Sunday, July 12, 2009

New York, 25% of shots fired aimed at animals

Like LA, when New York police officers discharge a weapon, a quarter of the time they are taking aim at animals, mainly dogs.

In 2008, NYPD shot 30 dogs and have shot 15 this year. While officers only hit people 23% of the time, they hit dogs 55% of the time.

This is all public information, generally. But the NY Times article is in response to a recent shooting of a dog. Police were responding to a noise disturbance (really, a "men fighting in the hallway" disturbance). Eight officers arrived. When they knocked on the door of the man in question, the guy let the dog out.

Now, this is what I find interesting - the dog ran past five officers. Here we are, in a narrow hallway, with eight officers and the dog runs past five of them? A really aggro dog isn't going to be all "Oh hey, these five humans right here in front of me aren't worth my attention, but those three in the back? The ones near the exit? They must be eaten!" Wrong. I don't know if the first five officers were all "hey, a dog" as he zoomed by and the three were all "zomg! a dog!" and decided to shoot the dog seven times or what.

The ricocheting bullets injured three officers and the dog's owner and obviously the dog got killed. Discharging three weapons in a narrow hallway over a dog who just patently ignored five different humans is really dangerous.

The dog was purported to be friendly, though his owner has a litany of complaints. Even friendly dogs could react poorly to a hallway full of testosterone-laden, stressed out dudes/dudettes w/ weapons. Shame on the owner for letting the dog out in the first place, clearly not a real class act.

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