Buffalo, NY — In their relentless and often violent pursuit to control what citizens can and cannot put in their bodies, the state leaves behind a trail of blood and suffering. As the Buffalo Police Department illustrated last week, this trail often contains the blood of defenseless animals.
Police incompetence coupled with deadly training came to a head last week and wreaked havoc on the residents of Buffalo. The Narcotics Division of the Buffalo Police Department executed a series of drug raids last week leading to a handful of arrests and the seizure of small quantities of drugs — mostly cannabis.
After the department released their heroic numbers to the press on how much dangerous cannabis was taken off the streets, they remained conveniently silent about the dogs they slaughtered along the way.
On Friday morning, Buffalo cops, in their search for a 170 lb 5’11” black male, raided the home of Michael Urban — a 5’11” 210 lb white male.
While police were ramming the innocent man’s face into his kitchen floor, Urban pleaded with them not to kill his dog. But it was to no avail.
Police took aim at the helpless dog who, according to Urban was simply standing there in a non-threatening manner. ‘Boom,’ one officer fired, but the bullet only injured Urban’s 18-month-old pit bull named Gotham, sending him running away frightened and crying.
As the dog is wailing in agony, another officer fires a round directly into the dog’s skull, exploding the innocent animal’s head. But, it gets worse.
Urban lives on the second floor of an apartment. When the second officer shot, that bullet went through the floor and almost killed the tenant downstairs.
“What just happened?” Urban recalls. “As the bullet hole went through the floor through the ceiling, as the dog’s blood is dripping through the downstairs apartment… who’s accountable?”
As Gotham’s blood drips from the bullet hole in Urban’s floor and out of the hole of Jami Krafchak’s ceiling in the apartment below, cops decided to go after her too.
After they nearly killed her, cops raided Krafchak’s home. She was manhandled, searched with no warrant, and humiliated as she stood there in her nightgown.
Neither Urban nor Krafchak were charged with a crime.
The night before the heroic cops of the Buffalo Narcotics Division killed an innocent man’s beloved pet, they raided the home of Cory and Cindy Meer.
According to Meer’s lawyer, Matthew Albert, Meer and his two-year-old son watched helplessly as jackboots murdered their beloved family dog, Damian, a six-year-old Pit Bull.
Meer tells Artvoice that his dog was not a threat to officers. “He is the most family friendly dog I’ve ever had… he’s never hurt anyone,” said Meer. “He would have licked the cops.”
Just like Urban, Meer lied face down as he begged the cops not to shoot Damian. Again, this was to no avail.
As Meer’s 2-year-old watched in horror, a cop blasted the family dog to death.
“My son lost his best friend right in front of him,” Meer said.
Also like Urban, Meer was not arrested. However, a friend at his house allegedly had a small amount of marijuana on him, so the raid was justified, according to police.
According to Meer’s attorney, he has 12 active cases of dogs being killed by the same squad.
“They are going to say they are going after dangerous drug dealers,” Albert said. “Out of the cases I have, they’ve hit the wrong houses numerous times, found nothing numerous times, and I think at best, they’ve found a few pills at one of these houses… charges I got dismissed because they were filed wrong.”
In 2014, the Free Thought Project reported on a Freedom of Information Act request for use of force incidents within the Buffalo police department. The information was shocking.
According to use of force reports, Buffalo Police shot 92 dogs from Jan. 1, 2011 through Sept. 2014. Seventy-three of those dogs died. Nineteen survived.
To provide a comparison, Buffalo’s numbers more than triple the amount of dog shooting incidents involving police in Cincinnati, a municipality of similar size.
“The numbers are what the numbers are,” Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said in an interview with WGRZ in 2014. “Certainly, no officer takes any satisfaction in having to dispatch a dog.”
Apparently, however, they do. It is not like Buffalo residents have more dogs than other parts of the country. This department seemingly takes satisfaction in killing people’s dogs.
When asked if the Buffalo police have undergone any special training in regards to dealing with dogs, or the handling of dogs in a non-lethal manner, Chief Richards said, “It has not come to that point in Buffalo that we’ve implemented any of those other techniques.”
Apparently killing a dog every other week, or two in a 12-hour period, is just dandy and they see no problem with it or reason to seek out training to deal with such a high rate of puppycide.
Something has to be done, however, and it is far more than just training. The most effective action that would need to be taken would be to drastically reduce the instance of no-knock search warrants. According to an ACLU report, 62 percent of SWAT raids are searches for drugs.
If we want to end puppycide, we have to end the drug war, the two are not mutually exclusive.