no apparent reason."
Price said he then moved toward his house, at which point Cormier allegedly threw him onto a car hood and began choking him. Price said he then began "grabbing him to get him off me." By this point, another Rayne police officer arrived on the scene, and amid the fight, he tased Price.
Police ultimately charged Price with resisting arrest, battery of a police officer and violation of leash laws, Price said.
Stelly, however, said in the news release that the incident involving Price is "still pending criminal trial in district court," making the timing of the protest "suspect."
"This incident was reviewed by an internal affairs inquiry and sustained the officer's use of force was reasonable and lawful to bring the noncompliant Price under arrest," Gray said in the release. "Chief Stelly welcomes the Price family to request a formal investigation from the Louisiana State Police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation if they believe that criminal conduct occurred."
But Price and Brown said officers conducted a flawed internal investigation and ignored some statements from witnesses and black community members who spoke against Cormier. Price and Brown also noted that the Crowley Police Department arrested Cormier and charged him with domestic abuse battery less than 15 days after Cormier allegedly beat Price.
Gray, however, said those charges against Cormier were ultimately dropped. Gray said Cormier began working for the Rayne Police Department in August 2011, and he said he could not comment on whether his department disciplined Cormier in any way after his arrest.


Senate panel OKs "Don't Shoot My Dog" bill after emotional testimony




An Erie woman whose German shepherd was shot in the back by a police officer tearfully urged state senators to approve a bill requiring law enforcement officers to receive training on how to deal with dogs.
Brittany Moore told her story twice Wednesday, first on the west steps of the Capitol at a rally attended by dog lovers and then before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which unanimously approved the bipartisan measure.
She broke down several times, including when she recounted telling her 7-, 6- and 5-year-old-daughters that their dog Ava was dead.
The measure — dubbed the "Don't Shoot My Dog" bill — next will be heard by the full Senate. The measure requires sheriff's and police departments to develop training programs that prepare law enforcement for encounters with dogs. The training emphasizes how to recognize dog behaviors and employ non-lethal methods to control dogs.
Sponsors Sens. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and David Balmer, R-Centennial, brought their dogs to the rally, as did others who supported Senate Bill 226.
"This bill is about animals we hold dear," Guzman said.
Moore was among several witnesses who became emotional as they described their pets being shot by police.
She called police May 10, 2011, because of threatening calls she was receiving.
She said the officer initially went to the wrong house, and as he was walking to her home, her "friendly and curious" dogs, Ava and Ivy, walked toward him. She said the officer put his hand on his gun and backed up.
"I yelled to Ava, and she stopped and turned and looked at me. That's when we made eye contact," Moore said.
The officer fired.
"A rawhide bone fell from Ava's mouth, and she made the most awful sound that I have ever heard and immediately fell to the ground," Moore said. "She tried to get up one last time, but her hind legs wouldn't work because her spinal cord was severed."
She said police told her they "had to" shoot the dog because it was a threat.
"Ava never posed a threat at any time that night," Moore said. "The only threat that night was an officer discharging his weapon less than five feet away from me in a neighborhood with kids playing outside."
Another witness, a former deliveryman for UPS, said he encountered dogs regularly during his 14 years on the job but the idea of hurting one was "unthinkable."
"I'm not a dog whisperer," he said, to laughter. "I just used common sense ... and a little restraint."
At the rally, the song "Who Let the Dogs Out?" blared as dog lovers waved signs, including ones that read "Pro dogs, Pro cops, Pro 226" and "Protect our Fur-Kids."
Balmer asked several questions about dogs, including "Why do we have slobber marks all over the sliding glass doors?" and "Why do we say yes to whatever the vet says it will cost for a procedure?" and "Why have we spent so much time writing this bill?"
He then led the crowd in chanting the answer: "Because we love our dogs."

Dog murdered



March 28, 2013 Lala was shot and killed by an Auburn, Washington police officer who went up to the front door of her family's home apparently to ask a question about vandalism that had happened in the neighborhood. Lala reportedly barked and bared her teeth and then jumped out of the living room window. The officer says he backed up to try to get away but that Lala continued to come at him. Apparently he did not attempt to use non-lethal force to cause Lala to back up if she was indeed charging him and he shot her not once but twice in the head. RIP Lala. You were defending your family's home from someone who seemed threatening to you. You did not deserve to be shot and killed for that. I believe I have already posted Lala's story, but am not sure if I already posted this report. So, in the interest of time I am posting it again. Thanks to Cindy Ruud for sending it to me.

