Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Dog Down Afternoon
I'm going to make this really quick.
If you're a faithful internet denizen then there's a pretty good chance that by now you've actually seen the video of -- or are at least aware of -- a cop in Hawthorne, California shooting a dog four times and killing it during the arrest of its owner. Is it shocking? Yes. Is it tragic? Certainly.
Was it a good shoot? Was it a justified use of deadly force? Absolutely.
If you can handle it, watch the video from start to finish. 52-year-old Leon Rosby is walking his 80-pound rottweiler past a police scene when he starts videotaping it, which is no big deal. When he starts yelling at the cops, though -- antagonizing them -- that's a different story. There could very well be a racial element to this story, potentially one no more specific than the history of friction between the police and the black community here in Southern California, and that deserves to be taken into consideration.
However, once the two cops on the scene walk over and start to ostensibly arrest Rosby, the dog comes after them. I get that this is the standard reaction of a really great dog to a threat on its owner, but it's still a very angry 80-pound rottweiler we're talking about. One cop tries to grab the dog's leash, which to be honest if I'm dealing with a dog like that would be way beyond the call of duty -- though it's an understandable reaction because nobody wants to see a dog hurt -- but once it lunges, that's it. All bets are off.
If I'm that cop, and it's me or a very big dog that's about to rip me to shreds, that dog's gotta be stopped, no matter what it takes. If I don't have a taser drawn or a beanbag round in a shotgun nearby, I'm shooting it. Simple as that.
A lot of cops are serious pricks, no doubt. But just as many are good men and women under unbelievable stress in a job where if they hesitate they get killed and if they don't they get publicly crucified. They do a job I wouldn't want in a million years, which is why I tend to cut them some slack until they've proven that they don't fucking deserve it. Shooting a rottweiler that's coming after you just doesn't seem all that controversial to me.
The New York Daily News: Graphic Video as Police Shoot Dog/7.2.13