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

Off-Duty cop Shoots, Kills Neighbor's Dog

 Chicago police on Friday night launched an investigation into what led an off-duty cop to shoot and kill his neighbor's dog.
The cop said he was out with his young son on the 5800 block of North Oketo Avenue, on the city's far northwest side, when Maximus, a four-month-old pit bull, charged at them. The dog's owner, Samantha Maglaya, said that wasn't the case.
The off-duty cop said he was walking from a house just down the block when the incident unfolded. But neighbors said the boy was nearly a block away during the shooting. And they say Maximus never even barked.

Police officers not only shoot family dogs, they also shoot each other

Not only are police guilty of shooting family dogs, this time one officer has shot another when firing at a charging dog.

According to a police statement, a Chicago police officer and his partner, along with their supervisor responded to a burglary in progress call around 9 p.m. in the 1200 block of West 72nd Place.

The three officers were on a second floor landing of the building when a vicious dog allegedly charged at the police. One of the officers fired a shot that struck the dog. Unfortunately, the bullet also hit one of the other officers in the thigh. It hasn't been determined who was struck first by the bullet.

The injured officer was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in Cook County, where he was treated and released.

It's unclear at this time of whether the dog shot by police was injured or killed. The dogs owners haven't been identified.

This isn't the first time Chicago police have shot a dog. Back in December officers shot an innocent 7-month old miniature bull-terrier puppy owned by Al Phillips. The puppy, who goes by the name Colonel Phillips, underwent five hours of cutting edge medicine to save his life.

The family had plans to enter the Colonel in dog shows. That will never happen, thanks to the Chicago police officer who shot the dog while writing out a parking ticket. That family has now filed a lawsuit against the department.

Perhaps with this latest incident, police will think twice about shooting a dog. It will be interesting to learn more details on this officer shooting officer accident. Mainly about whether the dog was truly a danger or another case of the magic threefold pattern that allows officers to shoot family dogs.

Death by dog

Dacono, Colorado police shoot service dog

An internal police investigation is being conducted after a Dacono, Colorado police officer shot a 3-year old service dog on May 5. Witnesses to the shooting say the shooting was unnecessary, and the family is demanding answers as their family dog recovers from a gunshot wound to the test.
Mongo, a pit bull belonging to Iraq was veteran James Vester, got loose Sunday evening as Vester was doing some work in his yard on MacDonald Street. Mongo is a certified emotional service dog given to James to help alleviate PTSD after returning from the war.
A neighbor called police after Mongo escaped and came to her fence and started barking at her dogs. Since animal control officers are typically off on the weekend, two Dacono Police Department officers took the call. Those police officers have a very different story to tell than neighbors who witnessed the shooting.
According to officers, the dog became aggressive, barking and lunging at the officers. That's when officers fired one shot at Mongo, hitting him in the chest with a .45 caliber weapon. Police reported the dog as growling until they shouted and aimed a flashlight at it. After the dog was shot, police say they followed a trail of blood back to the owners home, where the dog allegedly lunged at them again.
Neighbor Heather Viera witnessed the shooting and said Mongo didn't bark, didn't growl and didn't lunge. In an interview to KDVR News, Heather stated “There was no noise at first, I just heard the gunshot — then the dog started crying,” Police ordered her to go in her house.
Another neighbor, Jenny Stevens backed up Heather's statement “There was no barking. It was dead silent — There was not a bark, there wasn't a growl,” said Stevens. “The cop did not say stop to the dog, the cop didn't yell anything.”
Dacono Police Chief Matthew B. Skaggs told KDVR that the police have their own witnesses, who claim the officer's were justified in shooting the family dog. The officer hasn't been placed on any kind of leave while the investigation takes place. It will take approximately two weeks before the police announce whether the officer did or didn't have the right to shoot Mongo.
Right now James Vester, who witnessed horrific events during his time in Iraq, is now dealing with the post traumatic stress of watching his best friend get shot when other non-lethal methods were available.
This shooting occurred on the heels of the Dog Protection Act being passed in Colorado, which will require police officer's to undergo training on dog behavior.
Mongo is in stable condition and expected to survive the shooting.

Case involving police officer who shot, killed man's dog in LaGrange, Mo., settled

ST. LOUIS • A federal case involving a LaGrange, Mo., police officer who fatally shot a man's dog has settled in the plaintiff's favor for $50,000, the man's attorney said.
The case was set for trial early next week and was settled last month.
In a suit filed in January 2012 in federal court in St. Louis, Marcus Mays of LaGrange alleges a LaGrange police officer illegally seized his property — an 18-month-old American bulldog named Cammie — by shooting and killing it in March 2010. LaGrange is in Lewis County, about 145 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Mays' attorneys argued that the police officer's job was to capture the animal, not kill it, and that lethal force was unreasonable. They also accused the city of LaGrange of failing to train Officer Doug Howell in how to safely capture animals.

LaGrange man settles federal lawsuit against police officer who killed dog in 2010 shooting

LaGRANGE, Mo. -- A LaGrange man who filed a federal lawsuit against a LaGrange police officer who fatally shot his dog has settled the case just before it was to head to trial.
St. Louis-based attorney James Schottell Jr., who represented Marcus Mays of LaGrange, said the sides agreed to a $50,000 settlement. In January 2012, Mays filed a federal lawsuit against LaGrange police officer Doug Howell, Police Chief Dale McNelly and the city of LaGrange. Howell shot Mays' 1 1/2-year-old female American bulldog, Cammie, on March 31, 2010, as he responded to a dog-at-large call.
"I figured that as we got closer to trial that we would get a decent settlement," Schottell Jr. said. "You have the loss value of the dog. Even if he decided to breed it, it's a sizable settlement for the case. They probably doubled their offer since we started mediation."
The incident was captured on the dashboard camera of a police vehicle. It has been viewed more than 1.4 million times since it was posted in June 2010.
"The video was pretty compelling," Schottell said.
Mays was satisfied with the settlement.
"It's a shame that her life was taken so short," Mays said. "But I feel like justice has come out of this."
The settlement order was filed on April 15. Judge Jean C. Hamilton gave the sides 60 days to complete the necessary paperwork for dismissing the case.
Schottell Jr. said he planned to file the paperwork on Thursday.
Jeff Curl, who serves as the attorney for the city of LaGrange, deferred comment until after the case was officially dismissed. LaGrange's city administrator position is currently vacant and a person who answered the phone at City Hall declined comment.
The dog broke free from her chain about 7:30 a.m. on the day of the incident. Howell and fellow officer Jason Powell located the dog at the corner of Sixth and Buchanan. According to the incident report filed by Howell, the dog was tied up to the hitch of a trailer home in the area. Howell said he tried to put a collar around the dog, who then tried to flee. Howell said as he was trying to load the dog into the back of the truck that the dog "started acting aggressively."
"I began to start felling (sic) threatened by the dog due to its behavior," Howell wrote.
Howell said the asked Powell to call McNelly to ask him what to do about the situation. Howell tried to get a noose around the dog by using a snare pole. As he got the noose around the dog's head, the dog broke the chain.
"He was trying to bit (sic) and get away," Howell wrote.
When the dog settled down for a second, Howell drew his gun and fired a shot into the dog's shoulder.
"After a couple of seconds I observed the dog still alive," Howell wrote. "I fired another round into the dogs (sic) head."
Howell said he fired his first shot at 8:10 a.m. and the second a minute later.
On the video, Howell is shown putting a blanket over the dog after it had died.
During a deposition of Howell on Nov. 13, 2012, he said he was given no formal training on how to safely capture a dog at large. He said that he had never used a snare pole before the day of the incident. Howell testified that in addition to Powell calling McNelly, he also had called McNelly during the incident and asked for guidance. Howell said that McNelly told him to keep using the snare pole and to not get bit.
Howell said he shot the dog because he feared for his life.
"At the time I felt that it -- my -- that my life was in serious -- in serious threat," he said.
Howell admitted to killing the dog.
"After getting my bearings about me and what happened and being pretty upset, I didn't want the dog to have to suffer any more, so I shot another round into Cammie's head," he said. "(I wanted to make sure) that she couldn't feel any more pain."
In a separate deposition, McNelly denied ever speaking to Howell during the incident.
"My gut feeling is that McNelly told him to shoot the dog," Schottell Jr. said.
McNelly and the city of LaGrange were removed as co-defendants on Monday as part of the settlement agreement, Schottell Jr. said.
Howell is still employed as a LaGrange police officer.
Mays was fined $130 in June 2010 following the shooting incident for not registering his dog with the city of LaGrange and for failing to leash or muzzle a vicious dog.

Staten Island owners of dog shot by NYPD cop bite back

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The owners of a pit bull fatally shot by police earlier this month have filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer who pulled the trigger.
Patricia Ratz and her fiancé, Pat Gugliemo, who owned the luckless pit bull dropped by a police bullet in Travis' Schmul Park on April 6, brought suit Monday in federal court against New York City and NYPD Officer Julie Moschella.
"This was an entirely preventable tragedy," said the Travis couple's Manhattan attorney, Ronald L. Kuby, as he stood before a makeshift memorial for Baby Girl at the park's entrance.
Baby Girl lingered for five days before dying April 11 at a New Jersey veterinary practice, but not before medical procedures that generated a $17,000 bill.
The civil lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, seeks unspecified damages, including reimbursement for the veterinary bill and a change in NYPD policy when it comes to officers dealing with pets, notably dogs.
The lawsuit also calls for Officer Moschella's firing.
"No one should be carrying a badge and a gun who opens fire on a beautiful Saturday in a park in a residential area at a dog from a distance of 150 feet," Kuby said, adding that perhaps 10 bullets were shot at the animal in what he deemed a "mind-bogglingly reckless and irresponsible" action.
Kuby also said that, according to 2011 statistics, police fired weapons 36 times at people and 36 times at dogs.
"Twenty-four of those people had guns. In the 36 times police officers fired at dogs, none of the dogs had guns."
A major aim of the lawsuit, said Kuby, is to increase public awareness regarding dogs being considered as property.
"Under New York state law, dogs are considered to be mere property. They're not different than a six-pack of beer or a porch railing," he explained. "You're only entitled to replacement value of the property."
Kuby wants that changed to allow for emotional damages when a pet is killed.
"This will hopefully serve as a deterrent to other pet killers in the future."
On the day of the incident, Ms. Ratz and her sister brought their three pit bulls to the park. Two of the dogs -- neither of them Baby Girl -- began to fight. Ms. Ratz, in an attempt to break it up, stuck her hand between the two dogs and one of them bit her, prompting a police response.
Ms. Ratz and her sister said Officer Moschella and a plainclothes colleague arrived moments after the fight and opened fire on Baby Girl after she and Ms. Ratz' other dog, Bo, started and ran.
That's when cops fired upward of 10 shots at the dogs, hitting Baby Girl in the back as she ran off, the lawsuit says.
Police have said the incident is under investigation. The Daily News said Monday that Officer Moschella is still on active duty and fired seven times when the dog charged her.
NYPD sources have characterized it as a "cut-and-dried" instance of an officer's shooting an aggressive dog to protect the public.
All three dogs were off their leashes, those sources said, and the officers rushed to the scene because of Ms. Ratz's screams.