Shreveport, LA — A Shreveport, Louisiana, cop inquiring about trash in someone else’s lot, walked into Patricia Powell’s backyard — after she explicitly told him not to — and executed her beloved dog for literally no reason.
“I told him I had a dog in my yard just had puppies,” Powell told local NBC 6 News. “Do not step in my yard because she is protecting her babies and he got out anyway and so when she came from up under the house, he shot her, twice.”
Powell, devastated by the inexplicable turn of events that led to the untimely death of Coco, told NBC 6 the unnamed officer had responded to a call further down the street when he stopped to ask about refuse in a lot near her property.
Although she doesn’t own the lot where the officer spotted the trash, Powell told the NBC 6 she cleans it on occasion because of its proximity to her home — but she suspects the errant dog-killing officer was only looking for trouble where none existed.
“What reason you have to stop at 8:15 behind some trash?” Powell said of the cop. “The lot doesn't even belong to me. Why did you stop here? That means you were picking.”
Public Information Officer for the (as-yet unidentified) Shreveport Police Officer, Corporal Marcus Hines, refused to comment on the matter as the department is in the process of investigating whether or not policy and procedure were followed when Powell’s dog was shot dead.
Such internal investigations so infrequently lead to proportional, if any, disciplinary action, they’ve become the subject of a cynical quip: We investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong.
Hines acknowledged that the “information we have is that the officer did not receive a call or a dispatch call to that residence” — confirming he would not have had any justifiable reason to be on Powell’s property or kill her pet.
“You don't have to necessarily be dispatched out to the call,” Hines explained of officer-initiated encounters. “The officer can see something that draws his or her attention and make contact at that point.”
Although that explanation appears vaguely reasonable, the officer who fired two shots at Powell’s dog had no justifiable reason to be on her property — particularly after she advised him not to enter the area where Coco protected the new puppies.
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As pursuant to any investigation, Hines told NBC 6 that a supervisor is summoned to the scene any time an officer fires their service weapon, and statements are then taken from all involved parties and any witnesses.
“All I want is help for my babies,” Powell lamented. “The seven children I have to raise by myself. The kids, the puppies. They are my life, because their mother was my life.”
Tragically, Powell’s interaction with a trigger-happy cop too cowardly to deal with a pet dog is far from uncommon — and is now termed ‘puppycide.’
As John Whitehead wrote for the Rutherford Institute in August, “a dog is shot by a police officer ‘every 98 minutes’” in the United States. According to the Department of Justice, that means25 dogs are killed by copsevery single day.
In many instances, officers claim fear for their lives of dangerous dogs — but the reality proves otherwise.
As journalist and author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” Radley Balko, has exhaustively documented, “dog shootings in which a police officer said he felt ‘threatened’ and had no choice but to use lethal force, including the killing of a Dalmatian (more than once), a yellow Lab , a springer spaniel, a chocolate Lab, a boxer, an Australian cattle dog, a Wheaten terrier, an Akita… a Jack Russell terrier… a 12-pound miniature dachshund… [and] a five-pound chihuahua.”
Even when the breed is generally if unjustifiably considered ‘dangerous,’ police frequently create circumstances to putatively justify shooting and killing a dog — such as pushing open a closed door intended to prevent a dog from exiting, or as in Powell’s case, entering an area the officer was specifically advised not to.
“They're very close relationships that are developed between pets and their owners so for a pet to be killed, unfortunately, is something that we would hope that never happens,” Hines asserted.
Powell plans to raise the puppies and was referred by NBC 6 for additional help from a local animal shelter.
While the Shreveport Police Department busies itself with the investigation of the fatal shooting of Coco, the cowardly trigger-happy cop remains on the force — free to again enter someone’s property against their wishes and for no reason — and to execute their beloved pets.