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Shooting of dogs disputed
Decatur Daily ^ | January 7, 2012 | Seth Burkett

Posted on 01/09/2012 11:39:35 AM PST by Altariel

Some residents at Danville Park Apartments are outraged over police firing at two dogs on the walkway outside their front doors.

The residents said the shooting killed one animal, injured another and put the tenants in danger of gunfire that left bullet holes in doors, walls and a wooden deck around 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Witness accounts of the shootings contradict the reports of officers and a supervising sergeant.

The shootings by officers Demetrius Hightower and Jarrod Birchfield are being reviewed by Decatur Police’s office of professional standards, police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said.

Danville Park resident Steven Shaddrix said police put others in danger.

“This close encounter over a dog?” he said. “I’m surprised somebody didn’t get shot. It (a bullet) could have easily gone down through the deck and through somebody’s window downstairs.”

One bullet passed through the front door of a neighbor’s apartment and struck a piece of furniture. The apartment was occupied at the time.

The officers’ reports said they opened an already cracked door to the apartment of John Haggamaker, whom they were seeking in relation to an altercation, when they encountered and killed Kevin Haggamaker’s 3-year-old boxer Ace.

Ace was inside John Haggamaker’s apartment with John’s beagle mix, Roscoe, also injured in the shooting, and his beagle, Remy.

The officers said when they pushed open the door, a growling dog came at them. They reported that they backed away as far as the landing of the stairway, and the dog charged.

“When that happened, Officer Hightower fired his Taser at the dog,” Crouch said. “That stopped the dog, but otherwise didn’t have any effect.

“The dog came at them again, and that was when Officer Birchfield fired (his gun). When Officer Birchfield fired, the dog ran back into the apartment.”

But the dog charged again, the officers said.

Next-door neighbor Hailey Brown said she went outside when she heard the commotion, saw police open the door and saw the dog come to the doorway.

“They started Taser-ing it as they backed up,” she said. “You could hear the dog whimpering. It wasn’t even being aggressive at that point. It was just hurt.”

Brown said she asked the officers to let her take the dog into her own apartment, but they refused and opened fire with their handguns.

‘Did nothing wrong’

“It was wrong. The animal did nothing wrong,” Brown said. “It (Ace) was a big baby. It was always sweet. It just looked big and intimidating.”

Witnesses also said they didn’t believe the door was partially open because they heard police knocking loudly and repeatedly before opening it. Kevin Haggamaker said the dogs would have escaped if the door had been cracked.

“Nobody was in the apartment,” he said. “They opened the door and let the dogs out.”

Police arrested Kevin Haggamaker on charges of public intoxication, open container and tampering with physical evidence. John Haggamaker was taken in on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Kevin Haggamaker described the CKC-registered dog as an “80-pound baby.” He said he didn’t see the shooting because his back was turned as the officer escorted him to the car.

“On the way to the cop car, I asked the officer that arrested me, ‘Don’t let them shoot my dog, please!,” Kevin Haggamaker said. “He’s just a big baby. He won’t hurt anybody.’

“He didn’t say anything. And then I heard gunshots.”

John Haggamaker said he was in the next apartment talking with Shaddrix when he heard gunshots.

“When I came out, I saw Ace,” John Haggamaker said. “I knew they had Taser-ed him. He had two wires going to him. He was clutched in a sitting position, had one paw in the air and was making a little howling sound like a dog in pain. ... Ace was like five or six feet from the cops.”

Crouch said the arrest report states that John Haggamaker “confronted the officers, was loud, yelling obscenities and was extremely intoxicated.”

Witnesses, however, said John Haggamaker promptly obeyed the officer’s command to “get down.”

Crouch said that according to the report, the dog charged the officers a final time as Hightower was about to handcuff John Haggamaker.

That’s when both officers fired, killing the dog, Crouch said.

John Haggamaker said he heard more gunshots and saw Ace fall.

Kevin Haggermaker said that after he got out of jail, he collected Ace’s body from Decatur Animal Services. Ace appeared to have been shot between the eyes and in the right rear leg. A large chunk of flesh also was missing from his left rear leg, he said.

He had Ace cremated and keeps his remains on his nightstand.

At least one bullet struck Roscoe, the beagle mix, in his left front paw, though police said that was not intentional. Roscoe ran to the patrol car and leapt inside when Kitchens opened the door to put Kevin Haggamaker in the car. Police took him to a vet’s office for treatment.

Toes shot off

John Haggermaker said Roscoe, whose left leg remained bandaged, apparently lost all but the two middle toes on that paw.

