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.)