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Backlash Over Officer's Shooting of Dog Prompts Policy Review
AMERICAN-STATESMAN ^ | Thursday, April 19, 2012 | Patrick George

Posted on 04/21/2012 3:15:22 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Inundated with angry calls and emails about the fatal shooting of a dog by an Austin officer, the Police Department on Wednesday said the officer involved was reassigned and that administrators are looking closely at the incident and may change policies, even as reports of past complaints about the dog emerged.

"This incident has drawn a lot of attention," Assistant Police Chief David Carter said. "We've received a lot of calls, a lot of emails from people who are very concerned. And we are, too."

In a case that has received international attention after it went viral on Facebook, Michael Paxton's blue heeler, Cisco, was shot Saturday by officer Thomas Griffin, who was responding to a call about a domestic disturbance. Griffin arrived at the wrong address by mistake — Paxton's home — and shot the dog after he said it charged him.

Paxton has denied that Cisco behaved aggressively. KXAN reported Wednesday that Animal Control records indicate that a man, who was not bitten, reported the dog was overly aggressive and charged him as he walked down the sidewalk. In another instance, the news station reported, a woman claimed that Cisco had bitten her as she tried to pet him in a parking lot.

Paxton, who said earlier that he may file a complaint against Griffin and take legal action, did not immediately return calls late Wednesday for comment on the piece.

Police struck a conciliatory tone early Wednesday. "The bottom line is, we have a citizen who was going about his business, who was not involved in criminal or suspicious activity," Carter said. "And he loses his dog. ... That's a big deal, and we recognize that."

Police policy states that an officer is authorized to use deadly force against an animal that "reasonably appears ... to pose an imminent threat to the safety of officers or others."

Carter said the official review includes the 911 call and how dispatchers responded to it, the officer's tactics and what happened afterward. Carter said the department is also examining its policies and training for animal encounters. "Is our policy sufficient?" Carter said. "Is our training sufficient when dealing with dangerous animals or dogs?"

Police Chief Art Acevedo was critical Wednesday of what he called a "mob mentality" response to the incident: "People are calling us and directing profanity-laced insults and threats toward our employees in writing and on telephone calls."

The criticism comes just days after thousands of Central Texans lined streets in an unprecedented show of support during the funeral procession of senior patrol officer Jaime Padron, who was fatally shot about two weeks ago while answering a call about an intoxicated person. Acevedo said officials are reviewing what effect that incident may have had on Griffin's actions.

Padron's death had a profound impact, Acevedo said, asking, "Did hypervigilance play a role" when Griffin pulled his gun on Paxton and moments later shot the dog? "These are a lot of questions that have to be thoroughly explored and we cannot allow a mob mentality to influence our follow-up in this matter," Acevedo said. "Please give us time to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review."

This is not the first time a deadly force against a dog has provoked controversy in canine-friendly Austin. In November, an officer shot a dog after it bit him outside at a North Austin grocery. In 2000, an officer responding to a home burglary alarm in Northwest Austin said he killed the owner's dog after it approached him barking.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: austin; dog; donutwatch; texas

1 posted on 04/21/2012 3:15:24 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Was it an African American dog?


2 posted on 04/21/2012 3:18:25 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Women and cats will do as they please; men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.)
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To: nickcarraway
President Obama has issued the following statement regarding this issue:

"Please keep the dog frozen until the White House kitchen staff can arrange for pickup."

3 posted on 04/21/2012 3:26:21 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: nickcarraway

Talk with a Cop and he can tell you what rounds will put down a pit bull. I was astounded when it came up in a conversation.


4 posted on 04/21/2012 3:28:02 PM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: nickcarraway
Police Chief Art Acevedo was critical Wednesday of what he called a "mob mentality" response

Yeah well it's making them get off their asses for once. We obviously need more mobs.
5 posted on 04/21/2012 3:28:38 PM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out
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To: nickcarraway

Did the dog have a pattern of begging for skittles?

We need more relevant facts.


6 posted on 04/21/2012 3:30:24 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: nickcarraway
Didn't see this little tidbit in the other thread:

when Griffin pulled his gun on Paxton

So this jerk pulled a gun on an unarmed innocent guy guilty of standing in his own yard?

I see large lawsuit potential in this one.

7 posted on 04/21/2012 3:39:38 PM PDT by 2111USMC (Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.)
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To: Citizen Tom Paine

Talk with a Cop

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

No Thanks!


8 posted on 04/21/2012 3:58:56 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

9 posted on 04/21/2012 4:01:03 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: nickcarraway
Interesting that this happened in TX. Last year, an appeals court in that stated cited a 19th Century law still on the books when it opined that "Dog owners can sue for sentimental value of pet in Texas".
10 posted on 04/21/2012 4:06:32 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: nickcarraway

I joined Mr. Paxton’s Facebook page for this cause, and he comes across as pretty level-headed. He repeatedly ask for people to not harass the cops, and he really seems to want to handle this the proper way and maintain the higher ground here. I hope he is successful. This was a horrible situation.


