Patrol car recording: ‘Why did you shoot my dog?’
I’m taking the side of Officer Thomas Griffin here, and quite frankly, I don’t give a DAMN what the dog lovers and Police haters have to say about it. Officer Griffin was in a situation where a domestic disturbance had been reported, THE most dangerous situation an Officer can enter, one filled with unknowns.
There is NO video of the dog approaching Officer Griffin, but I have to assume that this officer is well trained and at least somewhat experienced, otherwise, he would NOT have been riding a one man unit on the streets of Austin Texas answering calls.
The officer perceived the dog to be an immediate threat to his personal safety, and he DID shoot the dog, of that there is NO question. What was he supposed to do? Carry a few *Scooby Snacks* so he could pacify a dog while dealing with subjects on 2 legs?
Watch the video, read the story and please focus on the last paragraph from the American-Statesman concerning the Austin Police Departments policy regarding the use of deadly force against an animal when an Officer feels threatened.
Audio from a 911 call and a patrol car video released Tuesday sheds light on the fatal shooting of a dog by a police officer in East Austin.
Michael Paxton’s blue heeler, Cisco, was shot Saturday afternoon by officer Thomas Griffin, who was responding to a call about a domestic disturbance. After Paxton created the Facebook page Justice for Cisco, the story went viral, and the page had more than 52,000 “likes” Tuesday evening.
Paxton, 40, said Tuesday that he might file a formal complaint against Griffin with the Office of the Police Monitor and might explore his legal options.
Cisco “did not deserve what he got, and I did not deserve to have a gun in my face,” Paxton said.
When Paxton went on KLBJ-FM’s “Dudley & Bob Morning Show” on Tuesday to discuss the incident, Police Chief Art Acevedo called in to apologize. He said an investigation is under way, which is standard when officers discharge a weapon.
The 911 call features a woman who said she was driving past a home in the 2600 block of East Fifth Street and saw a man who appeared to be drunk and a woman trying to get away from him. The video shows Griffin arriving about 4:45 p.m., and he can be heard trying to verify which home was referenced. Not long after leaving his patrol car, Griffin is heard shouting, “Show me your hands” and then, “Get your dog!” That was followed by Cisco’s bark and a single gunshot.
Paxton begins yelling at Griffin, saying, “Why did you shoot my dog?”
“Why didn’t you get your dog when I told you to get your dog?” Griffin replied.
“I didn’t know; I just came around the corner, you pulled a gun out and told me to put my hands up,” Paxton is heard saying. “I didn’t know anybody was here.”
Paxton is heard saying the dog would not have bit Griffin, but Griffin replied that there was no way he could have known that. Griffin said he approached with his gun drawn because he was responding to a disturbance. Griffin can later be heard on the audio telling his supervisor that the dog jumped at him, which Paxton denies.
Austin police policy states that an officer is authorized to use deadly force against an animal “which reasonably appears … to pose an imminent threat to the safety of officers or others.” (bold emphasis mine- Fred)
I can’t speak for others and their actions or reactions, but as for me, taking the life of a dog as opposed to risking the possibility of injury to an Officer leaves me with only one thing left to say.