T Nation

WHAT A SHOOT

I live about an hour from where this took place. I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you all about this. Everyone has their own opinion about what happened and this is a sensitive subject for some, so without opinions getting in the way, lets deal with the FACTS. The highway patrol was given information that there had been a robbery. They found the vehicle allegedly involved. They stopped the car believing a felony had been comitted. Two city officers responded to assist. Based upon the information they had, they ordered all occupants out of the car and handcuffed them. The In car camera from the lead Highway patrol car captures the incident on video. The officers were told that there was a dog in the car and asked to shut the door. They ignored that request. The dog came out of the car and circled off camera. The dog then could be seen coming back into frame slightly as one of the city officers pointed a shotgun at the dog while backing up. The officer fired, killing the dog. One officer. Not two. Based on what they knew, were the police justified in stopping the car and handcuffing the occupants? According to Police procedure and Supreme court rulings, Yes. The procedure is known as a felony stop and approach or High risk stop. Police are justified in initiating this stop when there is reason to believe a felony has been comitted. Second, should the officers have shut the door when asked? Again, procedure dictates exact measures to be taken when initiating a felony stop. These procedures cannot be deviated from for the safety of everyone involved. These are very dangerous situations for all involved. The occupants are ordered to place their hands within view, then they are ordered out one by one in a specific set of instructions. Once outside, they will be placed on the ground, handcuffed and searched before the next occupant comes out. Once everyone is out of the car, officers will approach and search the car ensuring no one else is hiding inside. The doors to the car are to be left OPEN. Lastly and ultimately, should the officer have shot Fido? I don’t know. In the same situation, I can say I personally, probably would not have. What isn’t right, however, is for us to sit back as Monday morning quarterbacks and criticise someone who, to the best of his knowledge is in the middle of a very hairy situation. Truthfully, the tape just doesn’t show enough of the dog to be able to interpret the animal’s intentions. To say the dog was running at the officer wanting to play is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Unless you are a pet psychic, lets not try to pretend we know what the dog was thinking. Or the officer for that matter. Was the officer a sick, sadistic bastard who hates dogs? maybe. Was he truly afraid for his life and jacked up on adrenaline thinking he had some serious criminals to deal with? Maybe. Who can say? This certainly was a bad situation, especially since, as it turned out, there had been no crime comitted. Assumptions were made by people who called the incident in and omissions and assumptions were apparently made by dispatchers as well. Lastly, FITONE: The why’d they have to shoot a guy 6 times discussion shows your ignorance of police procedures. I won’t even dignify that one with an explanation.