11 posted on 04/21/2012 4:14:42 PM PDT by USMCWife6869
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To: 2111USMC
I usually support the cops, but from what I've read this idiot should not be wearing a badge. He gets a call for a domestic disturbance, gets the address wrong, then pulls a gun on a guy playing frisbee in his yard with his dog, then shoots and kills the dog.

That's an awful lot of serious serious errors in judgment. “Reassigned,” my keester. This clown is a danger to citizens, other officers and himself, and he needs to be fired.

12 posted on 04/21/2012 4:16:43 PM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

Any of these trigger happy LEO jackboots who shoot a dog without provable good cause deserves whatever happens to his officious ass.


13 posted on 04/21/2012 4:22:23 PM PDT by Czar (NRA Life Member)
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To: nickcarraway
Photobucket
14 posted on 04/21/2012 4:23:12 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: mojito

Well, we know that Austin’s motto is: Keep Austin Weird”.

They seem to be doing a good job of it.

I can’t imagine having that as a city motto...


15 posted on 04/21/2012 4:23:54 PM PDT by basil (It's time to rid the country of "gun free zones" aka "Killing Fields")
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To: loungitude
Photobucket
16 posted on 04/21/2012 4:25:29 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: Citizen Tom Paine

Cop shoots my Pit mix he will regret it.


17 posted on 04/21/2012 4:25:38 PM PDT by Eaker (When somebody hands you your arse, don't give it back saying "This needs a little more tenderizing.")
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To: Joe 6-pack

Let’s hope the policies STAY changed, and the chief isn’t just hoping he can return to the status quo when the anger dies down.


18 posted on 04/21/2012 5:28:40 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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All contributions are for the Current Quarter Expenses.



Click the link. The Republic you save may be your own.

19 posted on 04/21/2012 6:06:17 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
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To: 2111USMC

There’s no such thing as “your own yard” anymore.


20 posted on 04/21/2012 6:26:35 PM PDT by Salamander (Hey, blood brother, you're one of our own. You're as sharp as a razor and as hard as a stone.)
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To: loungitude

Talk to a K9 cop.

Best guys in the world.


21 posted on 04/21/2012 6:27:27 PM PDT by Salamander (Hey, blood brother, you're one of our own. You're as sharp as a razor and as hard as a stone.)
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To: Czar
Any of these trigger happy LEO jackboots who shoot a dog without provable good cause deserves whatever happens to his officious ass.

You called the lowlife for what he is: "officious." That is the problem with a lot of LEOs. They want to lord it over the rabble--that would be us--they encounter.

22 posted on 04/21/2012 6:35:46 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: nickcarraway

I guess the police across the nation have killed enough family pets in the name of their safety, now. Police officers do have tasers and pepper spray to use in REAL cases where a dog is REALLY threatening them. They don’t have to kill as the first line of defense; unprofessional cops are choosing to kill.

Now there will be regulations to take away their options in Austin since some meat heads do not conduct themselves professionally.

This is going to happen more and more. It’s not good for police officers when their options are limited because they can’t be trusted to exercise professional judgement and be respectful of the public. They should reform themselves through training and peer pressure rather than making the crazy politicans do it for them.


23 posted on 04/21/2012 6:41:42 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: nickcarraway

The police chief is a moron.


24 posted on 04/21/2012 7:59:34 PM PDT by x1stcav (There's a bunch of us out here spoiling for a fight.)
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To: Eaker

Bunch of us out here feeling the same way.


25 posted on 04/21/2012 8:02:14 PM PDT by x1stcav (There's a bunch of us out here spoiling for a fight.)
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To: OldPossum

They, government officials of very level, have become our Overlords.


26 posted on 04/21/2012 8:03:55 PM PDT by x1stcav (There's a bunch of us out here spoiling for a fight.)
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To: x1stcav

I hear ya.

My dogs bark.

I bite.


27 posted on 04/21/2012 8:14:19 PM PDT by Eaker (When somebody hands you your arse, don't give it back saying "This needs a little more tenderizing.")
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To: x1stcav

“The police chief is a moron.”

Of course he is....you wouldn’t expect
people of intelligence and good character
to be able to go to work day in and day
out in that line of work.

Reactionary violence prone officers wouldn’t
last a day if they had to work for a competent
administrator rather than a brain donor political
syncophant looking out for his own ass.


28 posted on 04/21/2012 8:49:47 PM PDT by nvscanman
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To: Salamander
There’s no such thing as “your own yard” anymore.

Ain't that the truth! No such thing as true Freedom anymore.
29 posted on 04/22/2012 1:26:13 PM PDT by DivineMomentsOfTruth ("Give me Liberty or I'll stand up and get it for myself!")
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To: Salamander

I think the majority of cops would rather be bitten than kill a dog.. But for the love of Pete.. They need to better train officers in dealing with dogs!!!


30 posted on 04/22/2012 1:27:54 PM PDT by DivineMomentsOfTruth ("Give me Liberty or I'll stand up and get it for myself!")
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To: DivineMomentsOfTruth

Then a majority of cops are truly stupid. This cop was definitely stupid but any dog, human or fox charging me or mine on my property will be shot and I won’t lose a wink of sleep over it.


31 posted on 04/22/2012 1:36:39 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
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