This is a story that unfolded on Facebook. It is told here through reposting parts of a comment thread. The disregard and unawareness of American Rights shown through this thread are repulsive. What is somewhat difficult to decide is: Which is more repulsive, the attitude of the police, or of the Citizen’s responding? It all starts with this News Report:
My response was in the form of an open letter:
What is the matter with you? This is still America. It is not yet Obama’s Communist Utopia where citizens have no rights.
We have the right to be secure in our persons and our homes; this extends to our property, which includes our yard, and those rights SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED by the Government or one of its Representatives. This means YOU!
We also have the right to not be deprived of Life, Liberty or Property without DUE Process of Law and not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Killing an animal is literally depriving the owner of his property, subjecting the owner to a cruel punishment and making everyone in the community feel significantly less secure in their homes.
Your ridiculous excuse of “Officer Safety” holds no water and carries no weight. Whether you are searching for a missing person, executing a warrant or doing a welfare check, when you come onto the property of a US Citizen, you are a guest! If you feel “threatened” by an animal owned by the property owner or that is present on the property, you have no right to kill it. You have every right to LEAVE and use one of the modern wonders of our society like the mobile phone, texting, email or a freaking megaphone to get the attention of the homeowner and ask them to secure their animal.
While we all want our Police Officers to be safe while performing their duties, shooting our animals; our pets, our extended family members is NOT one of those duties. Your warrant does not give you the right to discharge your weapon, without cause, simply because you “feel unsafe” due to your personal perceptions, fears, insecurities, prejudices, wild imagination, etc. If you are truly at risk or under attack by an animal, you have less than lethal options available to you. Failure to use these options results in creating an unsafe environment for everyone else.
Discharging your firearm in an urban location is against the law. You would immediately arrest me if I were to walk onto a stranger’s property and shoot an animal – especially if it was not in the process of attacking me. You are NOT above the law and ONLY a court can legally deny a citizen of their rights!
The public is getting sick and tired of your behavior and public sentiment is rapidly turning against Police Officers in general. This type of incident will only accelerate that turning of opinion and ironically does only one thing for you – fosters the creation of an unsafe working environment for you.
In short, quit acting like scared little children and Man Up. You’re an Officer of the Law – freaking ACT like it.
A US Veteran and prior Sheriff SAR Team Member
A perfectly fine observation followed:
To which I elaborated further:
Whether it was completely harmless or the most lethally trained attack dog in the world does not matter one bit.
This is about much, much more than just the dog.
The dog was lawfully present, the officer was not. The officer’s actions betray his underlying belief that we citizens do not have the right to keep anything he deems “threatening”. The extension of that belief is that we should somehow request permission and approval from the police in order to keep a dog. They are usurping and extending the authority to be the final judge in what is deemed threatening while their actions imply that we do not have the right to protect, defend or secure our home in the way we see fit. Finally, it shows an attitude of being judge and jury above the law – that wherever the officer is present, all must submit to his every wish regardless of law or authority.
The very fact that this officer took the actions that he did shows a deep rot in not just our government, but in our society itself in that this is so often tolerated and is becoming ‘normal’. It shows as much about ourselves as it does about the government that we select and empower to create, enforce and execute our laws.
Eventually, the Zombies began showing up:
Another guy tried to set Leslie straight:
So I tried to further educate and explain how this ties back to general policy:
Sean, if you don’t know and understand enough about communism to recognize a near perfect example of the implementation of the first plank of communism – then your evaluation on the matter amounts to little more than a demonstration of self-imposed partisan ignorance.
Rhetorically blathering your assessment of Obama’s direction for this country with absolutely zero substance or basis is an excellent projection of your preference for dogmatic blindness and an excellent example of the systemic ignorance that is ripping our country apart.
Leslie is fractionally correct in stating that this is a continuation of policy that Bush was a continuation of – but could not be more incorrect, ignorant or partisan in her denial that, as Cory stated, Obama owns where we are today.
