Thursday, October 22, 2015

Black Florida cop shoots dead dog charging at him

I am no defender of police misbehaviour and have covered cases where American police shoot dogs almost as a matter of routine.  But the video makes clear in this case that the cop made the only decision he reasonably could. The dog was a bull-Terrier type and charged straight at him as soon as the door opened.  The cop had only a split second to act so did what he needed to do to protect himself from attack.  The dog may only have wanted to jump up on him in a friendly greeting -- as dogs do -- but the cop wasn't to know that

A mother and daughter are inconsolable after their dog Duchess was shot in the head three times by a police officer - and all because she ran out the front door when he was conducting a routine house check.

Duchess, a 40-pound bull terrier mix, was killed even though she wasn't barking or being aggressive in any way, according to her owner, Gillian Palacios.

Palacios told Fox that on Tuesday morning, the police officer knocked on her door to say her car door had been left open.

She said that when she opened the front door of her house, her dog Duchess ran outside. Surveillance footage shows the officer fatally shooting the dog three times in the head.

The family, who were distraught after their loss, say that they were not in any trouble with the police and cannot understand why their pet was killed for simply running into the yard.

'Before I could even do anything, the officer had his gun out and shot her three times in the head,' Palacios said.

The officer, who has not been identified, has been put on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.

Palacios said the officer told her that her dog was 'charging after him' and that Animal Services would come by to pick up the animal.

'She was curious. She wasn’t barking (and) she wasn’t growling,' Palacios said in the video interview.

'There was no reason for him to think she was aggressive in any way.'

According to Palacio's Facebook, she works as a pet sitter and bookkeeper.

Photos show her and her daughter sobbing uncontrollably over their pet's body, just outside their front door.

Florida City police spokesman Officer Ken Armenteros defended the officer’s actions.

'We don’t have the luxury of hindsight,' he told WPLG. 'We have to use the information that is given to us in a split second. So, the officer has to make that decision with the information that he has available.'

The family said that Duchess was a rescue dog they had recently adopted from a nearby shelter.

A staff member at the animal shelter described Duchess as an extremely loving and docile dog - and said that when people see pit bulls or dogs that look like them they 'expect the worst' but they are actually wonderful dogs.

Original report here

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