Someone bumped me this across twitter and initially I thought it was SSCC material. The more I thought about it though it’s really hard to tell.
A Salem police officer shot and killed a pit bull dog as it attacked him Saturday, and a man who jumped into the middle of the attack also was struck, receiving a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the foot.
Now it is worth noting, they were evidently in a house talking with residents. It appears that this was their dog, it was not during the execution of a no-knock, however the officers were there searching for a wanted individual.
First let me note, don’t ever let the police into your house, even if you call them. Second of all, keep your animals away from the officers. It is difficult to tell if the officer was really being attacked. I have to say if I was attacked by a dog I wouldn’t just try and push it away. The dog is probably going to be injured from my kicking it and it will be followed shortly there after with a shot.
I don’t know of anyone who would just push a dog away when being “attacked”. Maybe the dog was wanting attention, who knows? But the owner then tried to intervene to protect the dog, obviously late to the party because he reacted as it went south.
My guess is the dog was hopping up and putting his paws on the officer, the officer drew his gun to shoot after pushing the dog away didn’t work, because you know that’s a serious threat right there. You know, so serious it’s worth discharging your firearm with other people present. When the owner saw the officer start to draw his gun he attempted to restrain the dog and the officer already having made the decision ended up shooting the dog as well as the owner.
The big issue here is how readily and quickly officers will descend to the use of lethal force, even against an animal when it’s most frequently unnecessary. It’s getting to the point where even lawful uses of force could be seen as yet another example of puppycide since it’s become so common.
The answer is to have officers use their heads. The problem is they’re never held accountable for their decisions so there’s no incentive to think prior to acting.
The quickest way to look at this is the fact that had this been any average citizen and not and officer, the would be arrested and probably jailed for their reckless actions. Bottom line is he wasn’t sure of his target and what’s beyond it, which in a dynamic scene like that is difficult. Either way though it is yet another indicator of problems in the system.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.