SC Deputy’s Dashcam Records Dog Killing

The CBS affiliate in Augusta has posted dashcam video from an Aiken County deputy’s vehicle recorded in December 2013.  The dashcam recorded images and audio from the deputy’s response to a report of a loose, vicious dog.  I haven’t watched the video due to the violent nature of the subject matter apparently depicted.  But the transcription of the exchange between Deputy Miller and the unidentified Aiken Co ACO he requested assistance from is chilling.

The dog had been “corralled” by the deputy’s vehicle when the ACO arrived on scene and prepared to catch the dog with a chokepole:

“How you want to go about this?” the deputy says to the animal control officer. “Who’s doing the shooting? Me or you?”
[…]
Miller continued making comments about shooting the dog.

“I’m fixing to shoot that dog. I just want you to know that. I don’t play around with dogs,” he says to the animal control officer.

“If he attacks me, go ahead,” responds animal control.

“Oh, I’m going to light him up, Bo,” Miller says back.

“Just let me know before you start firing,” the animal control officer says.

“I won’t hit you,” says Miller.
[…]
Moments later, the dog’s owner comes out of her nearby home. She later told News 12 she wanted to get control of her dog.

“Go inside, ma’am!” says the deputy to the dog-owner. “I don’t need you in the background as I start shooting.”

The dashcam is apparently pointed away from the action and the deputy wrote in his report that the dog charged both his car and the ACO.  The exchange appears to indicate that the deputy’s intention was to shoot the dog – er, light him up – from the outset.  It’s unclear whether the ACO made any meaningful attempt to capture the dog with the pole.

Neighbor Malia Busbee told the station she’s still sick over the killing:

“It’s a sad situation,” she says. “I loved that dog, and I’m an animal lover. I can’t help it. My mother was, and I am too. And I loved her.”

Captain Eric Abdullah with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said the killing was justified. Deputy Miller has not been reprimanded.

Too many police officers seem to lack the tools needed to handle dangerous dog situations in a non-violent manner.  Even when they receive assistance from trained ACOs, police sometimes seem to rely on a “shoot first” policy in response to dogs.  If there is any investigation into the killing, it’s the police department investigating itself.  In this case, the captain issued the all-clear without any investigation.  The police are failing to police themselves in far too many cases where their four legged victims pay the ultimate price.  How many more pets must be shot to death by police before meaningful change is demanded by taxpayers?

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

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19 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  January 5, 2014

    For far too many of them, “shoot first” seems to be SOP. And for a few, there seems to be a sort of delight in the idea of shooting a dog.

    I know that there will come a time when administrative oversight takes this kind of propensity to violence more seriously in our law enforcement officers, but sadly, that time is not now.

    Reply
  2. Keturah Wylemski

     /  January 5, 2014

    My husband is a Sheriff’s Deputy as well as his regular job. He saves animals, even turtles. This hurts my heart and angers me at the assholes in LE that do this. And no,,my husband has not been privy to anything like this ,nor would he stand by and not intervene.

    Reply
  3. Anne Thomas

     /  January 5, 2014

    It’s ashame the owner’s house wasn’t close enough for her to run over and put her arms around her dog. The police officer wouldn’t have shot then, or would he? What a horribly cruel thing for him to do, shooting that poor dog when there were better ways to handle the situation.

    Reply
  4. That does seem to be a common mentality. I live in the country, and several years ago, I had a neighbor who would not keep his wandering randy billy goat at home. The billy kept coming over to my place, butting his head on my granddaughter’s pony’s legs, rubbing and bowing the fencing, peeing on the hay (that was out for the horses), and he even challenged me in that rear and head nod thing they do. The neighbor said it was my problem to make the goat leave, but I called the sheriff, and a deputy came out and said he had a rifle in his car and offered to shoot the goat. Frankly, I was surprised, as I could have done that but found it distasteful. It was an irresponsible owner issue and the goat was just doing what billy goats do. We got the county sheriff involved and they spent a long while talking with the guy. He and his friends lassoed the goat and took it home and they relocated it. It’s really too bad that they didn’t neuter the goat when it was small, as a wether (neutered male goat) is usually pretty mild mannered and not nasty like the billies.

    Reply
  5. Karen F

     /  January 5, 2014

    It would surprise me if the officers involved in these shootings hadn’t shown problem behavior toward people, too, in the form of excessive force and other kinds of poor judgment.

    Also, I wonder why we’re seeing so many more reports of the shootings of family pets by law enforcement. Are there actually more shootings? Or is it that, as the so-called irresponsible public becomes more attached to animals and more likely to consider them family members, we’re becoming more sensitized, so more likely to complain about something that was already happening, and there are also more ways to bring these shootings to public attention? Or perhaps is there actually a rise in these kinds of killings at the very time people are least likely to accept them quietly?

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  January 5, 2014

      There was a Kickstarter campaign to fund the marketing of a documentary called ‘Puppycide’ about the fact that every (iirc) 100 minutes a dog is shot by cops in the US. Sadly, the campaign didn’t receive enough funds in time, so it’s been tabled for the foreseeable future.

      I think it would be fairly easy to show a correlation between members of LE who are quick to shoot animals and how those individuals don’t treat the humans they interact with with respect either, but I doubt the study would ever be allowed. I’m trying to phrase that as nicely as possible, because I know there are a lot of compassionate, smart people in LE who wouldn’t go straight for being a shithead, but sadly, the minority (the percentage of which is a growing number, I feel) are really making things awful for all the good ones.

      Reply
  6. That cop was planning on shooting the dog any way you look at it. He said so when he made this statement “I’m fixing to shoot that dog. I just want you to know that. I don’t play around with dogs,” He is an idiot with a gun and should be fired and made to go to the shelter and take care of the dogs. The owner wanted to get control of the dog and he told her to stay inside never gave her a chance.

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  January 5, 2014

      “He is an idiot with a gun and should be fired” – totally agree. “…and made to go to the shelter and take care of the dogs.” – totally disagree. A horrible example of a human being who obviously hates animals should never be allowed in a shelter. He should be fired and made to pick up trash on the highways. For a long time. During a horribly hot summer, with a boatload of humidity. And I’d hope he stepped on a fire ants’ nest at least once a week. And had such serious contact and reaction to poison ivy that he scratched himself raw, especially in the tender bits.

      Reply
  7. We need the second amendment to protect ourselves from animals like this deputy.

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  January 6, 2014

      Yeah, Jon, that’s the ticket! Use the second amendment and shoot the cop and watch how fast you get shot in return. You’re not smart.

      Reply
      • Contrary to the belief of some, the second amendment specifically addresses a well regulated, armed militia. It is not a license to randomly shoot people we don’t like.

  8. Tired of the phrase they don’t have the tools to deal with these situations??? really the only 2 tools I see they need is a brain and a heart…neither of which they seem to have or use. The person who wrote that they seem to derive some kind of delight is square on, these cops don’t care about our family dogs, it is a extremely violent end to a loved family member, it dangerous to shoot around children and its psychologically damaging to families to see such a violent act, and or be kept from intervening. Big trust issues are being widened between law enforcement and the public. police don’t deserve the publics trust.

    Reply
  9. vida

     /  January 6, 2014

    I think in some cases where the police plan to kill a dog for no reason the fact that they are loved family members is part of the ‘fun’ . Bullies are like that, bullies who know they are above the law get worse as they go along. I hate this situation, and I hate that the bad cops make it harder and more dangerous for the good, kind ones.

    Reply
  10. Reblogged this on "OUR WORLD".

    Reply
  11. What a crock! The police stand as one even though incorrect action is taken! They enjoy killing and they need to be fired! I hope the owner sues!

    Reply
  12. I really hate cops.

    Reply
  13. If it were my dog, I wouldn’t have left the scene no matter what that filthy POS said., I’d also have brought my own camera with me, or at least have had my son filming with it so that every word and deed that slimeball did and said would be there for the world to see.

    Cops get away with this all the time. When they do their own ‘investigations’ of themselves, they’re nothing more than a farce. They’re never held accountable and are above the law. Yes, they’re complete and total filth.

    Reply

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