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Posted on 6th August 2017
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This video report from the BBC, from a few weeks ago, in which a Minneapolis police officer shoots two dogs, raises many concerns about policing in the USA.
The sound of the body-cam was bizarrely not working (or has been censored) until after the shots were fired, which makes it impossible to substantiate the officer's claims that the dogs growled at him; it would not be surprising for dogs to protect their territory by at least growling, but the videos (both the officer's body-cam and the dog-owner's security CCTV) clearly show the dogs wagging their tails.
The officer then tells his partner, over the radio, that he has "dispatched" (which means "killed") both of the dogs. When his colleague then says that at least one dog is still alive, he says "I know. I know." To become a US citizen, one needs to pass a test of one's English; apparently the same is not true to become a Minneapolis police officer.
To finish off this odd series of events, the offending officer then exits the back yard where the shooting occurred by climbing over the fence, as if he was hoping that his presence would not have been noticed.
Later, in more conventional policing, the office knocks (or rings) at the front door, to be greeted by the dogs' distraught owner (who complains of having blood all over the house) and tells her that he "loves dogs". If he loves dogs, how is it that he can't tell the difference between an aggressive and a friendly/curious beast.
All this happened because the woman entered the wrong security code on her house alarm. At least, both the dogs survived, but maybe the next time they see a police officer, they will attack first and ask questions later; the responsibility for any such attack will rest at least partly on this trigger-happy officer.
At least it is good to have evidence that the US police are not prejudiced: they don't just shoot unarmed black teenagers; they also shoot dogs, black and white!
Maybe, just maybe, there is a connection between this incident and the misunderstanding highlighted in this post.