Thursday, September 25, 2008

It seems shooting someone's dog because it scares you

has a price. From the comments on the latest police/dog atrocity, it seems the PD is getting some rather, ah, pointed criticism. Some of it "How could he do that?" and a lot of "What kind of cretins ARE you?!?", and they're feeling the heat. As they damn well should. I mean, this has to be one of the finest examples of dumbass I've heard of in a while.

They get a report of an aggressive dog, and instead of handing it off to animal control, an officer goes out. Instead of taking a look and reporting to the ac people, moron in uniform takes his shotgun and goes to the fence. Dog, as dogs generally do when a stranger with a bad attitude comes to their territory, barked and growled at him. Whereupon Officer Moron shoots the dog. And then acts downright nasty toward the owner and anyone else who dared to question his actions. Whereupon(how often do I get to use that word? Let alone twice? In one post?) the Chief informs the public that the growling dog behind the fence made Officer Moron feel threatened and it's his right(the word Moron used) to shoot the dog. Is there any way a half-intelligent human could NOT expect to catch hell for this nonsense?

I can't decide if the chief was doing the reflexive "We can do no wrong" defense of Moron, or if he actually didn't understand that one of his subordinates had both acted unnecessarily and followed that by committing a truly stupid act. Either way, it was dumb. I mean, really dumb. As someone recently put it, if the police refuse to act as peace officers and pay attention to Sir Robert's Principles, then one of the tools the public can use is the budget: "Well, Chief, if things are so under control that Officer Moron can take time from his day to check out a dog in a yard and shoot it for barking at him, then obviously you don't need the whole of that budget and we can give the taxpayers a bit of a refund, can't we?", and if someone doesn't bring this up to the COP or the mayor I'll be surprised. Actually, it ought to be used a lot more often. "Commissioner, if the SWAT team is needed so little that they have time to go out kicking doors and shooting dogs on tips that haven't even been investigated, or where nobody could be bothered to check the phone book or something to make sure they had the right address, then we can cut the funding for it. After all, all that armor and all those weapons and the stylish masks cost an awful lot, and if they're not really needed..."

Was talking with my daughter about this(among other bullcrap that's been going on), and she said this:
Yeah. I'm so sad about that, too. My default setting on attitude towards police is respect, and while I will always treat officers with respect, it's starting to skew a little towards 'respect because I'm scared not to' instead of 'because you deserve it.' Which sucks. And has to make life so much harder for all of the good cops out there whose reputations are tarnished by the existance of people like the ones in all these stories.
This is from a girl who grew up around LE. When she has developed this attitude, LE has a big problem. And if LE doesn't deal with it, seriously and soon, it's going to get far worse.


BobG said...

People will always respect the police, but respect born out of trust is better than respect born out of fear.

Anonymous said...

Very wise words from your daughter, Firehand. I suspect that many, many law abiding citizens share her views.

LEO's need to start thinking seriously about their role in society and Sir Robert Peel's principles.

A good first move would be to ditch the paramilitary equipment and all reference by cops to "civilians".