Colorado legislators to introduce bill requiring cops to take dog encounter training





CENNTENIAL, Colo. - Next week, two State Senators will introduce a bill requiring all law enforcement to take dog encounter training. The bill is sponsored by Senators Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat, and David Balmer, a Centennial Republican.
"Shipping companies, delivery companies, landscaping companies, they deal with dogs all the time and they don't shoot dogs," said Senator Balmer.
The bill would require law enforcement to take a two-hour initial class as well as an hour long refresher course every year. The courses would be given by a vet or may be viewed online.
The legislation comes after a series of shootings involving dogs that caused public outcry. In November of last year, Commerce City Police shot and killed Chloe, a pit-bull mix outside her home. Video showed police tase the dog then shoot her five times while she was on a catch-pole.
"It's like losing a family member," said owner, Gary Branson.
In January, an Adam's County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed Ziggy, and 8-year-old Blue Heeler-Border Collie mix, after the deputy responded to the wrong address.
"All he wanted to do was play, that's it," Ziggy's owner, Jeff Fisher told 7NEWS.
Brittany Moore said she still hasn't recovered after Erie Police shot and killed her German Shepard, Ava, outside her home in 2011.
"It's hard, it's hard. My three daughters, they don't trust police cops anymore. They will always remember that a police cop shot their dog," Moore said.
7NEWS asked Senator Balmer why the legislation is needed considering some police departments already have policies and training implemented.
"There are some police departments that have been out in front of this issue. These are the police departments that haven't had any dog shootings. It's the other departments that need to work harder on it," said Senator Balmer.

7NEWS checked and that's not exactly true. In the case of Chloe, Commerce City Police went through canine training two years earlier. Boulder and Brighton police also put their cops through dog encounter training.

Senator Balmer said they have been working with law enforcement while drafting the bill. He expects it should be introduced to the Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks.


Owner not surprised Ogden cop cleared in shooting of dog




OGDEN — An Ogden police cop is not at fault for shooting and killing a German shepherd at a local residence earlier this month, according to an internal review by the police department.
“After careful consideration and review of the incident, the Shooting Review Board has determined that the actions taken by Cop Brandon Rammell were justified and within the guidelines of the Ogden City Police Department Use of Force Policy … and did not violate Utah state law governing use of deadly force,” the police department said in the report regarding the March 3 incident.
The shooting of the German shepherd, named Max, owned by Dan and Roxanne Marocchi was investigated by Ogden police lieutenants Danielle Croyle and Chad Ledford and Sgt. Tim Scott.
Roxanne Marocchi disputes the police department’s claim that the shooting was justified, but isn’t surprised by the result of the investigation.
“That’s what you get when you have cops investigating cops,” she said Tuesday.
Friday night, Ogden police also shot and killed a dog they say charged them during a burglary-in-progress call at a residence in the 500 block of 7th Street.
That incident remains under investigation.
However, both dog shootings this month could have been avoided, said John Harvey, deputy director of support services for the Ogden Police Department.
“Had the owners secured their animals, those pets would still be alive,” he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
“Many, if not most, of our cops are animal-lovers, so when they have to defend themselves, it’s not something they relish.”
Since 2007, Ogden police have shot and killed six dogs and wounded another that was later euthanized.
The Marocchis and police are at odds over the fatal shooting of Max.
The incident began when police responded to a report of a man with a gun at the Marocchi’s residence in the 2400 block of Jackson Avenue.
Dan Marocchi believes he was reported to police because he answered his door carrying a handgun for protection because a long-haired young man whom he did not know was standing on his porch.
The individual came to the house to report that Max had run across the street, frightening him and his dog, Roxanne Marocchi said. However, she added, Max did not bite the man or his dog.
When police arrived, they ordered Dan Marocchi to keep Max and another dog, an Australian shepherd mix named Rusty, inside. However, the dogs were allowed to run outside, police said.
Rusty was later found near 30th Street and Washington Boulevard.
Max charged at an cop, who was unable to deploy a Taser, then leaped at another cop, who knocked the dog down and shot twice with a handgun, killing the animal, according to police.
Marocchi said he never saw Max charge the first cop and never saw any attempt by the cop to deploy a Taser.
It only took a few seconds for Max to run from the house to a neighbor’s driveway, where he was shot, said Marocchi, who believes that didn’t allow enough time for a second attack on a police cop.
The incident should serve as a reminder that residents should keep their pets secured, particularly if they are calling for police assistance, Harvey said.
“Cops are trained to deal with aggressive animals, and they can usually determine if an animal is afraid, protecting their turf or about to attack, but these issues become moot when the pet owner secures the animal

