Long Beach Dog Shooting

Another dog has been shot by a police officer, this time in Long Beach. However this time there’s a first hand blog entry about what happened. Here’s the LBPD press release which says:

On Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at approximately 5:53 a.m., a detective conducting an investigation in the 900 block of Maine Avenue was involved in a shooting.

While the detective was entering his vehicle, a large unleashed dog charged towards him. The detective fearing for his safety fired his service weapon at the dog and struck it. The dog was taken to an animal hospital where it was treated and is expected to survive.

And here’s a snip the blog entry, written by one of the dog’s owners, which tells a very different story:

JDD.JPGJennie and Bazoo were playing fetch at 6 AM in Drake Park. Bazoo had just chased down her favorite ball. An unknown LBPD Officer stepped out from behind a car and crossed her path. Bazoo stopped to look at him, curious, ball in her mouth. Then the Officer pulled his gun and shot her in the head. Bazoo went down. Officer never issued a word of warning. He didn’t say stop. He didn’t tell Bazoo no. He didn’t even look at her owner standing 20 feet away. He just pulled his gun and opened fire.

Of course, the Unknown Officer claims Bazoo “attacked” or “charged” him. I’d really like to know just how, exactly, a dog attacks with a tennis ball in its mouth? It can’t bite. And just how does a dog show aggression with a ball in its mouth? It can’t growl or even bare its teeth. If the officer had noticed any of these things, he would have seen Bazoo was not charging anything but her ball. She was playing fetch and she was stopped when he pulled the trigger.

Despite these obvious facts, The Unknown Officer shot Bazoo anyway. To make matters worse, the first shot wasn’t enough for him. Jennie screamed and pleaded for him to stop. She told him the dog wouldn’t hurt him. He told her to stand back and then he shot Bazoo again on the ground. Apparently he felt that a dog shot in the head and bleeding on the ground with a ball in its mouth was still in “attack mode” or “charging”.

The entry goes on and on and is really quite heart wrenching. Again there’s reports that the police oficers wouldn’t let the owners call for help and let the wounded dog lay there bleeding for quite some time. There’s also a detailed report of what happened at the police station immediately afterwards. The post ends with this:

Since the time of the incident, myself and one of my lawyers have made numerous requests for police reports, badge numbers, and names of the officer/officers involved in the incident. As of this writing, not one document, name, or badge number has been provided. My phone calls have not been answered and messages have not been returned.

Despite the fact that no information has been given to us, Long Beach PD saw fit to provide a patently false, self-serving account of the story to The Press Telegram that ran in yesterday’s paper. The refusal of Long Beach PD to provide any information about the incident has prevented us from filing this complaint and speaking to the paper ourselves. LBPD is trying to control the information to manipulate public opinion and escape liability.

There’s also more info in the comments and the owner has added the names and numbers of all the officers they have contacted for information and this bit:

You should also know that we have found two impartial, third party witnesses to the shooting. Both of them will testify that Bazoo was playing fetch when LBPD shot her and that she never posed a threat. Furthermore, both of these witnesses already gave their statements to LBPD. Now we we know without a doubt that LBPD knew the truth on Wednesday morning and are trying desperately to cover it up.

This is all very depressing. I’m wondering, is there an official policy at the LBPD (or LAPD for that matter) about when and how to shoot dogs? I’m also curious if the owners claimes are backed up by whitnesses and found to be accurate, will any charges be brought against the LBPD?

22 Replies to “Long Beach Dog Shooting”

  1. This is an important issue that needs to be brought before the people. I called the Long Beach police chief and left him a voicemail, and I also left a voicemail with the writer for the LA Times. As a dog-liver-wither, this totally sucks. We have to change the way police officers are trained to deal with animals.

    Stu
    [email protected]

  2. Many thanks Blogging LA for posting about this!! We have just posted media contacts for people to call…JP & Jennie’s best chance is getting some news coverage on this to pressure the police to respond. Also, people are volunteering to donate to a lawyer fund to help them file suit…we’ll keep you posted that as well.
    Stu, thank you so much for your help!! Everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated.

