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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: goody2shooz
Arresting police cannot predict a dog's behavior and will not take a chance of being attacked

And if Joe Q. Citizen had taken out his neighbors dog with a firearm, because he "couldn't take a chance of being attacked", what do you think the response of the JBT's would be?

51 posted on 01/09/2003 6:09:03 AM PST by Mulder
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To: Ouachita
So with the falling dollar, was the traffic stop and handcuffs used for littering? Or was it for falsly inpersonating a congressman buy tossing money around?
I care about the dog. But why was the traffic stop conducted as a take down.

52 posted on 01/09/2003 6:11:46 AM PST by earplug
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To: JohnHuang2
"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.

There, there officer Hall. As the American police state develops, I'm sure that you'll have many fine career opportunities.

Next time you see a sobbing 17 year old boy, who others might think is mourning his dog, you - being more perceptive than others - might be forced to defend yourself again. Won't that be fun?

/*****Sarcasm Mode OFF*****/

53 posted on 01/09/2003 6:15:46 AM PST by neutrino
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Comment #54 Removed by Moderator

To: *bang_list
It will be interesting to see what happens now the Muddlestream Media has taken up the cause.

Mixed feelings here.

Best regards to all,

55 posted on 01/09/2003 6:20:19 AM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: tio_lot
The more propaganda you see on TV for a profession or aspect of government, the worse it is in real life.

The current glut of cop shows indicates cops behave as if you took your average public sector employee, pumped him up on steroids and donuts, armed him, and gave him a fast car. And, oh yeah, the union would have to be even more powerful than the teachers' union.

This isn't an easy problem to reform, but a good first step would be to have a lot fewer laws and a lot fewer cops. Another good first step is to vote for referenda (somehow its never in front of the legislature) that strip cop shops and localities of ticket and siezure revenue.
56 posted on 01/09/2003 6:26:32 AM PST by eno_
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To: patriciaruth
Uh, they were too LAZY to shut the car doors, and how many dogs do YOU know who understand "Get back"?

MY dog understands sit, lay down, stay....NOT "Get back!!".
57 posted on 01/09/2003 6:28:56 AM PST by Politicalmom
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To: Squantos
RE post 11: These people sure have a good case against the Jack Booted Thugs.
58 posted on 01/09/2003 6:32:21 AM PST by southland
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To: Copernicus
They have already done their part. Officer Hall will never get another police job even if he keeps his job in the Podunk PD where he works now. He will never make chief. The Internet will remember him forever, and everyone who loves their pets will sooner spit in his face than look at him.
59 posted on 01/09/2003 6:34:19 AM PST by eno_
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To: patriciaruth
" Whatever, the possible danger to the cop was real."

So much for what you know about dogs. The dog's tail was up and wagging per the witnesses and the video. Dogs only attack when their tails are down. That cop was in more danger from shooting himself than that innocent family and their dog.

"Maybe you haven't seen dog bites that ripped off the lower lip of a child or large gapes in someone's arm, but I have."

Yes, and we've all heard but not seen about the sniper shooting Mrs. Weaver armed with a danerous loaded infant in her arms. What next, are you going to defend the Gestapo hauling Jews off to the camps?

" Drug dealers often train their dogs to attack and kill, so there was no way for the cop to know what he was facing."

God forbid he actually did his job and ask questions and do what the family requested and shut the *** damn door to the car. He was too busy flexing and playing with his toys.

"But if it had been my dog, I would have cried and then comforted the cop and told him not to feel guilty."

So if the cops kick the door in on your mother or grandmother's home at 3 a.m. on a no-knock raid and "accidently" shoot her even though they had the wrong address, are you going to "comfort the cop and tell him not to feel guilty" also?
60 posted on 01/09/2003 6:35:35 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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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.

My ass. I'd have told the trigger happy, Barney Fife acting redneck that he'd best be watching his back the rest of his days.

61 posted on 01/09/2003 6:36:34 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you gotta problem with that?)
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To: tio_lot
The "ten percent" theory is accurate in sales as well.
62 posted on 01/09/2003 6:37:29 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: goody2shooz
Yes, God forbid the cops do what the innocent family requested and shut the door to the *** damn car. These JBT's thought they could have some fun. That's the bottom line. These are not legitimate LEO's, these are more of the new generation that is setting up a true "us" against "them" mentality. Add it up. The idiots in Virginia arresting people in bars. The JBT cutting the woman's finger off while handcuffing her in Detroit. The JBT's with the weekly story of the no-knock raids at the wrong address shooting family pets and innocent people. Yup, I'm sure glad he wasted that "menacing" family pet. I guess the family should just be happy they were not executed right there on the spot.
63 posted on 01/09/2003 6:38:30 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: Politicalmom
They weren't too lazy, but if you shut the door, then you don't get to hear your "subjects" beg some more. Also, it is a tacit admission that the people you have subjugated on the side of the road, might be human. It's also harder to kill the dog if it's still in the car.
64 posted on 01/09/2003 6:39:30 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: patriciaruth
In fact, I have a solution. Line cops should be armed only with a billyclub, mace and a stun gun.

As far as I'm concerned, giving them firearms has been a huge mistake.

Yes, there should be a backup crew of gun trained officers that are called in after an unarmed officer sees a gun, but they have proven, time and again, that they cannot interact with ordinary citizens while carrying firearms.

65 posted on 01/09/2003 6:40:08 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you gotta problem with that?)
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To: marvlus
"However, one must not take the few bad apples and generalize the entire police community based on those few bad apples."

Few bad apples? You haven't noticed the national trend??? These are the military rejects, the guys and gals too dumb so they had to get a GED and couldn't even qualify for the Navy!! (sorry had to get my cheap shot in, go Army!). There are reports of police brutality nationwide now on an almost daily basis on FR and other news sites. Perhaps you should read more before making that statement. The older officers are complaining locally about this new generation...because the new generation would rather do steroids and shoot things than to "protect and serve".
66 posted on 01/09/2003 6:42:22 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: tio_lot
There certainly are a lot of great guys doing police work.

I had to say that so it doesn't sound like I hate all cops. There are a very large percentage who are either just plain jerks or are on a power trip or both.

The last real encounter I had was when driving back to visit relatives after having been away from the area for most of my life.

I was driving through a small town, (about 2000) population, when a local businessman ran a stop sign. I almost was able to dodge him but not quite. A minor accident.

The police chief who was off duty, was the first one on the scene. He immediately recognized what had happened and told me not to worry, that a uniformed cop was on the way. When the uniformed cop arrived he immediately "took control of the situation" this came second nature to him as he was a control freak. He began to grill me as to whether I was drinking, wearing seat belts etc. This was after seeing the out-of-state tag on my vehicle. The guy was a regular jerk.

He was also a pretty boy, weight lifter type. I will give him credit for writing the accident up correctly. A couple of days later the other drivers insurance company phoned me and simply told me to get an estimate and they would pay it. I did and they did.

I never did tell the cop that I had a first cousin on his small force, and that I was probably kin to the judge and most people in the area.

67 posted on 01/09/2003 6:42:30 AM PST by yarddog
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To: patriciaruth
Wow. If I ever turn meglomaniac and want to enslave an entire population, a few million like you would be quite handy.
68 posted on 01/09/2003 6:42:34 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
And bring back double-breasted jackets with brass buttons, ties, shiny shoes, and billed hats. This black BDU bullshine should be done away with.
69 posted on 01/09/2003 6:43:53 AM PST by eno_
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To: patriciaruth
What's the matter with you? Trying to inject common sense into a thread filled (I can only guess) with 60's refugees still carrying guilty grudges against The Man? What got into you?

< /sarcasm >

Dan

70 posted on 01/09/2003 6:44:06 AM PST by BibChr
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To: Copernicus
CNN (believe it or not) actually had the family on Commie Chung's show last night!!!! I didn't watch it but you can see the picture of that in the first post.
71 posted on 01/09/2003 6:45:27 AM PST by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: eno_
Yup - lets make them ordinary civil cervants again, instead of the Lord High Sheriffs of the the locality.

My teeth are gritted so hard that they're about to crack.

Anybody got contact info and a website for Cookeville Tennessee, the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Visitors Bureau, etc.?

72 posted on 01/09/2003 6:47:53 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you gotta problem with that?)
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To: patriciaruth
Hindsight is wonderful. But if it had been my dog, I would have cried and then comforted the cop and told him not to feel guilty.

After you'd been handcuffed kneeling, and after they'd ignored your pleas to close the doors to keep the dogs from getting out?

It was a bogus stop. Had they been "serving and protecting" instead of playing macho cop, this whole tragedy would never have happened.

73 posted on 01/09/2003 6:48:55 AM PST by jimt
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To: wimpycat; wardaddy
.
74 posted on 01/09/2003 6:49:44 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine (Yes, I'm a statist neocon RINO imperialist. Do you gotta problem with that?)
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To: patriciaruth
I might tend to agree with you had the owner not requested that the doors be shut to keep the dogs inside.

The officers knew there were dogs in the vehicle, it was not a "surprise attack" by no means. The cops were bullies and the tape shows exactly that. There is no excuse for what they have done and I hope the family sues the ever lovin' pants off them.

We do have a police state here folks... just look at that video.
75 posted on 01/09/2003 6:50:47 AM PST by myrabach
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To: patriciaruth
Watch the video. That dog was waggingits tail!!! Dogs don't wag their tails when they are attacking anyone. The policeman, to use the term lightly, clearly turns and aims his shotgun at the dog, and three seconds was all it took from the time the dog appears to the time he was lying dead at the side of the road. Don't feel too badly, Patricia, you will have lots more chances to apologize for the JBs in the near future. Enjoy!
76 posted on 01/09/2003 6:51:12 AM PST by renosathug
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To: JohnHuang2
"Terry said he will have two unrelated police agencies perform independent reviews of the incident. "

Why bother?? They are hardly disinterested observers.
Cops, Laywers, Teachers, Insurance Agents, Construction Company owners - the bane of modern civilzation. We need them at times, but they have unionized to the point that they have society over a barrel.

This entire incident is disgraceful. You handcuff a guy, his wife, his son and shoot his dog because somebody said they saw MONEY blowing out of the vehicle?? Is this the United States or NAZI Germany??? These guys sound like something out of a bananna republic, not North Carolina.

77 posted on 01/09/2003 6:56:36 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Republic of Texas
BTTT! Absolutely. That's the way I see it. Leaving the door open was a deliberate act on the part of at least some of these cops so that they would have an opportunity to kill the dogs and make "the perps" suffer. I've known a lot of cops. Most are great people. But some are real psychos and do not belong in uniform.
78 posted on 01/09/2003 6:56:59 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: JohnHuang2
Yea, all that tail wagging can be quite decieving.....
79 posted on 01/09/2003 6:57:16 AM PST by walkingdead
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To: patriciaruth
I would have cried and then comforted the cop and told him not to feel guilty.

I would have done the same thing. AFTER I beat the living hell out of the cop for violating my rights and killing my dog.


80 posted on 01/09/2003 7:00:44 AM PST by unixfox
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To: marvlus
"Unfortunately, the bad police get the attention and the news, which causes the overwhelming good service that policemen perform, to be overlooked."

Yep, and I betcha that most of the Hitler's SS troops were really just nice guys trying to help people too...lol!
81 posted on 01/09/2003 7:04:52 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, home of the knave)
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To: yarddog
There certainly are a lot of great guys doing police work.

There are lots of good public school teachers and administrators. However, that doesn't mean that this corrupt, wasteful, ineffective, over-unionized (and so doubly corrupt), incompetent institution doesn't need top-to-bottom reform - be it policing or schools.

82 posted on 01/09/2003 7:05:30 AM PST by eno_
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To: Squantos
What happened to that wonderful word coward?

Certainly applies to this tin hero.
83 posted on 01/09/2003 7:07:24 AM PST by razorback-bert (the dog play dead well now)
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To: TaZ
Sadly, I do support you on this. I used to be very supportive of the police, until I knew them. The reports of "good cops" sound like urban legends as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't give ya 2 cents for any of them. And even if there were those good cops who do a good job, it doesn't excuse events like this. Unfortunately, events like this will just go away with nothing at all being done to correct the situation.
84 posted on 01/09/2003 7:09:33 AM PST by myrabach
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To: BibChr
Pretty hilarious that you cannot see the writing on the wall: The premier conservative Internet forum overwhelmingly sees cops as the armed and steroid-crazed version of public school union members. The propaganda veneer has been ripped off. What is on FR today is mainstream conservatism tommorow - for example, do you think Rush or Savage or even OReilly would side with the cop? The jackbootlickers are small in number and waning in influence.

I'm a married with kids white middle aged upper middle class lifelong registered and frequently contributing Republican. If I think cops are out of control, cops have LOST the PR battle.
85 posted on 01/09/2003 7:13:06 AM PST by eno_
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To: TaZ
You actually raise a good point.

I would bet if you ran into the ordinary Gestapo guy and had a conversation, you might well think he was a nice guy. I recall a member of the French resistance was nearly caught when, while walking in the county he was offered a ride by a Gestapo chief. He had to ride for quite a few miles with the guy.

That old saying about power corrupting is really true.

86 posted on 01/09/2003 7:14:21 AM PST by yarddog
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To: patriciaruth
To find out more information on the current POLICE STATE in your area.... Click HERE


87 posted on 01/09/2003 7:17:43 AM PST by unixfox
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To: eno_
"This isn't an easy problem to reform, but a good first step would be to have a lot fewer laws and a lot fewer cops. Another good first step is to vote for referenda (somehow its never in front of the legislature) that strip cop shops and localities of ticket and siezure revenue."

Yep, that would be the common sense thing to do, but were dealing with a politically currupt bureacracy that is growing leaps and bounds with every 10,000 laws that the legislatures churn out every month...

Add on to that, the new Father-Homeland propaganda that is being added to the already out-of-control LEOS (did you see the Kalifornia State of the Police-State text where Davis talks about the Kali Father-Homeland security dept. he's creating?), and we have a recipe for the most almighty police-state since the Gestapo started asking for papers to allow citizens to travel anywhere...

Jack-Booted-Thugs are feeling totally empowered now and think that blowing the head off a dog distracting from the subjugation of their prey, is a logical choice given their position in Amerika...

This guy will ride a desk for a few months, getting high-fives from all of the guys in the force on their way out to remind the local citizens who is the boss, and then just like the degenerates who executed Amadu Diallo because he was black & didn't "assume the position" in 10 seconds or less, will be found not-guilty and be restored to all of his glorious, jack-booted, super-human powers...
88 posted on 01/09/2003 7:17:47 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, Home of the knave)
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To: unixfox
I would have done the same thing. AFTER I beat the living hell out of the cop for violating my rights and killing my dog.

That was my first thought as well... but notice the two cops who smothered the father the moment they shot the dog.

89 posted on 01/09/2003 7:18:27 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: renosathug
"Watch the video. That dog was waggingits tail!!! Dogs don't wag their tails when they are attacking anyone. The policeman, to use the term lightly, clearly turns and aims his shotgun at the dog, and three seconds was all it took from the time the dog appears to the time he was lying dead at the side of the road. Don't feel too badly, Patricia, you will have lots more chances to apologize for the JBs in the near future."

You're saying that it wasn't more expediant for the JBT to just slaughter the pup as a more logical way for him to perform his "duty"?

C'mon, this guy was just trying to "protekt & serve" the bureacracy...he was just doing his job!

Just like the woman BATF officer that stomped the kitten of another family to death, smiling the whole time in ecstasy, while on another bogus police-raid of law-abiding citizens...

Remember, its for Father-homeland security...Sieg Heil!
90 posted on 01/09/2003 7:24:01 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, Home of the knave)
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To: ambrose
They look pretty suspicious to me. Disheveled appearance, squinty eyes, pale complexion. Yep, it pays to be careful with these kinds of desperados.
91 posted on 01/09/2003 7:24:23 AM PST by dljordan
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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.

I think the fact that the police were warned about the dogs and yet still opened the door, and the fact that the people were on their knees outside the car would make me less able to forgive the police. They were not using caution.

92 posted on 01/09/2003 7:29:54 AM PST by Slyfox
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To: gd124
There is no way in hell that that dog was threatening the officer, as you'll hopefully see when you watch the video.

Two sides to every story.

One the one hand, you have five moron cops who refuse to listen, preferring their own automaton procedures, and leave the doors open, when the dog is plainly visible in the rear window of the vehicle (if it were some "dangerous" breed, and pretending that's not a stupid term), while the "perps" are very obviously complying as peacefully and obediently as they can in every way. If the dog gets loose and gets hit by passing traffic, the cops know they'll be sued. Add in the fact that the cops are relayed false information from a dispatcher who can't figure out that robbers wouldn't be throwing money out the window with the wallet. Bad, dumb, procedure-only cops with incompetent support.

On the other hand, the factors leading up to the moment don't matter when you consider whether an officer is justified in shooting at a single moment. The dog exited the car, ran a single wide circle (prancing, to any dog-lover), and was heading straight towards the cop (probably to sniff his pant leg and to try to lick his face... but the cop can't know this or count on it). He had the weapon trained on the pet the entire time, and was solidly (seemed almost too) professional about it. Once it got within striking (licking) distance, he shot. I can see how a board of reviewing officers, even those who aren't knee-jerk cop-protectors, could see the tenth-of-a-second decision to shoot as a justifiable one.

93 posted on 01/09/2003 7:30:36 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: JohnHuang2
"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.

1. Yelling at a dog you do not know to do anything is almost always pointless. The dog was probably trying to get to it's family (pack).

2. Dogs don't "circle... to attack". They aren't indians from a 50's serial. Dogs charge straight in and low. They grab the closest thing to them on their target.

3. If he wanted to protect himself, and his fellow officers, then the car doors should have been shut to prevent the dogs from exiting in the first place.

This officer needs to be removed from the force and this unit needs to be trained by some K-9 guys in how to handle dogs when making an arrest.

94 posted on 01/09/2003 7:33:47 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: marvlus
"Unfortunately, the bad police get the attention and the news, which causes the overwhelming good service that policemen perform, to be overlooked."

More to the point, "unfortunately" the cops were batting 0 for 4 in this incident.
What do you suppose this says about the "average" cop?

Or do you think that somehow the only four *sshole cops in the State of Tennessee managed to show up at this one stop?

95 posted on 01/09/2003 7:36:40 AM PST by Redbob
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To: eno_
You've never been to Cookville, have you?
They'll probably put up a statue to Officer Hall.
96 posted on 01/09/2003 7:40:34 AM PST by Redbob
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To: Teacher317
I look at it like this. Just replace the dog with a drunk friend this family was giving a ride home. Now, the drunk gets outta the car (having just woke up from being passed out) and weaves his way towards the cop to find out whats going on. The cop tells him to stay there, but the drunk can't hear him due to traffic. So he staggers forward, and the cop blows his head off at the shoulders all in the space of three seconds.

You see, this could just as easily been the way it went down, only you'd have a dead guy instead of a dog. Is either scenario right? Of course not, our un-educated law enforcement is becoming quite a danger.....

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.
97 posted on 01/09/2003 7:41:36 AM PST by walkingdead
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To: Dead Dog
stupid law enforcement/dog killin ping
98 posted on 01/09/2003 7:43:41 AM PST by walkingdead
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To: Republic of Texas
"Wow. If I ever turn meglomaniac and want to enslave an entire population, a few million like you would be quite handy."

Funny you'd mention that: seems like you're well on your way already!

99 posted on 01/09/2003 7:43:57 AM PST by Redbob
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To: Teacher317
"Two sides to every story."

Yep, in Nazi Germany you had the humanity of the Gestapo to take into consideration when considering the fate of the Jews he slaughtered...

You would make a great trial lawyer for mass-murderers.
100 posted on 01/09/2003 7:44:04 AM PST by TaZ (Amerika; Land of the sleaze, home of the knave...)
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