Shaddrix said he thinks the Haggamakers’ were out of line when they got into a fight with people attending a New Year’s Eve party, but that police also crossed a line.

“Especially a beagle,” he said. “A little beagle puppy comes out and they’re going to shoot it, too?”


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: animalabuse; banglist; beagle; boxer; corruption; dog; doggieping; dogs; donutwatch; puppycide; pussycops; stupidcops; warondogs

1 posted on 01/09/2012 11:39:42 AM PST by Altariel
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To: Altariel

Hightower?

What is this, a Police Academy movie?


2 posted on 01/09/2012 11:52:37 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: Altariel

What is it about steroids that makes cops hate dogs so much.


3 posted on 01/09/2012 11:54:20 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Altariel
That stopped the dog, but otherwise didn’t have any effect.

Exactly what other effect did they WANT it to have?

4 posted on 01/09/2012 11:54:30 AM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: Altariel
The police story here does not even make any sense.

They claim they “opened an already cracked door to the apartment of John Haggamaker whom they were seeking in relation to an altercation…” whereupon they were attacked and had to shoot the dogs.

But later in the article it is reported that Mr. Haggamaker was begging them not to shoot his dogs as they were leading to a squad car.

If they already had him in custody, why would they have needed to open the door to his apartment “seeking” him?

5 posted on 01/09/2012 12:05:05 PM PST by WayneS (Comments now include 25% MORE sarcasm for no additional charge...)
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To: Altariel

These guys obviously don’t know to look beyond target. When you are shooting at a target, know what is behind it. If you miss your target or if the bullet penetrates the target, it is your responsibility.
Most police carry 9mm or .40...lots of penetration on a dog...not to mention a dog coming at you face first does not present a very large target area and you are more likely to miss or penetrate at an angle just about ensuring that the bullet will continue and cause damage or death beyond.
These cops need training and understanding. Shooting in an apartment building should be about the last resort unless confronted by a imminent life or death situation. A dog hardly qualifies as that, especially when other residents offer to take the dog into their apartment!!!


6 posted on 01/09/2012 12:06:10 PM PST by An American! (Proud To Be An American!)
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To: driftdiver

I dunno. It seems some cops view dogs the way the fictional terminators viewed human targets.

“Target acquired. Execute.”


7 posted on 01/09/2012 12:07:47 PM PST by Altariel (`)
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To: Altariel
The shootings by officers Demetrius Hightower and Jarrod Birchfield are being reviewed by Decatur Police’s office of professional standards, police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said.

They will receive medals for bravery, no doubt.
8 posted on 01/09/2012 12:09:30 PM PST by microgood
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To: WayneS

Yep, I noticed that as well.

It seems the most logical explanation is that *they wanted to shoot the dogs*.

The eagerness of some officers to destroy animals belonging to private citizens is an alarming trend, and one that needs to be stopped.


9 posted on 01/09/2012 12:12:26 PM PST by Altariel (`)
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To: WayneS

“Entering through a cracked door” huh? Probably the door was shut, and possibly it was locked. But then the police might need a search warrant to enter, so just log it as “the door was open a crack.”

Now if MY door was “Open a crack” then my dogs would quickly be out roaming the neighborhood. My guess: the police illegally entered the apartment thereby creating the situation that resulted in killing the dogs.

Seems like overkill for a public intoxication arrest.


10 posted on 01/09/2012 12:15:52 PM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: Altariel
Based on personal experience, many cops today are habitual liars who are far more danger to the public than most criminals. Anyone, canine or human, who defies these govt.-sanctioned bullies is at risk.

The officers are going to be "cleared" after a make-believe "investigation."

11 posted on 01/09/2012 12:16:25 PM PST by hellbender
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To: Altariel
Based on personal experience, many cops today are habitual liars who are far more danger to the public than most criminals. Anyone, canine or human, who defies these govt.-sanctioned bullies is at risk.

The officers are going to be "cleared" after a make-believe "investigation."

12 posted on 01/09/2012 12:16:29 PM PST by hellbender
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To: Altariel

Disgusting! There’s no other word for it.

I hope the owner files suit against these cops, and that he ends up with a whole bunch of money!


13 posted on 01/09/2012 12:18:26 PM PST by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: Altariel

There are a lot of people in law enforcement who would have been considered way too wimpy for the job even thirty years ago.


14 posted on 01/09/2012 12:20:34 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: WayneS

There’s several other things that make no sense. He’s wanted for public intoxication, but they’re going into his apartment for him? Sounds like he was drunk in private to me.

No mention of any arrest warrant, either.


15 posted on 01/09/2012 12:25:02 PM PST by NVDave
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To: driftdiver

What is it about steroids that makes cops hate dogs so much.


