The 6th District Court in Ohio ruled on Monday that if a cop comes to your home, they are justified in killing your dog if your dog does so much as move.
Mark and Cheryl Brown sued the Battle Creek, Michigan police department after, during a search of their homes, the police killed their two pit bulls. All the dogs were guilty of was moving. They argued in court that the officers’ actions violated the Fourth Amendment, that is was an unlawful seizure of property.
In the case of the Browns’ two pit bulls, the imminent threat came from the dogs barking and moving around. One officer shot the first pit bull after he said it “had only moved a few inches” in a movement that he considered to be a “lunge.” The injured dog retreated to the basement, where the officer shot and killed it as well as the second dog while conducting a sweep of the residence.
“Officer Klein testified that after he shot and killed the first dog, he noticed the second dog standing about halfway across the basement,” the court’s opinion explained. “The second dog was not moving towards the officers when they discovered her in the basement, but rather she was ‘just standing there,’ barking and was turned sideways to the officers. Klein then fired the first two rounds at the second dog.”
The court, of course, placed the burden on the homeowners. It was up to them to prove that the first dog didn’t lunge (how do they prove that?) and that the second dog didn’t bark.
While the benefit of the doubt typically goes to police now – they are rarely prosecuted and even more rarely convicted for killing people – it appears that cops can now legally kill dogs, just because they are afraid of them. In fact, nearly 25 dogs are killed at the hands of police each and every day. This is heartbreaking. Expect cops to get even more rights over the people they are supposed to protect under a Donald Trump presidency.
Featured image via Pixabay.