They Really Will Shoot Your Dog

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwSwvUaRqc[/youtube]

This video shows a search warrant served by the Columbia Mo. police department. The cops bust in this guys house in the middle of the night and shoot his two dogs (one a pit bull that was caged in the kitchen and the other a Corgi) with children in the home. it turns out that rather than a big time drug dealer, this guy had a small pipe with some resin in it, a grinder, and what the cops here call “a small amount of marijuana” (meaning less than a few grams).

Normally I think it’s hilarious when memes become a reality, but not in this case. People on the internet are always spouting off “hide your dog” when someone talks about something even slightly questionable.  There have been instances in the past where dogs actually have been shot.  I have not seen videos, so I can not say whether the dog was a threat or not and the same goes for this case.  You don’t actually see the dogs being shot.  If the pit bull was shot INSIDE of its cage (as the video description suggests), it was obviously not a threat. The shit is really going to hit the fan on this one.

What an outrageous abuse of power. Poor guy… nothing can bring back his dogs :(

In police departments, is there usually someone filming when a warrant is served? Helmet cams I could see, but to send a guy in just as the camera man seems like a big risk if you are unsure what you are going to encounter.

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SPC Fish May 7, 2010 at 12:42 am

i honestly feel bad for this guy. he even started crying when he found out his dog was dead. i really hope he sues the department. dogs are one of the reasons that cops carry pepper spray. taser would have worked too. it almost sounds like they went in the wrong door with him saying, “what did i do?”

that way way excessive and i even had my jaw drop when i heard the dog yelp. there is something called a fire extinguisher and one spray at a dog and it wont bother you ever again

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 12:06 am

ugh yea that is painful to hear the dog yelping and multiple shots go off. :(

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Seriously June 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Sounds like they administered a coup de grace to the dog as well.

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Raph84 May 7, 2010 at 08:01 am

That’s why these night raids so common with narcotics warrants do not make sense. Your average dealer keeps odd hours anyway…your more likely to catch them asleep between 9 and 5 than at night.

These night raids are also where you see 92 year old women get shot to death because the cops went to the wrong house.

While this was a knock and announce raid, it has essentially become no different from a no knock in that officers knock announce wait a moment (though the courts have stated they have to wait 15-20 seconds) and then smash through your door. In the video you see they waited less than 8 seconds after the announce before that door was off the hinges

Sadly this is what happens when every city and municipality has high risk entry/swat teams. They spend the training funds and want to see results whether there are high risk warrants to be served or not. So situations where in the past 2 uniforms and a detective would have went to the door and knocked you now instead have Captain Ninja and the Itchy Trigger Fingers kicking down doors and shooting anything that moves

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6344

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

Thank god video recordings are there to try to keep them inline, or else at least smack them down when they fail to obey their own rules.

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Paladin May 7, 2010 at 09:49 am

There’s times when swat style tactics are called for… but it sure seems like we are seeing this sort of overblown, ridiculous response more and more often hear lately. I think it takes a special type of person to be a Policeman. Unfortunately, though, the job also sometimes attracts the wrong kinds of people.

You saw my post on the Pit Bull Extraction, and how one crazy dog in its own backyard led to 5 police officers chomping at the bit to shoot it. And that wasn’t even the tactical squad.

What really made me angry was all the big tough guys screaming at the lady and kid as they tried to get by in the hallway…. It sounded like one Cop finally snapped out of it and realized how fucking ridiculous that was and changed his tone toward the kid.

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 12:11 am

Damn I should have tied your pit bull video into this article as the “right” way to do it.

Do you know who would have been taping that? Do all entry teams have a member who records audio and video with them now?

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Josh May 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

I read a couple of news stories about this online that said the dog was not caged and acted aggressively toward police. In the video, the suspect says something about, “he was probably trying to play with you.” He doesn’t say anything to indicate that the dog would have been caged, so I think the video description that says it was is probably untrue. It may have been written falsely to try to garner more anti-police sentiment. At least one of the stories I read said that the warrant was issued based on information from multiple informants indicating that there was large amounts of drugs in the house, and that police were confident that there had been, at an earlier time, large amounts located inside the house.

Clearly, their information turned out to be incorrect in this case. I’m sure that police entering a house in that manner is going to elicit an aggressive response by a dog, especially a breed seemingly prone to aggression. I think police may have been justified in shooting the dog once they were in the house, but erred in executing a search warrant in this manner in the first place. Why not just wait until the daytime, when kids are at school, maybe the suspect would even be gone. Arrest the suspect away from the home and enter when no one is there.

Everybody realizes that there are times when people in law enforcement (and the military for that matter) get way too aggressive and look for any excuse to utilize their training in a real-world situation, and this looks to be one of those cases. Why arrest the guy and search quietly when you could kick in the door in the middle of the night? Which sounds like more fun?

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Raph84 May 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Pitbulls are dog aggressive. They have in the past been bread so that they would fight dogs/other animals, but to not be aggressive against the people who break the fight.

