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."
Would that be before or after you licked his jack-boots?
You apologists for this kind of police behavior make me sick. Cops are supposed to protect and serve, in this case they did not.
Anyone with an IQ above room temperature should have figured out within 5 seconds that these were NOT bank robbers.
These cops are criminals.
You're quite the apologist, patricaruth.
That cop needs to be fired. If that's how he reacts to an approaching dog, whilst he's got a shotgun at his own disposal (not to mention about a half-dozen other officers), then he's just not the kind of guy I want wielding the power of lethal force.
I think I'm going to be sick.
John, how many times have we read these types of lies after police raids, when there was no video record to contradict them?
I've also watched my own dog go in for the attack - he goes in fast, low, and STRAIGHT. And if he's making any noise, it's a low growl, not a high whine.
But this video showed none of that behavior. The dog lopes around, in a semi-circle, whining.
But this ignores what happened previously - the dog's owner pleaded with the cop to close the door to keep the dog inside. That the dog jumped out of the car is a forseeable consequence. The officer's are negligent.
A firearm, knife, baseball bat or a big dog.
They just want to pull you over and write you up. It's a matter of revenue.
I have lost the respect for police that I had in my youth.
They are now just municipal hacks who avoid the bad-guys and hassle the decent citizens.
If it were up to me, the cop would be given three choices.
1) Squat down and sh*t out an identical dog, to replace the one he murdered.
2) Get down on all fours, and take on the duty of being the family's pet, 24/7, for a period not to exceed a dog's average lifetime - water and Alpo being his sole source of nutrition during that time.
3) Allow himself to be decapitated, via 12 gauge.
Unfortunately, the bad police get the attention and the news, which causes the overwhelming good service that policemen perform, to be overlooked.
I didn't have to stun any of them, mase them, or shoot them. This officer's story is a bunch of crap.
He's probably one of those 'cat lovers' that hate dogs.
I've reported vandalism on my property and became suspect #1. They weren't interested that I knew who the perp was.
I carry a big Buck knife in the front seat of my car for protection.
A cop pulled me over for a seatbelt violation and told me the knife was illegal!
There are more than a few bad apples marvlus.
Translation: You going to believe us, or your own eyes?
If that is the case, then a lesson to be drawn from this incident is to never travel with your dog in the car unless it is in a pet carrier. You can be stopped at any time and directed to exit your car.
Is it just me, or is ERIC a strange name for a dog?