Residents protest dog shooting by Sandusky cop




SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Animal-loving residents of a northern Ohio community are protesting the recent shooting death of a dog by a police cop.
Several dozen sign-carrying demonstrators in Sandusky demonstrated in front of the municipal court building Wednesday. It was part of the local outcry since a city police cop killed a pet Rottweiler named Lucy on Feb. 21.
The cop, who was responding to a complaint of a dog running loose in the area, said the dog lunged at him before he fired the shot.
The Sandusky Register reports that police Chief Brad Wilson is dealing with the fallout from the shooting — including emails from angry residents.
The dog’s owner, Donna Hansen, appeared in court Wednesday to plead not guilty to citations for dog at large and unlicensed dog.

Cops Who Shot Dog in Home Search Clear Suit….which means they can kick in your door without a warrant and kill your pets



MANHATTAN (CN) - The 2nd Circuit cleared police cops for fatally shooting a dog in the head while executing a no-knock search warrant in upstate New York.
On Oct. 11, 2006, members of the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team broke through Sherry Carroll's front door with a battering ram without announcing their presence. The federal appeals court noted that from the outset that "the facts of this case are undoubtedly tragic."
Deputy James Carroll was the first to enter the home and immediately encountered "a dog growling, barking, and quickly and aggressively approaching him," according to the decision.
"Once the dog had advanced to within a foot of him," Carroll fired one fatal shot at the family dog.
Though the team knew before executing the warrant that a dog would be present, they failed to "discuss a plan for controlling the dog or formulate a strategy to neutralize any threat the dog might pose by non-lethal means," the ruling states.
Carroll, who had two children under the age of 18 at the time of the intrusion, filed a federal complaint against Monroe County, its sheriff's department, Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn and Deputy Sheriff James Caroll.
A federal jury in Rochester concluded after a two-day trial, however, that the shooting of the dog was not an unconstitutional seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit refused to disturb the verdict Tuesday.
"Although the death of her dog was regrettable, we cannot conclude that the plaintiff has met this heavy burden," the unsigned decision states.
No-knock warrants are issued in cases where "there is reason to believe that the occupants of the residence will, if the cops announce themselves prior to entry, pose a significant threat to cop safety or attempt to destroy evidence," according the opinion.
Here, the cops testified that trying to secure an aggressive dog could jeopardize themselves and the evidence, causing an insurmountable "delay in securing the entryway," which they call the "fatal funnel," the court noted.
Carroll failed to show that the cops improperly discounted pepper spray, a taser or a catch pole as a means to secure her pet, according to the ruling.
She "offered no evidence that these non-lethal means would have been effective or that it would have been unreasonable for the cops to decide not to use them," the ruling states.
Carroll testified that he did not know of an instance of "pepper spray effectively controlling an aggressive dog" and that the department "did not own tasers at the time," the judges wrote.
Futhermore, "a jury could reasonably conclude that using a catch pole in the middle of the entryway would compromise cop safety and unreasonably delay the search."
Despite siding with the county, the judges ended with a cautionary note.
"We do not mean to endorse the defendants' apparent position that the failure to plan for the known presence of a dog is always acceptable when the police are executing a no-knock warrant," merely that "the jury was not unreasonable to conclude that the plaintiff did not meet her burden of proof," the ruling states.There may well be instances where the killing of a pet in such circumstances does meet the burden of proof that a seizure is unconstitutional, the judges said, adding that they "urge the defendants to consider whether more comprehensive training and planning would better serve the public, as well as its cops, in the future."