  3. No sympathy at all here. The dog should have been leashed. How long does it take a dog to drop a tennis ball and charge you? Long Beach has the Dog Zone at Belmont Shore if you want to play catch. Otherwise leash it or get a cat.

  4. The only conclusion I come to for Stephen Hannon’s heartlessness is that he MUST be a cop.

  5. While this is a heart-wrenching story, the realist in me finds it hard to swallow that a cop pulled his weapon and fired on a dog in front of witnesses in broad daylight if he had no fear of being attacked. Even in the time it takes to draw a weapon he could have stopped if the dog truly made no menacing motions.

  6. Dear Stephen,

    I’m suprised it took so long for a such a hard nosed law and order type like yourself to be heard on this issue. Your comments truly do a lot to highlight the significance of this case and the problems we face in dealing with it.

    I too am for law and order. I understand and respect the fact that police have a difficult job and that laws are there to keep us all safe. That being said, there’s a common phrase that highlights the problem with your view in this situation:

    “The Punishment Should Fit The Crime.”

    Have you ever heard this phrase, Stephen? Did it even occur to you before you posted or did you just knee-jerk like the cop that shot Bazoo and blurt out the first thing that popped into your head?

    There are laws in California that detail how of-leash dogs should be dealt with. None of them mandate, suggest, advocate, or require the use of deadly force. They all dictate that deadly force is an absolute last resort. Maybe you should read them. Forward your email and I’ll send them to you, okay?

    I can only conclude that in Stephen’s law and order world it’s okay for police to enforce some laws but break others as Stephen sees fit. I suppose, if we were to follow his perverse logic, it would be okay for cops to roll through the city shooting every dog they see off leash. No sympathy, right? The dog’s off leash. Blow it away.

    It’s a good thing we don’t live in Stephen’s world.

    And Stepehen, thanks for writing in. You really shed a lot of light on this.

    Sincerely,

    JP Donahue

  7. Hey Clancy,

    I read your comments and I understand where you’re coming from. The facts of this case are so offensive they’re hard to believe. We have no idea whether the Police did this intentionally and with malice or by a tragic mistake. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Cop wasn’t a bad guy and give him the benefit of the doubt:

    Bazoo was playing fetch, the officer failed to properly assess the situation, didn’t see Jenny or the ball in the dog’s mouth, mistakenly assumed it was running at him, and opened fire.

    Even if this is true, the absolute failure to correctly asses the situation and the lack of good judgement is not acceptable. Moreover, the use of deadly force is inexcusable. Yesterday it was Bazoo. Tomorrow it’s some kid with cell phone.

    Best,

    JP Donahue

  8. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means. I don’t think that all cops get their jollies shooting dogs in the head at will. However, anybody not living in a cave knows that this happens all the time! It needs to be examined and something needs to change! I’m sure there are certain situations where it may be necessary for a cop to shoot a dog if he is being attacked or prevented from saving someone’s life etc. But there is no question that these guys are way too trigger happy out there. It’s really easy to say “no sympathy at all here” until its your dog, or worse! Damn, if you don’t believe me, just ask Devin Brown’s family.

    Stephen’s probably not even a dog person anyway. And I have problems trusting those folk.

  9. Typical LB Cowboy Cops approach. I grew up in Chicago, whose boys in blue are known to be a bit hostile, but Long Beach’s “finest” seem to be beligerant toward anyone who questions them, no matter the situation. Too bad the PT is owned by company that doesn’t care about anything but money. If the paper had any spine left, they’d take a long look at the LBPD’s records on use of force.

    Glad the dog lived and I hope Bazoo recovers completely.

  10. UP

    NBC’s Chanel 4 News has picked up this story. It will be on tonight at 6PM. Hope you all get a chance to watch. Especially you, Stephen.

