Hillsdale County, MI — As frequent readers of the Free Thought Project know, cops kill dogs — often. Cops kill so many dogs across the country that many of the shootings are caught on video and we’ve reported on countless videos over the years. In all the videos in which a dog is shot there is one underlying theme — the cop gets defensive and the dog’s owner(s) get angry and heartbroken.
In the following instance — in a scenario on which TFTP has never reported — the owner became so heartbroken and angry, that the cop felt threatened and defensive enough to kill him.
On April 28, 2021, Oscar Herrera, 32, opened his door to a Hillsdale County deputy outside his Reading Township, Mich. home. Within seconds of opening his door, his dog would be killed by the deputy. Less than 5 minutes after that, he would also be killed by the deputy.
According to police, the Hillsdale County deputy was there that day in response to a call about a loose dog. When the deputy arrived, however, the dog was inside Herrera’s house.
Police just released body camera footage of the incident which showed how quickly it unfolded. As soon as Herrera opened the door, his dog ran out and then jumped on up toward the officer. Anyone who has ever seen an excited dog knows they often jump on visitors but do not necessarily bite them.
When this dog jumped up at the deputy, however, it was shot four times.
Police claim the deputy tried to use pepper spray first. Video also shows that Herrera was trying to get ahold of his dog but the deputy demanded he “get back” before firing four rounds into the pit bull as it ran away and died in Herrera’s yard.
Had the deputy simply let Herrera grab his dog, no deaths would have occurred that day. But the deputy chose deadly force instead of letting a dog’s owner grab his own dog.
Then, instead of immediately apologizing to the man whose dog he just killed, the deputy escalated the situation by pulling out his taser and demanding Herrera “get on the ground!”
Remember, at this point, Herrera had committed no crime. The officer was simply investigating a report of a loose dog. There were no reports that the dog had bitten anyone and no laws had been broken.
Nevertheless, the deputy turned the situation into a chaotic one, screaming at Herrera and ordering him to obey his commands instead of simply apologizing. Only after the deputy had forced Herrera to the ground under threat of a taser for several minutes did the deputy utter the words “I’m sorry.”
But it was too late, Herrera had been worked into a rage by the deputy killing his dog and the deputy’s subsequent reaction. Herrera then made the poor decision to pull out a knife and walk toward the deputy.
Despite the fact that he had his taser in his hand, the deputy did not deploy the taser and instead pulled his gun and put five bullets in Herrera, killing him on the spot.
Naturally, Hillsdale County Sheriff Scott Hodshire is defending the use two time use of deadly force over a complaint about a loose dog, claiming that the officer “had to make it home to his family at night.”
“I think it was handled professionally,” said Hodshire. “Nobody wants to take a human life. Unfortunately, when the life of my deputy is threatened, he has to do what he has to do to go home to his family at night.”
What the sheriff fails to concede in his statement is that Herrera also has to do what he has to do to go home to his family. Had anyone but a cop knocked on Herrera’s door and killed his dog, Herrera would have been entirely justified in defending himself from the intruder. However, because that intruder wore a badge, Herrera is dead and his death ruled justified and his killed defined as “professional.”
But an attorney for Herrera’s family disagrees and pointed out how the deputy escalated the situation by barking commands and pointing a taser instead of attempting to diffuse things.
“The officer transformed a controlled and contained a situation and manufactured this needless death,” Ian Fallon, Herrera’s family attorney, wrote in an emailed statement to FOX 17.
As you watch the video below, it is hard to disagree with Fallon’s statement.