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Metro Police Officer Shoots Dog at Outdoor Festival

If you are attending a street festival in Washington D.C. with your friendly foster dog, the last thing you’d want to have happen is for your dog to get into a fight with someone else’s dog.  It’s likely that terrible dog noises, tangled leashes and localized chaos would ensue.  But if you are alert and act quickly to defuse the situation, you can likely get the dogs separated and each owner can get his dog under control once again.

This is apparently the gist of what happened yesterday at the Adams Morgan Day Festival in D.C.  Just as both owners were likely having a “Whew!” moment, Metro PD arrived on the scene.  The foster dog’s owner, via spokesman, says an officer knocked him off his dog, a Shar-Pei/Pitbull mix called Parrot, and then put a knee in the dog’s back and pulled his forelegs behind him “as one would do with an armed criminal”.  While this sounds bizarre to me, what the owner’s spokesman alleges happened next is truly alarming:

[T]he policeman grabbed Parrot, lifted him off the ground, and brought him to the top of the concrete staircase. He threw Parrot over the banister, down twelve steps, and onto the concrete floor. Then, the policeman stood at the top of the stairs, drew his weapon, and executed Parrot.

The Metro Police Chief had an early response to the event:

All I know is that there is one dog who was attacked by the pit bull and 3 people, including a K9 officer, that were bitten by the pit bull.

Obviously each side is painting a very different picture.  The owner is describing an unfortunate, but often manageable, situation where two leashed dogs get into a fight and then are subdued by the owners.  The police chief seems to be describing an out of control dog on a biting spree at a crowded street event that had to be shot to death for the safety of the public.

Regardless of which version of events is accurate, the one point seems indisputable:  the officer had Parrot completely under control when he had him pinned to the ground.  The second link above contains a link to a photograph of the officer and the subdued dog.  The officer could have reasonably done a few different things at that point including returning the dog to the owner or having AC remove the dog from the scene.  Shooting the dog to death is not a reasonable action to my mind in this sequence of events.

If the dog had bitten 3 people and was threatening the officer and charging toward him unrestrained by the owner, I could understand the officer fearing for his safety and using mace or a baton or taser on the dog (not a gun obviously, at a D.C. street fair!).  But clearly that was not the case here, as the photograph shows.  The dog was subdued and no threat to anyone.

I’ll be interested to see how this story develops and will post updates if I see any.

Thank you Susan R. for the link.

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