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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/20/19

Don't Shoot the Dogs: The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs

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Watch: Outrage after cop shoots man's dog A community in Salt Lake City, Utah, is in an uproar after a police officer shot a family pet earlier this week. For more information please visit ...
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The absurd cruelties of the American police state keep reaching newer heights.

Consider that if you kill a police dog, you could face a longer prison sentence than if you'd murdered someone or abused a child.

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If a cop kills your dog, however, there will be little to no consequences for that officer.

Not even a slap on the wrist.

In this, as in so many instances of official misconduct by government officials, the courts have ruled that the cops have qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that incentivizes government officials to engage in lawless behavior without fear of repercussions.

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This is the heartless, heartbreaking, hypocritical injustice that passes for law and order in America today.

It is estimated that a dog is shot by a police officer "every 98 minutes."

The Department of Justice estimates that at least 25 dogs are killed by police every day.

The Puppycide Database Project estimates the number of dogs being killed by police to be closer to 500 dogs a day (which translates to 182,000 dogs a year).

In 1 out of 5 cases involving police shooting a family pet, a child was either in the police line of fire or in the immediate area of a shooting. For instance, a 4-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg after a police officer opened fire on a dog running towards him, missed and hit the little girl instead.

At a time when police are increasingly inclined to shoot first and ask questions later, it doesn't take much to provoke a cop into opening fire on an unarmed person guilty of doing nothing more than standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding somethinganythingthat police could misinterpret to be a weapon.

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All a cop has to do is cite an alleged "fear" for his safety.

As journalist Radley Balko points out, "In too much of policing today, officer safety has become the highest priority. It trumps the rights and safety of suspects. It trumps the rights and safety of bystanders. It's so important, in fact, that an officer's subjective fear of a minor wound from a dog bite is enough to justify using potentially lethal force."

The epidemic of cops shooting dogs takes this shameful behavior to a whole new level, though.

It doesn't take much for a cop to shoot a dog.

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John Whitehead Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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