Pitbulls are no more likely to be human aggressive than any other bread and in fact are less likely to be human aggressive due to their years of selective breading

I agree with the rest though…a little recon would have gone a long way…I guess they spent all the P.D. budget on SWAT training instead.

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Josh May 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

From what I’ve read about it, you’re right, pitbulls aren’t necessarily any more likely to attack a human than any other breed. Maybe what I should have said is that they are naturally good at being aggressive, when they decide to be, in that they are powerful animals; probably more dangerous than most other breeds of dog. When they do turn aggressive it seems to frequently have devastating consequences.

Dog defenders always state that dogs (almost) always attack only when provoked, and that usually it is the result of an innocent action that is seen by the dog as aggressive. Certainly, we could expect the actions of the police to be perceived by the dog as aggressive, and to react with an aggressive manner.

I guess I would consider a pitbull to be more of a threat than most other dogs, that’s the point I should have clarified. I guess it’s no different than people. An angry martial arts expert, or professional boxer, might not be any more likely to be aggressive towards a person without justification, but an angry martial artist or boxer has more capability to do physical harm than your average angry person.

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 12:12 am

Maybe the dog that the suspect said was trying to play with the police was the Corgi?

I agree, the “fun” factor probably comes into play lots. “OOHHHHH We get to flex our muscle and use our new toys!”

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Will W May 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Wow this really chilled me and got me thinking. Mistakes happen all the time and if the police decided to execute a no knock warrant at my residence what would happen? I’m sorry but as a tax paying and law abiding citizen if men with guns were killing my pets and grabbing my wife and children I could see a severe escalation of force happen. Middle of the night and no knock warrants are an accident waiting to happen.

I really could honestly see myself getting shot and returning fire if this is the level of judgment some police units have. **notice I said some not all**

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Admin (Mike) May 8, 2010 at 12:14 am

I agree will… no knock warrants seem very risky for all parties involved.

Unless of course in places where guns are banned :P

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Josh G May 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Agreed … I’m wondering what’s going to happen when they run into Clint Eastwood from Grand Torino. M1 Garand with ball ammo shouldn’t have too much trouble with SWAT vests, I’ve got a feeling they’d topple like dominoes.

Makes ya look at M.I.A.’s new video Mike posted a little while back and say “OH SHIT!”.

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Aleksandr Mravinsky May 9, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Even more sad is that there is no authority behind these SWAT teams. The Constitution does not say that the federal government can regulate drugs, that’s why prohibition required a Constitutional amendment.

And, correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t there a part of the constitution that says that the government cannot keep a standing army? Wouldn’t paramilitary SWAT teams count?

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Josh May 9, 2010 at 01:58 pm

The Constitution does say that the government can regulate drugs – it’s called the Commerce Clause. The reason it required a constitutional amendment was that the courts had not yet interpreted the Commerce Clause in a manner that would allow Congress to regulate alcohol. (I think the struggles of the civil rights movement had a lot to do with interpreting the commerce clause to allow regulation of certain in-state commerce activities.)

As to the standing army. It appears to many that the intent of the framers was to prohibit, or at least severely limit any standing army (specifically a standing, federal army) in the United States; yet we currently have the U.S. Army. Article 1, Section 8 (Powers of Congress) limits the power of Congress to “raise and support armies,” but appropriations were limited to two years. That’s why current defense appropriations are for no longer than two years.

You’re not suggesting that the U.S. Army must be disbanded, are you? If that were to happen, police shooting your dog (because you’ve been identified as a drug dealer by informants) might be low on the list of things you’d have to worry about. (Let’s not forget that a law abiding citizen is EXTREMELY unlikely to be misidentified as a drug dealer.)

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Billy May 19, 2010 at 07:12 pm

Josh,

You say that like it’s an absolute which it is not…

From *shudder* Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

Art. 1, Sect. 8, Clause 3
“[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;”

Where in that statement does it say “within” several states? It says “among” (operative word). This is why it is often referred to as the Interstate Commerce Clause. Technically if a drug has not crossed state borders and is not a sufficient enough quantity to affect national prices the Feds should have zero authority/power over it.

The quote and paragraph just above the “Themes” section illustrates this point nicely.

Again, your interpretation is not as absolute as you say it is…it’s merely the current one in effect and is subject to change at pretty much any time.

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Josh May 19, 2010 at 07:59 pm

I didn’t mean to imply that it was anywhere near absolute. The Constitution is a framework to be interpreted. That is its beauty. But, the question was posed, where in the Constitution is the authority to regulate drugs. It is derived from the Commerce Clause. You’re right, that can change. But right now, that’s the authority. And there’s no guarantee that any particular crop of drugs is not going to cross state lines for sale elsewhere, so it’s probably not a stretch to imagine that illicit drugs should fall under the scope of the Commerce Clause. For the time being anyway.

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