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Cop took just 3 seconds to shoot dog
WorldNetDaily.com ^ | Thursday, January 9, 2003

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."


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 110mphlieon911; afraidoflittledog; algoretroopers; banglist; dog; doggieping; donutwatch; gestapovolunteers; jackbootedthugs; leo; liberalslovethis; officerdepends; pigs; poorwittlepowiceman; rottennogoodsobs; screamslikeagirl; shootfirstandlast; triggerhappy; waggingtailshooter
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To: patriciaruth
Drug dealers often train their dogs to attack and kill, so there was no way for the cop to know what he was facing.

Give me a break. The guy was in the car with his family. They told the cop the dog was harmless. He was wagging his tail. Also, the family specifically tried to keep the dogs in the car which the cop could easily have agreed to. It's unbelievable to me that anyone would try to defend the actions of the police here.
201 posted on 01/09/2003 10:46:17 AM PST by Stone Mountain
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To: albee
"...Anyone with an IQ above room temperature should have figured out within 5 seconds that these were NOT bank robbers..."

Gee, Bill...I sure wish I had your clairvoyance!

I see. So you think that it takes "clairvoyance" to recognize that robbers don't bring their wife and kids and dogs and packed luggage with them? Not to mention how cooperative and confused they were. Here's a dollar, buy a clue.

202 posted on 01/09/2003 10:46:22 AM PST by Dan Day
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To: JohnHuang2
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."

Also known as the "who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" defense.

203 posted on 01/09/2003 10:47:59 AM PST by Dan Day
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To: Stone Mountain
. It's unbelievable to me that anyone would try to defend the actions of the police here.

There is a certain set of freepers who feel that no actions by law enforcement can ever be wrong. No matter what they always make excuses for law enforcement.

204 posted on 01/09/2003 10:50:42 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: from occupied ga
Sorry. Mea culpa. Misread your comment about the words being said.

(NOTE TO SELF: Self, get eyes checked -- right after the brain scan.)

205 posted on 01/09/2003 10:51:01 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: from occupied ga
About 4 years ago in NC I think. Raided the house of a gun show promoter and stomped the kitten flat. No consequences (of course).

About 1996. In Pennsylvania. Was indeed a gun-show promoter. They were allegedly looking for an "unregistered Thompson submachinegun", which was in fact a semi-auto Thompson gun lookalike. Which he no longer owned.

206 posted on 01/09/2003 10:51:47 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (The Ravens stank worse than the restroom, that year.)
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To: from occupied ga
About 4 years ago in NC I think. Raided the house of a gun show promoter and stomped the kitten flat. No consequences (of course).

About 1996. In Pennsylvania. Was indeed a gun-show promoter. They were allegedly looking for an "unregistered Thompson submachinegun", which was in fact a semi-auto Thompson gun lookalike. Which he no longer owned.

207 posted on 01/09/2003 10:51:50 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: Elsie
"Is it just me, or is ERIC a strange name for a dog?"

I once had a Fruit Bat Named Eric.

208 posted on 01/09/2003 10:51:59 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (I'm a Lumberjack and I'm ok.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
In Pennsylvania. Was indeed a gun-show promoter

Damn I can't remember, is memory the first thing to go (or the second or the third)

209 posted on 01/09/2003 10:54:14 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: BibChr
Buy a clue:

You are on a CONSERVATIVE discussion board and the overwhelming sense ranges between firing the cop and letting the family have at him with clubs and hot pokers.

Either conservatism has taken a strange turn, or cops have become jack-booted thugs. Which do you think is more likely to be the correct objective answer?
210 posted on 01/09/2003 10:54:54 AM PST by eno_
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To: headsonpikes
"...and stomped the kitten flat."

I'm sure you've got chapter and verse to justify this, too, Mr. W. Sepulchre.

The raid was on May 25, 1994 in Pennsylvania committed against Harry and Theresa Lumplugh. Google for "kitten BATF Lumplugh" for more details.

