Monday, June 29, 2009

A cop shoots an innocent dog and lies his ass off about it

I'm not sure whether reading Balko's blog is a good thing or a bad thing for me; sure, it exposes me to all sorts of dumbass behavior from a variety of sources which always pleases my inner misanthropist, but at the same time it infuriates me to see just how fucking incompetent and/or cruel some of the assholes in charge of upholding the law can be.

Here's an example: a cop in Tennessee shot and killed a "pit-bull/bulldog-type dog" that, according to him, was charging at him in a "very aggressive manner" along with two other dogs, as the cop was busy chasing after two suspects who had apparently broken into a home. However, that's his version of the story – the version from several eyewitnesses to the incident are drastically different.

According to Deputy Chief David Quillin, the incident occurred about 7 p.m. while police were chasing two suspects in the area of Carrington Court.

Witnesses have told the Times-News that police told children playing outside to get back, as they were looking for two black males suspected of breaking into a nearby home.

Quillin told the Times-News that Officer Darrell Johnson stepped over a low wire fence on Derwood Court as he was running after a suspect. He then “encountered three pit bull/bulldog-type dogs.”

“Those dogs charged at him in a very aggressive manner,” Quillin said.

“(Johnson) tried to retreat, but he did not have that opportunity. They continued to charge at him in a very aggressive manner, and that’s when he was forced to fire. As a result, one of the pit bulls died.”

According to Quillin, there were other officers in the area at the time of the shooting, and he based his information on the officers’ statements and police reports.

“It certainly appears at that point that the officer was justified in his actions,” Quillin said.

Indeed, had things actually gone down that way, it would've been a tragic but necessary killing to defend the officer's life and safety. But apparently, it's not at all what actually happened:

Richie Hammonds, 1005 Derwood Court, No. 4, owned “Mace” for three years, since he was a puppy. Contrary to police, he says there were not three dogs in his back yard when Officer Johnson stepped over his fence, but only Mace. His other two dogs remained on the back porch.

And while Johnson’s report on the incident states he traveled about 20 feet into the fenced-in yard when he encountered the dogs, three witnesses have told the Times-News that he only placed one foot over the fence.

“He put his foot back outside the fence, pulled out his weapon and shot him,” said Jonathan Suit, Hammonds’ neighbor. “There wasn’t a noise made, the dog wasn’t running. It was just walking toward him.”

“The officer stepped over the fence,” said Amanda Bellamy, another of Hammonds’ neighbors. “Mace came out of his doghouse, was walking up to (Johnson) to smell him. The officer stepped back out of the fence, pulled his weapon and shot that dog. That dog would not have come out of that fence. It’s an electric fence. They’re scared to death of it. The dog walked up to him wagging his tail.”

“The dogs smell the juice and stay at least two feet back from it,” Hammonds said. “Mace was 10 feet away when (Officer Johnson) shot him.”

Naturally, I'm certainly enclined to believe the dog's actual owner and the other matching eyewitness accounts, rather than the cop, who's best justification for what he's done so far is ...

Hammonds claims that after the shooting, Johnson said “I hate pit bulls.”

Right. Just as Cheyenne Cherry hates cats. Makes you wonder who are the real beasts in these sorts of cases.

As it turns out, even his reasons he gave as to why he was there in the first place are apparently bullshit:

Another point of contention is that police say they were chasing a suspect.

“The cops were supposed to be chasing two black men who just robbed a place, and yet they didn’t even pursue the chase once they shot the dog,” said John Adams, landlord of the apartment complex.

“They weren’t chasing anybody,” said Suit. “They were just looking around. They weren’t after anybody. But to read the paper (police) made it sound like there was a guy in their sights they were running after. That’s not true. I was here; I saw the whole thing.”

Witnesses told the Times-News that police were called to the area to search for two black males. Quillin said the suspect Johnson was chasing was Hammonds’ neighbor, Joe Shupe, 27.

Shupe, a white male, was arrested and charged with resisting and evading arrest.

He can't even get his story straight. Fucking moron.

“If he was in pursuit of somebody, and the dog was going to try and bite him, he should have shot the dog and went on after who he was going after instead of standing there,” Hammonds said. “He stood there and said ‘The reason I shot him was because I hate pit bulls.’ That was his exact words. It took everything I had not to hit that guy.”

Mace, according to witnesses, was not dead after several minutes. Hammonds asked Johnson to “go ahead and finish him off,” putting the dog out of its misery.

“Three shots to the head, that’s ridiculous,” said Bellamy. “And then (police) let him lay there and suffer like that.”

It wasn't enough to kill the dog just because he hates pit bulls. Nah, he had to leave the poor animal there to suffer with three fucking bullets in its head before finally ending its life.

Hammonds says that it took all of his resolve not to hit the cop. I wouldn't have hit him either. I swear, I would've killed the bastard. And definitely have felt zero remorse about it.


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