Hate to say it but it is not unusual for psychopaths to begin their careers of murdering humans with torturing and murdering innocent animals.

They belong in prision. They will “progress” to abusing and murdering people - if they have not already abused and murdered people.

Union Marxists are that “blue line” of fascism. Ban government unions...or die or live and watch the constitution and country you love die.


16 posted on 01/09/2012 12:26:35 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: An American!

No, these cops need firing. Cops love shooting dogs.
I left Home Depot Saturday just after dark to find 3 large dogs lying by my truck door. I nicely said “you pups need to go home before you get run over.” One was a pit bull which began growling and advancing on me. I raised my arms and yelled menacingly, which caused the 3 to run. I had my carry weapon (9mm) but didn’t want to shoot with bystanders behind the dogs. Dogs were about 6 feet away, knew I had time to unholster and shoot.
Some cops just hate dogs.


17 posted on 01/09/2012 12:52:20 PM PST by TStro
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To: Tallguy

My ex brother-in-law was a cop. Bragged about whispering “police” before kicking down the door, then claiming the occupants refused to open. Being a cop really changed him for the worse - one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet when we were in school. Carried a throw-down gun.


18 posted on 01/09/2012 12:56:06 PM PST by TStro
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To: Altariel

The war on dogs continues.


19 posted on 01/09/2012 12:57:03 PM PST by Locomotive Breath
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To: TStro

I have a 7 year old male Portuguese Water Dog. My girlfriend has a female Pit Bull 2 years of age. We left the house the other day forgetting one of those “things” that you just have to check on. She phoned her neighbor & asked him to enter the house to take care of the matter. Both dogs knew him & like him. My girlfriend’s female Pit Bull just sat there, but my PWD wanted to remove a limb from the neighbor.

Eventually he was able to calm the dogs. But the point is that “nice dogs” can be very territorial. It’s all about context.

Oh, and my GF’s Pit loves to fly at the door when a certain mailman is on duty. She never does it with anyone else. It’s kind of a “hold my beer, and watch this” moment.

So 2 Dogs that I would describe as “meek & loveable” have witnesses that could reasonably claim that they were “vicious”. I have no doubt that if the police were to enter her house in the manner described that they’d both end up dead.


20 posted on 01/09/2012 1:08:28 PM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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Looking For Donors


Click The Pic

Are You One?

21 posted on 01/09/2012 1:55:09 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: hellbender
Based on personal experience, many cops today are habitual liars who are far more danger to the public than most criminals. Anyone, canine or human, who defies these govt.-sanctioned bullies is at risk.

The officers are going to be "cleared" after a make-believe "investigation."

My experience as well. If the trend keeps up there will be open warfare between police and "Civilians"

BTW, when the the police stop being civilians?

22 posted on 01/09/2012 3:32:19 PM PST by Chuckster (The longer I live the less I care about what you think.)
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To: Altariel
Are Cops Constitutional?
23 posted on 01/09/2012 4:07:54 PM PST by hadit2here ("Most men would rather die than think. Many do." - Bertrand Russell)
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To: MrEdd

Sadly, that’s probably true.


24 posted on 01/09/2012 5:35:09 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel
The eagerness of some officers to destroy animals belonging to private citizens is an alarming trend, and one that needs to be stopped.

Oh, it's going to stop one of these days when one of these morons shoots someone's dog and gets blown away for it.

25 posted on 01/09/2012 6:53:02 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: driftdiver

“What is it about steroids that makes cops hate dogs so much.”

It’s not hate. Cops these days are taught early on that their top priority is going home at the end of their shift, no matter who or what they have to kill to do it. It used to be that cops were tough guys who didn’t mind a physical confrontation. Now they are hyper careful about their safety, unwilling to even get a scratch on them. They just want to work their 20 years and collect their fat pensions. I think their training also changed when women began to contaminate the force. Where men were expected to take risks and physically overpower men, dogs etc, adding women meant the training had to change. Self protection became the key because women would get killed in physical confrontations. Its easier and less discriminating to just teach everyone to shoot or tazer whatever is threatening.


26 posted on 01/10/2012 1:17:38 PM PST by Hacklehead (Winchester 52, because everyone needs a 22 rimfire that weighs 12 pounds.)
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To: MrEdd
There are a lot of people in law enforcement who would have been considered way too wimpy for the job even thirty years ago.

There are a lot of people in law enforcement who would have been considered way too wimpy cowardly for the job even thirty years ago. [fixed!]

27 posted on 01/10/2012 2:15:22 PM PST by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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