211 posted on 01/09/2003 10:58:42 AM PST by KarlInOhio
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To: Dick Bachert
Those are fine sentiments, and I live in a town lucky enough to have really good public schools. But that doesn't change the fact that public schools in the U.S. have gotten so bad they should be disbanded. The same thing would be beneficial to PDs: scrap them, put in psychological tests to weed out the yahoos, and rebuild - and get rid of laws that let PDs and podunk towns keep fines and siezures.
212 posted on 01/09/2003 10:59:51 AM PST by eno_
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To: eno_
overwhelming sense ranges between firing the cop and letting the family have at him with clubs and hot pokers.

Let me be the first to suggest letting the family use a shotgun to blow the head off a police dog.

213 posted on 01/09/2003 11:02:56 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: from occupied ga
There is a certain set of freepers who feel that no actions by law enforcement can ever be wrong

I have never read a comment by any Freeper who believes that. What many of us do believe is that all evidence and information should be available before we convict and hang a cop! There are some freepers who will jump at the chance to attack law enforcement and I am not talking about just the ATF and FBI! Cops are tried and convicted here every day before the evidence is in!

214 posted on 01/09/2003 11:03:03 AM PST by eleni121
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To: BibChr
the dog attacked a cop

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
215 posted on 01/09/2003 11:04:07 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: Mad Dawgg
I once had a half a bee that got caught in a door. Named him Eric.
216 posted on 01/09/2003 11:05:52 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you got a problem with that?)
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To: eleni121
What many of us do believe is that all evidence and information should be available before we convict and hang a cop!

I have yet to see any outrage by LEOs posted here that some freepers won't defend. From the shotgun slaying of a 12 year old, to Waco to Ruby Ridge I have yet to see anything where some freepers didn't jump to the defence of LE.

217 posted on 01/09/2003 11:08:11 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: eleni121
Cops are tried and convicted here every day before the evidence is in!

If police were more selective and critical of their own, it would not be neccssary to make an example of Eric "Dog Killer" Hall. If the headline had been "Cop shoots dog in egregious error, gets fired." it would be over.

As it is, he, and his family if anyone would be married to him, will have to live with the assesment of the majority of the people here for the rest of his life. That video is part of the record forever now, and available all over the planet at the touch of a button. If you were Eric Hall, you'd be feeling a little low by now.

218 posted on 01/09/2003 11:11:03 AM PST by eno_
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Comment #219 Removed by Moderator

To: from occupied ga
"It's unbelievable to me that anyone would try to defend the actions of the police here."

"There is a certain set of freepers who feel that no actions by law enforcement can ever be wrong. No matter what they always make excuses for law enforcement."

These are the same gestapo boot-licking neo-con statist toadies, sycophants & lackeys that feel that Waco, Ruby Ridge and Vietnam were justified "Police actions" and will stand by the GOP even if they legislate mandated abortions for all women with more than 2 children and raised our taxes to 80% to pay for it...
220 posted on 01/09/2003 11:13:27 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, home of the knave...)
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To: Dimensio
What a horrible suggestion!

Yes, but I'm a horrible person :-)

221 posted on 01/09/2003 11:18:00 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: eleni121
Cops are tried and convicted here every day before the evidence is in!

The very fact that there is any evidence shows that there is at least one good cop in this whole mess. I was expecting that any video equipment during this event would have had an "unfortunate malfunction" and we would have had to rely on the word of officers instead of our eyes and ears.

I doubt that the shooting was against any policy. More and more the first action by the police in any action is to shoot the dog if it even looks crosseyed at the cops. They just shot the family pooch instead of the dog of someone they could say was a drug dealer or had an address similar to a drug dealer's.

222 posted on 01/09/2003 11:19:46 AM PST by KarlInOhio
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To: JohnHuang2
A sickening, sad story about another incompetent cop(s). The problem is the officer deserves punishment, not the insurnce carrier or the county taxpayers if they are self-insured.

The cop should have to personally pay pay the family $500 to buy a new dog and $10,000 for their grief so they can take a 2 week vacation in Hawaii and mourn their loss.

223 posted on 01/09/2003 11:20:11 AM PST by 1Old Pro (fun, fun, fun till my daddy takes the T-Bird away)
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To: Stone Mountain
I think the biggest point in this debate is the Police were 100% wrong and negligent from the beginning. Even before they told the Cops they had dogs, the Police were very much IN THE WRONG. A report of “money flying out of a car” is not even a report of a crime so the Bozo Police were absolutely wrong from the start. There was NO reported crime and no evidence of a crime…except maybe littering. Now if we turn our brains on we would realize that someone reporting they see money flying out of a car could possibly be mistaken (it was night time). ALL of those policemen NEED to be fired and see SOME jail time. The public entrusts the police with the right to use deadly force – this is a solemn and serious duty – if ANYBODY abuses this entrustment they MUST be fired and punished. This is serious stuff – forget the dog part – the shooter welded deadly force with reckless abandon – he could have kill a person very easily.

Police SERVE the Public – at least that is the way it supposed to be. Currently it looks like many Police feel the public is subservient to them. This is a dangerous slippery sloop.

224 posted on 01/09/2003 11:22:04 AM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: 1Old Pro
not the insurnce carrier or the county taxpayers if they are self-insured.

Odds are 99.99999999999% that they are self insured and it will come out of the taxpayers' pockets.

225 posted on 01/09/2003 11:22:05 AM PST by from occupied ga
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
Excellent point.
226 posted on 01/09/2003 11:24:07 AM PST by mel
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To: patriciaruth
>>But if it had been my dog, I would have cried and then comforted the cop and told him not to feel guilty.<<

You can't possibly mean this. If you are sincere, then you are what's wrong with this country. Tyrants love subjects like you.
227 posted on 01/09/2003 11:26:13 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: KarlInOhio
The family repeatedly pleaded with the police to simply shut the door so the dogs would not get out.
228 posted on 01/09/2003 11:27:29 AM PST by mel
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To: Last Visible Dog
We need the police (911) call and note that was no mention of "armed and dangerous" .
229 posted on 01/09/2003 11:29:09 AM PST by razorback-bert
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To: eno_
" Either conservatism has taken a strange turn, or cops have become jack-booted thugs. Which do you think is more likely to be the correct objective answer?"

Well, according to you the Gestapo were just overly eager traffic cops. In this case, the cops were just over eager Nazis. Tell us, which cheek do you kiss???
230 posted on 01/09/2003 11:31:58 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: mel
LOL, which excellent point? I've made so many....
231 posted on 01/09/2003 11:33:21 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: mel
The family repeatedly pleaded with the police to simply shut the door so the dogs would not get out.

Well, yes, but are you going to listen to the request of hardened criminals like this family?
232 posted on 01/09/2003 11:35:53 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: BibChr
>>But their blasted dog attacked a cop. <<

Not true. Please limit your posts to truthful ones.
233 posted on 01/09/2003 11:44:37 AM PST by SerpentDove
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
FINALLY!!!! Two things I can agree with you on: Your comment and your tagline. (And, yeah, I have a problem with that. So what?) :^)
234 posted on 01/09/2003 11:51:26 AM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: A tall man in a cowboy hat
The people in involved told the cops to shut the doors on their car so the dogs would not get out. The police ignored them and then shot the dog. It's preaty clear cut that all parties that conducted this affair should be punished. The person that called in to the police should have a HUGE law suit against her.

I agree with everything except your last comment. If the lady was calling in the report maliciously so as to screw with the family, then there should certainly be a suit filed. However, if she made an honest mistake, and called in with what she thought was evidence of a crime, she shouldn't be punished. If she were, this would set a terrible precedent, and would discourage people from calling in crimes that they were witness to - I certainly would think twice about reporting a crime if I knew that I would be subject to a lawsuit if I were mistaken. The police, on the other hand, are supposed to be specifically trained to handle matters such as these...
235 posted on 01/09/2003 11:55:33 AM PST by Stone Mountain
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To: dcwusmc
Hey, I like your tag line, but I think you should edit it to read the following:

The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think for himself and is well-trained in the use of arms.
236 posted on 01/09/2003 11:57:28 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, home of the knave...)
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Comment #237 Removed by Moderator

To: JohnHuang2
"...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."

In other words, "Who you gonna believe? Me, or your own lyin' eyes?"

