Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Essex county officer pleads no guilty to killing dog

For previous entries on the Essex case.

Off-duty officer Michael Wootten has plead not guilty to charges of animal cruelty after he shot and killed a non-aggressive dog on the dog's own property, mere feet from a young child.

Amazingly (appallingly?) this man has not been placed on paid leave even though he has been charged with a crime.

The reality is that nothing is in question: There is no question that Officer Wootten took a loaded weapon onto another person's property and discharged that weapon within close proximity to a young child. There is also no question that the threat had passed - Wootten's dog is the one who was loose and off-leash, Wootten's dog is the one who initiatied contact with the now-dead dog on the now-dead dog's property. Wootten, after retrieving his errant dog should have done nothing more than taken his dog to a vet. He was, after all, at fault for allowing his dog to run loose.

But he didn't. He grabbed his weapon, walked back over to the property and shot the other dog dead.

That is not the type of behavior I want to see in police officers.

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