This partisan focus on inconsequential minutae that represents what we fallaciously call “substantial policy change” while averting our eyes from the juggernaut of freedom destruction that rolls onward regardless of party, is the idiocy that will lead to our downfall and willful enslavement.
Those who excuse and ignore ongoing assaults on freedom while championing the abuser for some insignificant trifle are the greatest enemies of the future of our civilization.
More Zombies were wandering through:
More of a Zombie-Troll who can’t be bothered with reading before feeling justified in commenting:
Mike – my comment two above yours that I directed to Sean aptly applies to your vacuous ramblings as well. Your second comment clearly indicates that you were unable to make it past the first two sentences of my original post before your tolerance for thought was exhausted, leaving you to spew your mindless drivel for all to witness.
As for the Patriot Act, I remain as abhorred by it under Obama as I was under Bush. Give up with the exhausted straw-men of Obama justification; they have become absolutely cliche and are now only indicitave of extreme partisanship and a complete absense of original thought.
Then Julie swung by who bragged on her wall about her post, saying:
What was her insightful, comprehensive “comment back” that inspired such bravado on her wall?
Which just damaged my hope for the human race. I tried to gently show her ignorance:
Julie, This is about much more than the dog. A dog being shot in cold blood simply because someone was scared of it brings issues home for some people, issues that they would or have otherwise overlooked. You seem to have a cavalier attitude towards dogs, and that is fine. To comprehend the problem, try transferring the entire issue to something that you do care about. One other common issue lately is so-called “No-Knock Warrants”.
How would you feel if you were sitting peacefully in your home, having dinner with your family and suddenly the door blasted open and a squad of heavily armed people stormed in pointing full-auto rifles at you and your kids, screaming at them, forcing them to the ground and cuffing all of you before even speaking a civil word? Once they did begin talking, only then to realize that it was a lady down the street or across the way that they were after – and they had the wrong address?
They’re “just following orders” – they just made a stupid mistake and a horrible decision to abrogate your rights in order to pre-emptively mitigate a non-existent threat to their “safety” – in a situation that they chose to create.
Both the actual and the hypothetical situation stem from the same corruptly twisted root – the belief that citizen’s rights are not sacrosanct and immutable.
You, or anyone else, flippantly discarding rights; no matter the claimed importance or necessity, leaves them untenable. Once that corrupt erosion begins, it puts other rights at risk of falling victim to the same or other extended attacks.
Power is an insatiable lust and once one set of constraining walls are toppled, the next set inevitably come under the same, or more vehement, attack.
As a prior soldier and a prior member of my County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, I can tell you that orders are not infallible and officers are not devoid of discretion to refuse to follow them – especially when they involve violence or violating a citizen’s rights and particularly when they involve initiating violence.
Nowhere in this story is it reported that the officer was following orders. In fact, it says he acted out of fear when he went uninvited into someone’s backyard. Your assumption and subsequent attack and justification are based on the false premise that the officer was ordered to shoot the dog.
Furthermore, rights trump all. A police officer has no authority or basis to deprive a citizen of their rights without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. He most certainly does not have the authority to illegally trespass onto someone’s property without being able to show the government’s compelling interest for urgent, unauthorized access. The result of this officer having usurped that authority and subsequently failing to request the owner to restrain his lawfully present dog was that he shot the dog out of fear, thereby further depriving the citizen of his right to property – which makes the entire situation an even more egregious offense.
To your original question, I ask; at what point in this story was a human actually at risk? The dog did not attack the trespassing officer. So the answer is; at no point.
Unless you can present a cohesive argument with a factual basis for the rote abrogation of natural rights and full justification of unfettered police violation of those rights – give it a rest.
Due to numerous people thanking me for my efforts to precisely explain the danger this poses, I decided to repost it here so it doesn’t get buried so deeply on Facebook that it never see daylight again.
It helps me solidify my position when I explain them like this – and I hope it helps others to better understand theirs as well. If the conversation continues, I’ll post any worthwile updates here.
Here is some further reading on this that some of my friends posted: