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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: JohnHuang2
If dogs could shoot back, cops wouldn't be so brave to shoot dogs.
351 posted on 01/09/2003 7:28:44 PM PST by PatrioticAmerican
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
While you dare ask what I did, from 87-03 ...

I served as an LEO until 95 when I was hit by a doper ambush in South Florida.

Just curious, how many years active/reserve?

352 posted on 01/09/2003 7:30:52 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
... I have 8 Purple Hearts ...

If that's true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, you need to let these folks know ...

THE RECORD HOLDERS OF THE PURPLE HEART

353 posted on 01/09/2003 7:42:47 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: Kevin Curry; Nuke'm Glowing; Travis McGee; Squantos; blam; Terriergal; Joe Hadenuf; ...
It sure wouldn't be a threat to me. Not for long, anyway. I'd just blow its head off too.

It has its teeth. I have a gun. It loses.

I have no patience for aggressive dogs that act like they want even a little piece of me.

You're a small man Kevin, not only for having that mindset but for posting it here on freerepublic for everyone to see. I really hope and pray that someone as small minded as yourself isn't out there in public as an armed police officer.

354 posted on 01/09/2003 7:46:38 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen
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To: viligantcitizen
No-one touches my dogs! Period!
355 posted on 01/09/2003 7:53:29 PM PST by blam
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To: JohnHuang2
The knuckledragging cop-haters that swarm out whenever a thread like this gets posted drive me up a wall. I'm going to defend the cops in such a case because I cannot bear to yield an inch to asocial numbskulls who have neurotic or psychotic "issues" with law enforcement.

This was a very unfortunate incident, and it is easy to condemn the cop in hindsight. But there was simply no moral fault on the part of the police officers; they were responding as imperfect human beings might be expected to respond to a quickly-unfolding situation filled with unknowns. The death of this dog was no more the moral fault of the police officer than it would be the fault of, say, a driver who runs over a dog rather than swerving, losing of control, and placing his own physical safety at risk. If the choice is between injury to a human or the death of a dog, the human wins--except in PETA world.

Street experience teaches cops to be proactive--not to wait until they have absorbed the first surprise.

Of course the family did nothing wrong, either. And their dog was simply acting as a dog acts. No moral fault or any fault there. Dogs are protective--not particularly discerning. These characteristics make dogs valuable to armed criminals for the same reason they are valuable to a law-abiding families. That's too bad.

The family will understandably be angry and enraged but the cop has no reason to accept the rage and take it personally. He ought to express his sympathy and as a kind gesture offer to get them a new dog, but solely as a gesture of sorrow and kindness--not as an admission of fault.

This kind of incident produces gallons of anger and resentment but offers no legitimate bucket to place them in.

356 posted on 01/09/2003 7:54:57 PM PST by Kevin Curry
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Somebody get me a gun.

357 posted on 01/09/2003 7:55:29 PM PST by Stew Padasso
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To: viligantcitizen
There are always caberet queens who get their rocks off by licking the soles of the Gestapo's boots while they are being beaten with riding crops.

In extreme cases they are so proud of their fetish that they brag about it in public.

358 posted on 01/09/2003 7:58:26 PM PST by Travis McGee (BLOAT, cache, and take names!)
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To: JohnHuang2
Take the Cookeville Quality Survey

http://www.cookevillepolice.com/contact_us/quality_of_service.htm
359 posted on 01/09/2003 8:00:11 PM PST by lqcincinnatus
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To: lqcincinnatus
Take the Cookeville Quality Survey

http://www.cookevillepolice.com/contact_us/quality_of_service.htm

Wrong agency. LEO Eric Hall works for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, no the Cookeville Police Department!

360 posted on 01/09/2003 8:05:01 PM PST by Frohickey
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To: Frohickey
Ooops... sorry... you are correct. The shooter worked for the Cookeville PD, assisting the THP.
361 posted on 01/09/2003 8:06:05 PM PST by Frohickey
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To: patriciaruth
The officer in this case of canine homicide is a coward and a disgrace to the profession. Imagine if the mailperson or meter reader could kill the family pet under similar circumstance because he/she felt threatened? Is that ok with you too?
362 posted on 01/09/2003 8:07:09 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: Kevin Curry
Look Kevin, if these suspects were dressed down, teardrop, jail jockey types, and there were five or six of them with their pet Pitbull, I could possible see the LEOs being tensed up, and tightly wound.

Have you seen the picture of this family? I mean they appear as a normal family. LOL! I mean a very normal looking family.

In my opinion, these LEOs totally over reacted. The suspects were already down, if you will. Their small dog was not enough of a threat to shake club at for cripes sakes.

363 posted on 01/09/2003 8:16:04 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: Kevin Curry
"But there was simply no moral fault on the part of the police officers; they were responding as imperfect human beings might be expected to respond to a quickly-unfolding situation filled with unknowns."

Yes there was moral and professional fault on the part of the officers.

First, they made a felony stop on the assumptions of one lady who thought a crime may have been committed, not one the report of an actual crime.

Second, they were notified at 2:18 that there were dogs in the car and were requested to shut the door so they couldn't get out. 40 minutes later, at 3:08, the dog comes out of the car and is shot.

From here.

What if the dog had been viscious? Shouldn't the officers have inquired into securing the dog immediately upon becoming aware it was in the car with the door open?

The bottom line is these officers did not maintain control over the situation, as is their job.

364 posted on 01/09/2003 8:16:08 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen
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To: sinkspur
Like many things, it depends where you are. Where I live, the law enforcement authorities are extremely polite and professional, and seem well adjusted. If they weren't, they would be in deep trouble in a hurry. But then, the crime rate is low, and the stress it low, etc. In some other places, I am sure it is a whole different ball game.
365 posted on 01/09/2003 8:27:01 PM PST by Torie
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
The idiots who have decided NOT TO VOTE are guilty.

So, the conservatives that don't vote are at fault?

Those of us here do voice our opinions and decide to fight against this.

Where? Where do you voice your opinion? Here on FR? Where else?

Unfortunately, our voice has been diminshed much like the middle class of 1937 in another nation.

How? How has our voice been diminished?

I need you to explain it to me. I've got more friends who are cops in and out of the military than I've got fingers and toes, and none are JBTs.

I've never had a problem I couldn't handle with any cop, but then at my size and (obviously) military, maybe I don't get the JBT treatment. I want to know where the visceral reaction that causes FReepers to call other FReepers bootlickers, and worse, comes from. I want to know where these macho self-righteous "patriots" get their venom.

366 posted on 01/09/2003 8:27:04 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: viligantcitizen
As I see it at 2:09 he told them he had a dog in the car at the same time the officer on the left finally decided to check the car and looked in with his flashlight. He should have seen the dog and advised the other officers of the dog and simply had them close the door. The car should have been "cleared" by one officer before all the cops approached the vehicle and suspects on the ground. How did they know all the occupants had exited the vehicle?
367 posted on 01/09/2003 8:28:17 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: Kevin Curry
Actually the family did do something wrong. Apparently the car was flying down the road at a high rate of speed, well above the speed limit. This was a factor that led the lady to call in to the police(she said it must have been traveling 110mph, which is surely an exaggeration, but I doubt she would have said that if the guy was driving just 5 miles over the speed limit.) So not only was the driver breaking the law(speeding), he was doing so in a manner sufficient to arouse suspicion.

This is in no way implying that I approve of the shooting of the dog, nor of the way the family was treated at the traffic stop(before and after the dog shooting). However the driver's actions was a contributing factor to the unfortunate situation. A series of errors led to the tragedy, and not just from the cops(the one wonders why with all the officers there one couldn't have shut the door).

Not that the vile cop-hating scum that spew all over these threads would ever take note of that.
368 posted on 01/09/2003 8:31:30 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: optimistically_conservative
Ask Randy Weaver, relatives of the Waco Bonfire, the Kid shot in the face by the FBI agent, those numerous innocents shot by WOD raids etc, as well as those who have been the object of false evidence by LEO such as LA's Rampart, falsification of forencics etc, why they are skeptical of LEO....
369 posted on 01/09/2003 8:32:21 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: Kevin Curry
This kind of incident produces gallons of anger and resentment but offers no legitimate bucket to place them in.

Oh yea, there's a bucket alright. Ever heard of cruelty animals? It's a crime...and with conviction can result in time. The kind of time this trigger happen mentally challenged bonehead should do...besides being fired as a disgrace to the profession and then forever forbidden to possess any kind of weapon so long as he shall live.

370 posted on 01/09/2003 8:33:47 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: viligantcitizen
... 40 minutes later ...

Try 40 seconds, even better, try watching the video!

At 17:20:10 on the tape, a THP officer moves up to the driver's side of the "suspect" vehicle and shines his flashlight into the car. At the same time, Mr. Smoaks tells the officers that he has dogs in the car. At this point, the THP officer should have seen the dogs as well. It was his duty at that time to recognize the danger these dogs posed to highway traffic and the safety of the officers and "suspects" - and contain the dogs. Failure to do so led to Patton, coming out of the car. This was NOT following proper procedure and should be shown in a civil suit as negligence.

At 17:20:30 Mr. Smoaks clearly says he has dogs in the car and doesn't want them jumping out. At this time the officer who had approached the vehicle (I'd like to know which THP officer this was - I'm betting Lt. Jerry Andrews) was shining his flashlight down on Mr. Smoaks hands as a second THP officer was cuffing him and the third THP officer had cuffed Mrs. Smoaks and was now cuffing their son. There is no reason this officer could not, and should not, have secured the dogs in the car.

Patton comes out of the car soon after Mr. Smoaks second warning, 17:20:35, perhaps 15 seconds after the THP officer should have identified the dogs and secured them. It was this negligence and improper procedure that led to Patton being shot.

371 posted on 01/09/2003 8:34:45 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: viligantcitizen
Methinks you've got your time and math confused. The times quoted are minutes and seconds, not hours and minutes. Thus it was about 50 seconds that elapsed between them telling the police that the dog was in the car and the dog jumping out. Not a huge amount of time.
372 posted on 01/09/2003 8:36:12 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Apparently the car was flying down the road at a high rate of speed, well above the speed limit. This was a factor that led the lady to call in to the police(she said it must have been traveling 110mph, which is surely an exaggeration, but I doubt she would have said that if the guy was driving just 5 miles over the speed limit.)

"Apparently?"

Better to remain silent and let them think you a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

373 posted on 01/09/2003 8:42:50 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: rolling_stone
Skeptical Good. No problem with that.

Explain how this rises to the level of Ruby Ridge and Waco. I have a visceral reaction to what the Klinton/Reno/Alfright did to this country, and I have a big problem with the militarization of law enforcement and metaphorical wars on US citizens by the government.

How does that translate to this stop or to labeling other FReepers?
374 posted on 01/09/2003 8:46:15 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: Kevin Curry
Buy a clue: Even with your bootlicking, Eric "Pet Murderer" Hall couldn't get a foursome for golf on the biggest conservative forum on the Internet. His picture is in the dictionary next to "pariah." If a forum full of white middle class conservative males is full of "cop haters," which do you think is true:

1) The orbiting mind control satellites have inserted cop hating into the brains of otherwise normal conservative Republican white males most of which have never even had a misdemeanor arrest? Or...

2) Something is deeply wrong with law enforcement.

Sometimes, when everyone hates you, it might be your fault.

375 posted on 01/09/2003 8:47:40 PM PST by eno_
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To: eno_
Sometimes, when everyone hates you, it might be your fault.

Like the Jews in Germany earlier this century and in Isreal since then today?

376 posted on 01/09/2003 8:49:52 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: All
Even in the wilds of uncivilized Africa they have rules about killing some animals. Violators are often referred to as "poachers" and when caught can do serious time.

In the wilds of uncivilized America folks with a govt badge can kill anything that moves so long as they can shortly after the fact recall and recite the words: "I felt threatened."

377 posted on 01/09/2003 8:53:47 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: optimistically_conservative
I did not say this stop rose to any level, just that there is a reason normal conservative law abiding citizens are voicing their disgust.

It is like the straw that broke the camel's back, Years of abuse of authority and excessive force, lying and such have resulted in a powderkeg of contempt. I for one can now imagine how a minority person could grow up years ago and believe police lied and beat people, because now it is happening everywhere not just in the ghetto. With little or nothing being done to stop it, it appears that justice and fair treatment is a thing of the past and is continuing to go downhill.
378 posted on 01/09/2003 8:54:57 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: takenoprisoner
Better to remain silent and let them think you a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.

How likely is it that a woman would lieand call the police to claim a car doing the speed limit was traveling 110mph, vs. how likely she was telling the truth about the car speeding? Her other claim that money was coming from the car was validated by the driver's admission that he left his wallet on top of the car. So it is hardly foolish to believe her when she stated that the car was speeding.

Sorry if inconvenient factors get in the way of pious bitching and damning. Like most tragic incidents, the blame is not as clearcut as zealots would like to believe.

379 posted on 01/09/2003 8:57:23 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: rolling_stone
...and by that time, no one was left to speak up.
380 posted on 01/09/2003 9:05:17 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Sorry if inconvenient factors get in the way of pious bitching and damning. Like most tragic incidents, the blame is not as clearcut as zealots would like to believe

No problem here pal. I'll just call you in to 911 next time you're on the streets with your family on vacation. I'll just make up something real good. Then we'll see what happens to you and your family. How's that sound?

381 posted on 01/09/2003 9:12:10 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: Diddle E. Squat
http://www.unknownnews.net/cache41.html

http://www.rense.com/general33/carolina.htm

382 posted on 01/09/2003 9:14:52 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: takenoprisoner
And what makes you think she made up the part about speeding?

BTW, she called the police because she saw money coming from the car(apparently when the wallet on the roof spilled its load). You seem to keep overlooking that pertinent point.
383 posted on 01/09/2003 9:20:07 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Many a woman has left her purse on the roof of car to scatter it's contents upon the pavement. It's not all that an uncommon occurence. Get it?
384 posted on 01/09/2003 9:25:37 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: takenoprisoner
You implied that I was foolish to think that the lady calling 911 was telling the truth about the cars speeding. Yet it has been confirmed that she was correct in noting that money had come from the car, and she reported 2 cars traveling at a high rate of speed, which matches the fact that the family was traveling in 2 cars. If she was making up the stuff about the speeding, how likely is it that she would know that the family was traveling in two cars?

All things considered, the likelihood that the driver was speeding is pretty good. So your childish condescension has been shown to be unwarranted, and further raised questions about your objectivity and credibility. Get it?
385 posted on 01/09/2003 9:35:12 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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To: blam
No-one touches my dogs! Period!

Amen!

Fine looking critters on your home page. The two dogs on your left look a lot like my two lab/golden mixes.

They're family.

386 posted on 01/09/2003 9:35:18 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Diddle E. Squat
No, you don't get it. I can't help but wonder why? Perhaps it is a capacity issue? Perhaps it is a denial issue? Either way, it's an issue you must resolve on your own. That is if capable.
387 posted on 01/09/2003 9:42:27 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: optimistically_conservative
The THP officer who shone the light into the car also asked what kind of dog this was (or what kind of dogs these were).

To me that shows they knew about the dogs and should have closed the door, but it also shows they were concerned about the dogs as a threat.

388 posted on 01/09/2003 9:50:37 PM PST by palmer
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To: JohnHuang2
Armed and dangerous--three carloads of shit for brains with blazing guns.

God help us when we face terrorists--not just the Griswolds.

Officer Lying Dogkiller needs to go to Johnson Prison.

389 posted on 01/09/2003 9:51:56 PM PST by PhilDragoo
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To: palmer
but it also shows they were concerned about the dogs as a threat.

So when I am detained at a roadblock where there is a police dog, can I shoot the police dog as it approaches me or my car?

390 posted on 01/09/2003 9:56:06 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: optimistically_conservative; Diddle E. Squat
A poster on another thread pointed this out to me, but thanks for alerting me to my error.
391 posted on 01/09/2003 9:58:34 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen (Reading comprehension is a good thing.)
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To: Monitor
He should be 'Cullens Hound'.

Conor, the High King of Ireland, set out one day with his guard of the Red Branch to visit Cullen, the smith who fashioned their weapons. When all were inside his walls, Cullen closed the gate and turned out his watchdog, a very hungry wolfhound. Setanta, the king's foster son, decided to join them when he finished his hurling game. Approaching Cullen's gate, the dog growled and made to lunge at the boy. To save himself, Setanta whacked a ball down the dog's throat with his hurling stick. Cullen was distraught over the loss of his animal so Setanta offered to secure a replacement. He said to the smith, "Until the young dog is ready to take the old dog's place, I'll be your hound." The local Druid, personal high priest to the king, was very impressed by Setanta's acceptance of responsibility. He gave the boy a high honor by naming him, Hound of Cullen. Cullen's Hound...Cuchullain Ulster Red Branch Cycle lore.

392 posted on 01/09/2003 10:00:53 PM PST by Black Agnes
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To: palmer
I'm convinced that the THP bears the responsibility for Patton leaving the car and then being shot.

There is another FReeper (politico) that gave me this link to the Putnam Pit which details some of the problems in the Cookeville Police Department.

393 posted on 01/09/2003 10:06:02 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: Kevin Curry
Thank you Kevin... Your post is an outpost of sanity in a desert of emotionalism.
394 posted on 01/09/2003 10:17:35 PM PST by Swordmaker
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To: viligantcitizen
Second, they were notified at 2:18 that there were dogs in the car and were requested to shut the door so they couldn't get out. 40 minutes later, at 3:08, the dog comes out of the car and is shot.

It is amazing the lack of the abilityh to analyze being exhibited here... the time frame is SECONDS not MINUTES... the events occurred in less than 4 minutes from the time the Smoaks car pulls over and the death of the dog. Officer Hall reacted in much less time... the dog got out and about 5-6 seconds later is shot.

395 posted on 01/09/2003 10:22:37 PM PST by Swordmaker
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To: Swordmaker; viligantcitizen
SECONDS not MINUTES

He knows...check 391.

396 posted on 01/09/2003 10:25:06 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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To: Swordmaker
...the time frame is SECONDS not MINUTES... the events occurred in less than 4 minutes from the time the Smoaks car pulls over and the death of the dog. Officer Hall reacted in much less time... the dog got out and about 5-6 seconds later is shot.

If the cop had ever been a paperboy, back when there were "paper boys," then the moron would have known the difference between a real threat and a perceived threat... When to kill and when not to kill.

Only a former paperboy will understand this.

397 posted on 01/09/2003 10:31:02 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: All

Just wait, you ain't seen nothin yet. For now, they just shoot anything that moves. Next comes you, the sitting target.
398 posted on 01/09/2003 10:38:05 PM PST by takenoprisoner
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To: Swordmaker
"It is amazing the lack of the abilityh to analyze being exhibited here... the time frame is SECONDS not MINUTES... the events occurred in less than 4 minutes from the time the Smoaks car pulls over and the death of the dog. Officer Hall reacted in much less time... the dog got out and about 5-6 seconds later is shot."

Thanks for notifying me of my error. Although I have already been notified several times, I deserve every bit of flaming I get for making such a glaring error.

399 posted on 01/09/2003 10:41:38 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen (Reading comprehension is a good thing.)
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To: takenoprisoner
I was a paperboy and never killed any of the dogs on my route, but I did put a BB into a few.
400 posted on 01/09/2003 10:44:15 PM PST by optimistically_conservative
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