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YoKoolAid's avatar

In the story of the Austin cop shooting the dog of an innocent man, did the cop approach the scene with a gun drawn or only as a result of the approaching dog?

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Was the dog black and wearing a hoodie?

GoldieAV16's avatar

That makes me sick. What a fucked up thing to do. I hope they take away that officer’s gun and put him behind a desk for life. Or better yet, reassign him to animal control.

jca's avatar

I didn’t watch the video because it would be upsetting but it’s not surprising that something like this occurred. I wouldn’t be surprised if things like this occurred more often than we know, more when video cams were not so prevalent, occurred more in the south with the pets of black people. Disgusting. I hope he is disciplined to the fullest extent.

@GoldieAV16: I would agree with you except for the part about the officer being assigned to animal control. I would feel sorry for any animals in his care.

funkdaddy's avatar

He had his gun drawn when he was approaching the owner, who he thought might be armed.

So he already had the gun out when he saw the dog and reacted with what was in his hand. Still horrible and unnecessary, hopefully something good comes of it.

GoldieAV16's avatar

@jca I bet he’s not a horrible guy. Just a guy who used horrible judgment. Take the gun away from him, and I bet he’s great with animals (of course I can’t know this). I think being around dogs every day would be a just consequence for taking a dog’s life without provocation. Surely you can’t shoot a dog just for barking at you, can you? Maybe if he thought he was “standing his ground”?

I feel sorry for the guy who lived there, even if the dog hadn’t been shot. How terrifying to be on your own property, doing nothing wrong, and be accosted by an armed officer? And treated like a criminal? “Hands in the air!” “Show me your ID!”

Is this REALLY how we want the law treating us? Really?

GladysMensch's avatar

I had a friend whose father was a police officer in Minneapolis. His father told me that he pulled his gun twice in his 25 years on the force. Both times, there was someone shooting at him. Nowadays it seems like cops pull their gun every damn shift.

funkdaddy's avatar

For what it’s worth, Austin had an officer killed two weeks ago when he was shot in a WalMart and another incident where a man went for an officers gun after being tazed and was shot. They happened essentially the same day about two weeks ago and the officer’s funeral was a big deal. Everyone is a little on edge I’m sure.

It doesn’t excuse this specifically, but I think it’s played a role and haven’t seen it mentioned in the national coverage.

flutherother's avatar

At 1:09 on the dashboard video it looks like the cop is going for his gun. My sympathies are usually with the police in these situations but he definitely acted far too aggressively.

wildpotato's avatar

The video link says it is no longer available.

It is very sad that this happened, and perhaps the officer overreacted – I don’t have experience to make that judgment. But think about it from the officer’s pov – a dog is coming at him, he is threatening the dog’s owner, and he has no idea if the dog is inclined to bite or not. I’d have tried punching the dog before shooting him, personally, but then again I wasn’t there.

And I have to say, some of the blame rests on the owner. My dog is well trained to obey commands like stop, sit, stay, and down, so I am fairly certain I could control her if I didn’t want her to run up and challenge someone threatening me. This is not to say I advocate an extreme position like declaring forfeit the lives of all non-perfectly trained dogs – just that this outcome could likely have been prevented if the dog had been well trained, and that training dogs is important to facilitate successful interactions between them and the human world.

I’d be interested in johnpennington’s input on this Q; hope he chimes in.

funkdaddy's avatar

@wildpotato – I wish you could see the video (still working for me right now, maybe try again).

The total time from “Show me your hands” (the first thing the officer says) to when the dog is shot is 3 seconds.

So you turn around, a police officer is in your yard, with a gun pointed at you. You don’t know why he’s there, you’re not doing anything wrong, and he starts yelling, it probably takes at least a few seconds to get your bearings and figure out what the hell just happened.

By that time the dog was already shot.

I don’t know if the dog would follow commands or not, I know the owner doesn’t yell anything before the dog is shot. There truly wasn’t time.

I don’t know if there’s a clean solution that would work for everyone. I feel bad that the officer for having a split second decision turn out so poorly, I feel bad for the dog, and I feel bad for the owner. I just don’t know if you can say the owner is to blame for any of it.

How exactly do you prepare for someone popping up at your house on a Saturday, gun drawn?

wildpotato's avatar

@funkdaddy I’ll try the link again when I’m back at my computer – it may not work as a mobile site.

I was judging based on the article, which says the dog was in the backyard and the guy was in the driveway when the cop suddenly appeared in the driveway, and the guy heard his dog coming their way. He had enough of his bearings, and enough time, between the realization that the dog was coming and what was likely to happen and the shot being fired to yell at the cop to not shoot his dog, and that the dog wouldn’t bite. In the same situation, I’d direct my yelling at my dog to stop her, and not at the guy who has every reason to shoot my dog if I can’t stop her immediately – dog will listen; cop may – and as it turns out, did – not.

jca's avatar

Thank God for video. Descriptions are often not accurate.

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