Skip to comments.Cop took just 3 seconds to shoot dog
Posted on 01/08/2003 11:35:54 PM PST by JohnHuang2
The Tennessee policeman who shot and killed a family's dog during a terrorizing traffic stop took just three seconds to slay the animal after it jumped out its owners' car, reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen.
Law-enforcement authorities released a videotape of the incident yesterday, which shows the three-second time frame on the tape's counter.
The Cookeville police officer who shot the dog, Eric Hall, has since been reassigned to administrative duties while the incident is probed.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the Smoak family was returning to their home in North Carolina on New Year's Day when three police cars swarmed their vehicle on Interstate 40 in what appeared to be a traffic stop.
The Smoaks appear on CNN
A Tennessee Highway Patrol officer broadcast orders over a bullhorn for driver James Smoak to toss the keys out of the car window, get out with his hands up and walk backwards to the rear of the car. Smoak obeyed and was subsequently ordered onto his knees and handcuffed at gunpoint. Officers similarly handcuffed his wife, Pamela, and their 17-year-old son with their guns drawn.
As the troopers were putting the family members inside the patrol car, one of the Smoak family dogs, a boxer-bulldog mix named Patton, came out of the car and headed toward one of the Cookeville officers who were assisting the THP troopers.
"That officer had a flashlight on his shotgun, and the dog was going toward that light, and the officer shot him, just blew his head off," Pamela Smoak told the Herald-Citizen. "We had begged them to shut the car doors so our dogs wouldn't get out, [but] they didn't do that."
The Smoaks had been pulled over by mistake after someone reported seeing the car getting on the highway with cash flying out from behind the vehicle. James Smoak, it turns out, had mistakenly left his wallet on the roof of the car when he stopped to get gas. Someone within the THP reportedly thought a robbery had occurred, though it turns out none had.
Hall claimed he was acting in self-defense.
"I yelled at the dog to get back, but it attempted to circle me to attack, so I felt that I had no option but to protect myself," the officer wrote in a police report.
Police Chief Bob Terry told the Herald-Citizen, "We are aware there is a lot of criticism out there over this incident, and we want to take [Hall] off the road and let him perform other duties while we get this all resolved." Terry stressed that Hall was not being punished for killing the dog.
The Herald-Citizen reports that "to an average viewer, the scene recorded on the video may not demonstrate the aggressiveness or the threat the officer said he experienced as the dog came toward him."
Terry said he will have two unrelated police agencies perform independent reviews of the incident.
"We once again extend our deepest concerns to the Smoak family for their loss," Terry said. "We know this was a terrible experience for them, and we truly wish that we could undo the events that occurred on the night of Jan. 1."
The Smoaks recently told their story on CNN's "Connie Chung Tonight."
Speaking of Patton, son Brandon Smoak told Chung, "He's the gentlest dog that I've ever been around. He's like Scooby Doo. He wasn't mean at all."
Dan, "Let your 'yes' be yes, and your 'no' be no." "Thou shalt not bear false witness."
The dog didn't attack a human. For you to state that he did is a lie. You should not lie, as God's Holy Word tells you not to.
Either do not lie, or change your login from that deceptive acronym for "biblical Christian." n'Kay?
' Yeah, and the smirking dog-killer seems to contradict your conclusion. There was MALICE aforethought behind this shooting. Why didn't the stupid idiots question the family before terrorizing them? What grounds were there for this type of treatment? NONE WHATSOEVER. The idiot cops took the word of some passerby who concluded there must have been a robbery, but why on earth would a robber throw money out the window? These cops were at the very least STUPID, and at MOST evil. The dog-killer certainly was not sorry for his deed as his smirk will attest! That jerk should be fired just for his attitude.
Go back and read the whole article. There was no reason for the dog to escape from the car. And why was the family being arrested, anyway?
I resent that on behalf of Barney Fife. He only had one bullet, and he wasn't allowed to carry it.
The cops were clearly in the wrong. Why didn't they close the door? They had seen the dogs for themselves, they'd been asked twice. Any dog owner knows that a dog in a car, wants to get out of the car. (A dog OUT of a car, wants to get IN.)
Out of four guys, not one has a dog?
And what is going on at Police Academy, that they don't teach cops the difference between a dog WAGGING ITS TAIL and a dog attacking?
Irrelevant, but full disclosure:
I lived in Cookeville a few years as a child (Dad taught at Tech) & returned to visit my grandparents frequently until 1970.
One thread discussing marijuana legalization generates > 1000 comments.
Dozens of threads discussing police abuse of power generate < 150 comments.
aw, come on. a little jaunt to far eastern tennessee won't hurt, especially if mr happy trigger is roadside with shopping cart and "will behave for food" sign. we're working on it....
The big deal is the dog wasn't attacking. Your attitude that an innocent family pet can be "popped" for nothing, and is no "big deal" if it *is* a pitbull dog, is sick.
Cops shouldn't shoot innocent dogs, even if it is a "pitbull." Your attitude seems to imply as long as the cops are just guilty of shooting innocent dogs that "appear" to be a pitbull, everything is peachy. Rationality is apparently dead, where you live.
BS and you know it. Talk is cheap, and I don't doubt that the words were said, but I have yet to hear of any cop anywhere in the USA failing to enforce gun laws. When NYC unconstitutionally confiscated citizens' semi-autos, no cop refused to do it. Did you not hear that all of the tips that were phones in to the Montgomery County PD during the sniper episode will now be used for gun confiscation? The cops in COnnecticut who found some guys gun collection propmtly confiscated it and arrested him - just for having what they thought were too many guns.
...Only the most tyrannical and power-crazed members of law enforcement could possibly object to that....
Well that's an awful large fraction of them and getting larger every day.
It is THEY, after all, who are most likely to catch that bullet
This is true, if things continue as they are with LEOs literally getting away with murder, then the mine in the favorite radar spot, the bullets in the ambush, etc. aren't going to ask whether the cop is really a good cop or one of the many SD einsatztroopers that make up US law enforcement today.
The won't work. It isn't the cops or the bureaucrats who will pay. It is the taxpayers. Get a $30,000,000 judgement, then don't take it out of the hides of the a$$hole thugs who did this - just stick it to the taxpayers.
Happened rat cheer in GA about 10 years ago. There was a big "drug raid" several days before election day with about 60 LEOs against a businessman who was running for county comissioner. Done on the information of "anonomyous informants" Just his incumbent opposition doing its thing with the full cooperation of the Gwinnett County police force. Well he lost the election and took the whole lot to court and got a huge judgement against them. Of course they appealed, but they lost that too. Not one penny came fom any of the law enforcement goons who carried out the raids. Every cent (about $30,000,000 as I remember) came from the taxpayers' pockets. The count spoksperson said that the money didn't come from tax revenues, but had been set aside earlier. This complete lie was unchallenged by the local liberal media, and most of my moronic fellow Georgians because they were too dishonest (in the case of the media) or too dumb (my fellowcitizens) to realize that a government has no income other than what it forcibly seizes from its citizens.