Law enforcers in the United States have a strange fetish for gunning down family pets. This fetish has become so widespread that there’s a term for it, puppycide, and there’s adatabase that attempts to track incidents of it. Fortunately, the courts work as a check and balance against bad law enforcement behavior…
“The standard we set out today is that a police officer’s use of deadly force against a dog while executing a warrant to search a home for illegal drug activity is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when, given the totality of the circumstances and viewed from the perspective of an objectively reasonable officer, the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety,” Judge Eric Clay wrote in the court’s opinion.
In the case of the Browns’ two pit bulls, the imminent threat came from the dogs barking and moving around. One officer shot the first pit bull after he said it “had only moved a few inches” in a movement that he considered to be a “lunge.” The injured dog retreated to the basement, where the officer shot and killed it as well as the second dog while conducting a sweep of the residence.
Or, you know, the courts don’t act as a check and balance against law enforcement.
I often laugh when cop apologists use the phrase “totality of the circumstances” because of situations like this. In this case the dogs barked and moved a few inches so the officer shot it. It then retreated to the basement so the officer followed it down there and executed it along with another dog. How is a retreating dog an imminent threat given the “totality of the circumstances?” It’s not.
Once again I feel the need to point out that trust in law enforcement isn’t low because of propaganda by the mainstream media. It’s low because of situations, like this one, where officers obviously overstepped their bounds and weren’t reprimanded for it. When you have people in positions of authority constantly abusing that authority any trust the public has in those people quickly goes away.