    Thanks to all,

    JP Donahue

  11. Its official. I hate bloggers. I have tried too many times to use blogs as a source of info, but alas, this one like most others, is simply another forum created by ranters and babblers, conspiracy theorists and self-proclaimed victims. Seriously, you should listen to the crap you are slinging. I mean, holy crap, the dog was off her leash. Rules are made for a reason and this is another glaring example of someone who believes the rules apply to everyone but them. Why in God’s name would anyone allow a one hundred pound dog to run off a leash in an open park is beyond me. No matter how lovable a dog is at home, IT’S STILL A DOG! I’ve been attacked and bitten by dogs on a three occasions and the funny thing was that all three owners told me, “Gee my dog has never done that before. He’s usually very friendly.”

    And that crap that “The Punishment Should Fit the Crime…” By Zues’ beard, the dog wasn’t shot for punishment. From what I read, the punishment was the ticket given to the owner. The shooting, on the other hand, was a tragic result that came about because of an irresponsible dog owner. The only sad part in this is the poor dog who had to suffer for her owner’s mistakes. It’s too bad the dog can’t sue the onwer. You should spend more time taking care of the dog and less time blogging.

  12. “By Zues’ [sic] beard?” Hajey man… that has to be the funniest thing I’ve heard since “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.” I wanna party with you dude but fuck, I’m too busy blogging!

  13. Hejeet,

    Let me break it down for you in simple terms you may be able to understand. Bazoo never charged, therefor, her shooting was unjustified. Get it yet? No?

    Maybe an example will help:

    What you’re saying is no different than saying it’s okay for a cop to shoot a person doing 65 in a 55 because speeding is illegal and may pose a threat to public safety.

    I can almost hear you now. “By Zeus’s beard he was speeding, he deserved to get shot”.

    Get it yet?

    JP

  14. Regardless of how you feel about the shooting (personally, I think the cop’s a fucking idiot and deserves any crap that is thrown his way), it doesn’t change the fact that the LBPD is abusing its power in an attempt to avoid public embarrassment, not to mention ignoring its duty to serve the public. Someone who can’t own up to his mistakes does not deserve any sympathy.

    BTW, what kind of dog was Bazoo? Do people automatically think big dog = dangerous, without any thought about breed and temperament? I know it can be hard to recognize breeding when a dog isn’t purebred, but still.

    What did NBC news say? I only caught the end of it, something about contacting City Council, and the LBPD considering a seriously wounded dog “damaged property”…?

  15. Thanks for your comments and concern. We totally agree on the police conduct issue. But we also want people to understand that it’s not okay to shoot dogs because they’re off leash.

    We think Bazoo is a mastiff mix of some kind but who knows. She may have some lab, rott, bloodhound, ridgeback…we’ve heard it all.

    The NBC report was outstanding. They made sure to cover the important issues of poor judgement and excessive use of force and showed the extent of Bazoo’s gunshot wounds.

    They also shot the sequence in our home and kept the camera on our dogs throughout. Anyone who watched could see they were totally chilled out and friendly even though an unfamilair reporter and crew were in their home.

    It should now be clear to all that Bazoo is not the sort of dog to charge into gunfire and keep charging once she is hit as LBPD claims. My God. I have to repeat this because it is so insane. The Cops say Bazoo charged into the face of gunfire and kept charging when she was hit.

    Who could possibly believe this after watching her on TV? No one with two good eyes and half a brain. We will prevail. This can not stand.

    Best,

    JP Donahue and Jennie Ullrich

  16. “I’ve been attacked and bitten by dogs on a three occasions”,

    Finally, proof that animals can sense evil.

  17. Thank you for “breaking it down” for me. Please use smaller words next time as I realize that I, or anyone else who disagrees with you, are only feeble mindeed souls who can only aspire to be as mentally gifted as you. As far as your breakdown goes, in your reply, three things: 1. your comparison is weak at best…your saying that the cop would shoot at someone who was simply speeding. I’m saying the cop would shoot at a someone who was driving right AT the cop, whether speeding or not. 2) How did the dog get shot in the top of the face with a downward bullet as you pointed out in the news if dog wasn’t running at the officer? How far was the dog from the officer when he was shot? What I’ve read so far doesn’t support your claims. 3) How far were you standing from the dog and the cop when the dog was shot? I thought I read that you weren’t there, but you talk as if you in the middle of it all. Did you see it or are you getting second hand information? Okay, break it down now….

