According to the US Department of Justice, police in the US shoot and kill somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 dogs each year. A staggering number, to be sure, and no doubt justified by officer claims of feeling threatened, feeling unsafe, being attacked, and so on – often on private property.
This trigger happy tradition might be coming to an end, however, after a devastating Maryland verdict (for the police department and officer) this month.
In a groundbreaking verdict, a Maryland jury has decided that the police department whose officer shot and killed a meticulously trained, benign dog will pay restitution of 1.26 million dollars to the owner, for monetary value and mental anguish. With a flurry of news stories and settlements, along with massive public outrage, over the unsafe, unhealthy and psychopathic killing of dogs by what are apparently some of the world’s most cowardly and fear ridden police officers, this is a major win for any dog owner – and for every dog out there.
The murder of the Maryland dog uncovered a slew of falsified reports, lying under oath and other infractions and outright criminal conduct by the department and the officer in question, revealing what is undoubtedly a “thin blue line” and “blue privilege” code and tradition way of treating these things. An internal department investigation also cleared the officer initially, though the evidence to the contrary was overwhelming.
On the heels of this laudable verdict, we can only hope that the senseless behavior of what is apparently inherently violent and unstable police officers is curbed, and such individuals weeded out of the ranks.
Anne Arundel County officials declined to comment on the verdict.
Rodney Price is still an officer with the Anne Arundel Police Department.
Via photgraphyisnotacrime.com and capitalgazette.com