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:
Jennie 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¬ís 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?