Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cops, Guns, Dogs and Deer - Cops Seem To Always Shoot First, But...

The other night I came across an NBC LA Facebook piece on how a Hawthorne CA police officer shot and killed a man's dog while they were taking the man into custody.  It tore my heart out.

The official Hawthorne police department statement says that the dog's owner, Max, was a threat to the police officers.

Now it's a seriously sad scenario on many fronts.  The dog's owner already has a lawsuit against the cops and called the shooting an execution.  (meh.)  That doesn't help things.

In the events leading up to to tragic killing of the man's dog, (someone else was video taping and uploaded to YouTube), you can see a police action going on in the background, you can see Leon Rosby brazenly holding up his phone to tape the event.  (He claims to be protecting everyone's civil rights.  God, I wish he would shut up.)

But then you see the cops eyeballing him while he tapes the unfolding events, and come over to him, then arrests him.  From the video alone, it seems that the cops did not like him taping the events.  I did not see him do anything other than his taping events.

While arresting him, Rosby's 80 pound Rottweiler jumps out of Rosby's car and comes over to the fracas where Rosby is being arrested.  Whether the dog is being playful or protective, well, we'll never know.  Because while the HPD are restraining the man, another cop emptied four rounds into the dog, killing him.

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Animal Lovers DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS

I've watched the YouTube video.  And I don't care how morbidly curious you are, I RECOMMEND STAYING AWAY FROM WATCHING IT.  Please, don't.  I implore you... 

I watched the video and I was speechless.  Stunned, wordless, going on into the next day.  I ruined my sleep. My heart broken for and going out to the spirit of the poor dog who was lovingly trying to protect his owner from the "gang of bad humans" surrounding him.

And these bad humans (from the dog's perspective), the ones with guns, had options.  I have to say, there were so many different ways this could have been handled.

Walking up, a SIMPLE OBSERVATION by the cops could have ascertained that he had a dog and preventative measures could have been taken.

They could have waited a moment and asked the man to control or restrain the dog before taking him into custody or by letting him talk his dog down once the dog had jumped out of the car.

But no, they're going to head on over to the man who was brazenly filming them and take it from there.

And then they do what they normally do, and that is they step up, "take control," and respond to the ensuing events that unfold from their actions after that.

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Cops are taught to take control of situations and maintain control.  And that commandment alone is what makes them thoughtless, "alpha-male jock-strap a-holes" in any situation, no matter how simple. 

And how often do we hear about cops shooting animals in self-defense or for the safety of citizens?

Over the last few years here in the Bay Area, a few deer have been shot and killed to protect people from the dangers the deer presented

Because, well, you know, how deer are constantly adding human bodies to their tally of wanton destruction and death they cause.

Then there was the mountain lion they shot and killed here, because he was posing a threat. 

OK, that seemed reasonable, even if you try and ignore how they chased it into a corner and it was acting as any cornered human or animal might react.  The last time I cornered anything frightening, I just sat it out until it calmed down.  But that's me.  I'm funny that way.

In most animal shootings, the common thread was that they could not wait for the ONE state animal control officer who is carrying the necessary gear to subdue an animal.

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I did a quick Google search for dog shot (adding a "-hawthorne" to the search command to eliminate this latest event from the results) and gads, there are so many dog shootings.

But sadly, many of them could have been prevented or controlled if the dog owners took better control of the environment they kept their dogs in.  Not the cops, the dog's people.

Yet on occasion, you see where the cops or authorities, disregard dog warning signs, walk onto properties, and shoot the dog protecting their yard.
But mostly, it's the "dog owners" fault.

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This alpha-male mentality scares me

When cops arrive on a scene, they instantly have to take control, and when something does not comply, it's resolved to the best of their ability, within their acceptable environment.

My dog runs up to me and barks his bark to say hi!  He charges hard and fast (he's happy and excited) and then he flies by my while jumping waist high.

It's cute... to me. 

But I can see how disconcerting his "hi" can be to anyone who does not know him, or is by nature, afraid of dogs.

That's why I take bundles of precautions constantly to make sure that his seeing people or other dogs, is under a controlled scenario.  That's he's not surprised, and that he's aware.

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The Other Side of a Different Coin

Though I tear into how authorities "alpha-male jockstrap" their way into situations, they have their rules and procedures for very good reasons.

The ilk of our society, when under duress, or willingly looking for trouble, do need to be subdued and taken control of.  And if they're given the slightest leeway, will take advantage of those situations.

Cops can't be kind in those situations and are taught to not give them that opportunity.  This "take control" mode is a critical part to their getting through their day in one piece and going home at night.

As it was put to me during a ride-along once, "Do what you have to if you want to be home eating dinner tonight."

A police officer's job is a crazy job, and in the most harrowing times, we all admire and respect the end results.  Case in point, the capture the Boston bomber.  I had no issues what so ever with how they effected that capture.

(It's funny when the shoe changes hands... or something like that.)

The Other Side of This Different Coin!
And through it all, here's one thing I bet you might not have known...

It's that the Supreme Court says that police officers have no legal or constitutional duty to respond to any call, or protect any citizen.

Crazy, huh?

But what's crazier is how rare it is when they don't respond.  Keep that in mind next time crap hits the fan.

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That's my emotionally-sparked rant for the moment. 

Just great...  I work across the street from a police station. 

If anyone finds me face down and drooling in the grass, don't worry.  It's just the effects from being tazed!

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[pjmedia.com: the-police-have-no-obligation-to-protect-you]
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--Bruce
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce