UPDATE: The original title of this article “Court Rules Police Can Legally Execute Your Dog if It Does Anything But Sit Silently” could have been misleading so we have updated the title. The last paragraph which stated in part that “your dogs are now fair game” could also be misconstrued so we have retracted this as well. We apologize to our readers for any confusion that this may have caused. We still feel that this ruling was extremely worrisome.
Below is the original article, less the last paragraph.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded Monday that police officers are justified in killing citizens’ pets — even if those animals are not attacking or attempting to attack them.
Judges MOORE and CLAY (Circuit Judges), and HOOD (District Judge) heard an appeal from the plaintiffs Mark and Cheryl Brown, of Battle Creek, Michigan. The Browns filed a lawsuit against the BATTLE CREEK Police Department, the City of Battle Creek, and officers Jeffrey Case, Christof Klein, and Damon Young for the death of their beloved dogs at the hands of sadistic cops.
The incident occurred on April 17th, 2013, when police were attempting to execute a search warrant on the home where the Browns were living because a police informant reported another man, Vincent Jones was distributing heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from the residence. Jones was apprehended before police arrived on the scene.
Mark Brown, who was not a suspect in the search, had gone home on his lunch break to let out his two pit bulls. After doing so, he locked the door and headed back to work when police arrived and detained him. He told them he had a key, and that they didn’t need to destroy the front door to gain entry into the home. But destroy it they did.
The Browns dispute the claims by police that the dogs were barking. Mark Brown even testified the smaller of the two dogs had “never barked a day in her life.” Officer Klein said the larger dog was barking and “lunged” at him, but later admitted the pet “had only moved a few inches.”
Despite there being no attack, Klein fired a round at the dog. Both dogs ran away from the officers to the basement, obviously fleeing in fear. There, the two dogs were shot and killed by the officers who felt that they could not properly clear the room and effectively execute the search warrant on the home, explaining they “did not feel [the officers] could safely clear the basement with those dogs down there.”
Going further, the officers stated the “basement was loaded. You’ve gotta look under beds, you’ve gotta do everything, and [the dogs] basically prevented us from doing that, and they were protecting that basement.” Klein testified the smaller pit bull was “just standing there” barking when it was shot and killed.
In spite of these sadistic admissions, the appellate court ruled in favor of the officers, the police department, and the other defendants. They agreed with the lower court ruling that the police officers were covered under “doctrine of qualified immunity” and were therefore not liable for compensating the plaintiffs in the case.