Police officers are paid with tax dollars to protect and to serve. They are held up as role models for children and supposed to lead by example as law abiding citizens. In many areas, law enforcement is in charge of animal control. Two troubling stories from this summer appear to show officers acting in a violent and cruel manner to kill pets who did not represent a threat. These are but two of many such stories – too many. No one has been charged in connection with either killing at the time of this post.
The War on Drugs Claims Another Victim: On July 9, members of the Garland, TX police department and SWAT team executed a no-knock warrant at a home where 3 people were watching television while an elderly mixed breed dog snoozed on the floor. Law enforcement officials reportedly busted down the door and shot the dog where he lay on the floor. The raid netted less than one ounce of marijuana. There is a comment below the story from someone posting as “jessicadpaxton”. The commenter claims to have been present in the home during the raid and that the dog did not die immediately after being shot. (Warning: Details may be too disturbing for sensitive readers.) The department is conducting the standard internal investigation which takes place whenever a firearm is discharged.
Injured Dog Tortured to Death by Police: Around 3 am on August 19, a Flagstaff, AZ police officer hit a dog who reportedly ran in front of his patrol car. The dog appeared to be seriously injured and the officer called his supervisor, Cpl. John Tewes, who went to the scene. Department policy dictates that a “mortally wounded” animal may be shot to relieve suffering at the discretion of the officer. The city has an ACO, an emergency vet clinic and a shelter willing to send staff out at any time to assist police in such circumstances. The shelter director says “that police dispatchers call the shelter regularly with reports of late-night injured animals.” Despite all these available options, Cpl. Tewes reportedly “bludgeoned, stomped and strangled” the injured dog over a prolonged period of time until the pet finally died. Cpl. Tewes’ attorney “said his client was not aware at the time of alternatives other than killing the animal in the field himself” and chose not to shoot the dog because it was a residential area.
If you click through to read the full story, be warned that the gruesome details of this dog’s killing are provided. One of the non-violent details of the story which is nonetheless disturbing:
A neighbor told the Daily Sun her husband came out while the officers were standing with the injured animal and told police where the dog lived. The officers told the witness he should go back into his home.
The Navajo County Attorney must determine whether cruelty charges are warranted in the case. Apparently, it’s something the attorney needs time to mull over.