Target: Mayor Kip C. Walby of St. Clair Shores, Michigan
Goal: Criminally charge police officers who shot and killed a woman’s dog for “barking excessively”
In the early morning hours of November 22, 2013, three Michigan policemen shot and killed a woman’s dog in response to noise complaints from local neighbors. Though the woman’s grandfather was in the process of herding the rowdy dog back into the house, police officers began shooting anyways, eventually hauling the severely wounded canine away in an animal control truck. The veterinary autopsy showed more bullet holes in the dead dog than were fired at the scene, suggesting the officers savagely executed the woman’s pet once it was finally captured.
These barbaric and excessive measures violate both the Animal Welfare Act and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful searches and seizures. Removing a noisy but harmless animal from a citizen’s premises is illegal in and of itself, but shooting it fifteen times unflinchingly is simply heartless. Not only have these policemen not been charged; they have been returned to active duty for our “protection.” Disciplinary action took place within the precinct, with one officer being suspended for a month, another given mandatory counseling, and the other receiving a “letter of discipline” in his file, according to news publication Huffington Post. This form of discipline is not justice; it is an insult to the justice system and to American civil rights.
Police officers are not above the law, and serious matters involving the death of a living creature warrant more than suspensions and slaps on the wrist. Urge Michigan’s city council to file charges of animal cruelty against the officers responsible for this despicable incident. Stop allowing public servants to break the law and escape its repercussions.
Dear Mayor Walby,
The November 2013 execution of a woman’s pet dog by St. Clair Shores police officers has not been forgotten. Shooting this poor creature fifteen times in response to noise complaints is both excessive and heartless. Though the dog’s owner is demanding compensation for her tragic loss, no amount of money can overshadow the terrible crime committed by these men. In addition to being fined, the police officers should be charged with animal cruelty and tried before a judge.
Recordings from the policemen’s dashboard cameras indicate that the murder of this innocent animal was premeditated and unprovoked. Prior to the shooting, one officer can be heard saying, “The only thing I’m gonna do is shoot it, anyway. I do not like dogs.” The recordings further demonstrate an unwillingness to humanely restrain the rowdy canine, with suggestions ranging from using a shovel to kill the dog to choking it unconscious.
Entrusting such intolerant and violence-prone individuals with the public’s safety is extremely hazardous. Not only were civil rights violated, but a helpless animal died needlessly because of the shortcuts taken by those in charge. More troubling than this incident is the fact that the officers responsible have not been sentenced, charged, or stripped of their positions. All three received slaps on the wrists and have been returned to active duty.
Please, stop allowing our public servants to break the law and escape its consequences. Police officers are not above the law and should not receive special treatment by their colleagues. For this reason, I urge you to charge the men responsible with animal cruelty and judge them for their hideous crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kim Hansen via Wikimedia Commons