  18. Here goes, Hajeet. The breakdown…for the last time. I really hope you get it. Honest.

    1. The dog never charged the officer. Let me repeat that since you seem to miss it every time. THE DOG NEVER CHARGED THE OFFICER. THE DOG WAS PLAYING FETCH. Got it? Now follow me here because this is where it gets a little tricky. Because the dog was playing fetch, not charging, there was no reason to shoot the dog. Moreover, because the dog was not charging, your example of driving a car at the officer totally misses the mark. Moreover, even if the Officer somehow confused fetch with charging, deadly force SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT.

    2. When the dog got shot in the head, the bullet was fired from the left of the dog, not head on, and therefore was deflected off the skull and travelled around to exit to the right. This path proves Bazoo was not running at the officer. Moreover, it was not a close range wound. He was about 10 feet away when he fired. Finally, it was a downward bullet because officer who shot her stands almost four feet taller than her. A little known fact about dogs – they walk on all fours so they’re shorter than us.

    3. You are correct on this count. I was not there. I have, however, gone over my girlfriend’s written statement, interviewed impartial, third party witnesses who corroberated her story and provided signed statements, been to the crime scene and reviewed the facts on the scene, and discussed LBPD’s version of the story with them. What does that mean, Hajeet? It means I know far more about this case and speak with a vastly greater grasp of the facts than you ever will. You read a blog. You watched TV. Maybe you read the paper. And yet you think you’re competent to comment? Do me a favor. Before you watse my time with another entry, pull your head out and think it through. Were those words small enough, Hajeet?

    JP

  19. Hey, no problem. I’m sorry about your ordeal. My father has written to the City of Burbank regarding similar incidents that he read about in the local paper. We’re both disgusted by the apparent lack of self-control and abuse of power these a-holes have been showing. Not to mention that I love dogs and wish I still had one. Good luck, and I’ll help in any way I can. E-mail me anytime.

  20. I stumbled upon this blog this morning at work while reading news about my home town of LB, and unfortunately I’m a month behind later than the last entry, but I realized something, You guys need to get off your a$$ and do something with your lives instead of sitting in front your PC with a thesaurus making yourselves sound intelligent. I agree with most of you on this issue, but the petty arguing back and forth like elderly woman is just sad. Get out and do something if you feel so strongly about this issue. I myself, unfortunately cannot tell you what to do with your time, but seriously, if your going to try and make a difference, being a faceless entry in a blog is not the way to do it.

    To all of you that may actually have made an effort and done something about this, good job.

  21. I wont say who I am because I am that afraid of LBPD. I have other pending problems that their investigating. I can’t afford to be on any more of their lists. I wish I could find out the officer’s name who shot your dog (I’m sorry). I want to know if it the same officer that shot me with a rifle size tazer repeatedly over ten times at extremely close range. I’m an average size female in my 40’s. Not on drugs. Not under the influence of alcohol. Not aggressive. It was 100% unprovoked. In fact I was shot when I was sent into motion from a still position that I had been in since the officer’s arrival and only moved to carry out the very clear instructions given to me by another officer who was standing next to him. He lied on the use of force report, of course. I had to go to the hospital. I wanted to do something but am afraid of mafia like tactics by LBPD and all they do is lie. I was issued a subpeona as a witness twice for court cases with police involved and both times I sat there and listed to them lie, undisturbed in the least about why testimony occurs in court rooms. They would not even have had serious consequences if they told the truth, only the defendant’s charges would have been dropped,. . .maybe. A friend I have who is now retired from LBPD used to call testifying “testilying” whenever it involved a LBPD officer’s testimony. I don’t know how you fight it. If the same officer is a quick trigger too many times it would have to have some bearing on his job performance. I wonder why just the officer who shot me gave his recount on the use of force report for my incident and not the other officers who were witnesses? Did the officer who shot your dog have a partner? Did his partner draw his firearm in response to the oncoming threat?

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