238 posted on 01/09/2003 11:58:35 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts
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To: BibChr
THIS is what cops are for... not shooting family pets or doing knockless takedowns or what ever... Yet suckups like you and patriciaruth seem to like kneeling before them.... I hope your chains rest lightly...
239 posted on 01/09/2003 12:01:29 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
The killing of Mrs. Weaver was outrageous, and I'm sure that most FReepers will agree to that. It was unjustified, and the shooter deserved to be jailed or even executed and the 'system' instead protected him. That the general populace isn't as outraged at that case (mostly due to lack of information, as many people are ignorant as to the facts of Ruby Ridge) does not make this shooting any more justified.
240 posted on 01/09/2003 12:10:26 PM PST by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
Exactly. This shooting is just as chicken bleep as the Weaver case. The general populace however is outraged. The Cookeville,TN website is pretty much shut down. They are getting hammered. And I'm sure the mayor is hearing it from all over...
241 posted on 01/09/2003 12:12:27 PM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: patriciaruth
Whatever, the possible danger to the cop was real.

Possible. But do you think the officer had more than one round in his pump action shotgun? Do you suppose a blast from a shotgun fired in close proximity as a warning shot would stop the pooch in his tracks? A shotgun is pretty damn loud and unless the dog is trained around them, it will cower at the sound.

Hellfire, even the most vile, evil, child raping, murderer fleeing from police gets a warning shot. And I consider this dog to be a higher form of life than that.

The fact is that this cop is a lowlife and made a snap decision to fire before assessing the situation rationally. Take his guns away and put him behind a desk. His next shooting may involve a kid with a candy bar that he supposes to be a weapon.

242 posted on 01/09/2003 12:15:27 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Other than that I have no strong feelings on the matter.)
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To: Ouachita
I downloaded the video and tried to watch it, but because it was encoded with that Pile Of Bits, RealVideo, I can't make out much of anything that's happening. I can't even see when the dog gets out of the car.

Shame they didn't use a decent encoder for this.

243 posted on 01/09/2003 12:15:59 PM PST by savedbygrace (Jesus is Lord)
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To: walkingdead
Now I'm with a few of the people on this thread. I'd go home, grab my 12ga. and wait on that cops front porch for him to get home. Because you see, he killed my dog, which could have just as easily been my son/daughter/wife/dad/ect. This police officer derserves to be removed from the gene pool.

As more and more of these incidents happen, the likelyhood of what you said happening becomes more and more a possiblity. If I was to sit on a jury to judge a person who killed a cop for "accidently" killing a family member ... I would NEVER vote to convict.

244 posted on 01/09/2003 12:17:51 PM PST by clamper1797
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
I'd say that the dog is a higher form of life than this cop, and more deserving of protection.
245 posted on 01/09/2003 12:19:45 PM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you got a problem with that?)
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To: headsonpikes
I can't figure out if you're over-the-top sarcastic or just plain nuts.

I suspect the later

246 posted on 01/09/2003 12:19:59 PM PST by clamper1797
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To: Dimensio
That the general populace isn't as outraged at that case (mostly due to lack of information, as many people are ignorant as to the facts of Ruby Ridge) does not make this shooting any more justified.

Unfortunately, Weaver was villified and demonized so effectively by the media, that the general public believes that he and his family got what they deserved.

247 posted on 01/09/2003 12:23:52 PM PST by ActionNewsBill
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To: Mad Dawgg
Cool!

Was he(?) like a pet? Was it tame? did it stay in your house or free to come and go?

(so many questions!)
248 posted on 01/09/2003 12:24:27 PM PST by Elsie (Potty mouth alert! II)
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To: BibChr
Did you notice that even your good WODDIE buddy, Chancellor Palpatine, is on the other side in this case? Does that tell you something? Like maybe you're full of it up to your little brown eyes? Like the cop deserves WHATEVER happens to him... a slap on the wrist is never good enough, but in this case, maybe a 12 ga. vasectomy would be appropriate.
249 posted on 01/09/2003 12:25:13 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
If I saw Lon Horiouchi on the street, I would follow him and post his whereabouts. The very least I could do.
250 posted on 01/09/2003 12:30:56 PM PST by eno_
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