Denver Cop Kills Dog – “Threatened by a Yellow Lab” – Give me an effing break!

I’ve never encountered a yellow Labrador that wasn’t full of play, a kind of goofy dedication to effusing all of the simple gifts given to dogs. Yellow Labs are people dogs, cuddlers extraordinaire, most I’ve known even love cats, other dogs, certainly children. You gotta love a Lab, tongue hanging out the side of its mouth, chasing the Frisbee, the ball nonstop until the human parent collapses from the effort. I’ve never seen a hint of menace in a yellow Lab’s eyes; only love, joy. Once again, yellow Labs communicate through their eyes the simple gifts given to dogs. The only thing I’ve ever seen that could be considered threatening or dangerous in a yellow Lab is the, at times, dangerous wag of their tails–fine crystal should never be left on the coffee table where a Lab lives.

So, comes the story that a Denver cop fired two slugs into Rocky, a three-year-old yellow Lab who apparently, from an eye-witness account, was frolicking unattended through a north Denver neighborhood. Yes, allegedly, police received a report of a “vicious” dog in the neighborhood near Horace Mann School. And, yes, the brave, oh so brave officer reported that when he approached the dog, the dog turned and, consequently, the officer felt his life was “threatened,” and therefore shot and killed it.

Not so, says the eyewitness, Serferino Qunitana. Serefino related (Rocky Mtn. News – Tilli Fong) that he never saw the dog turn on the officer, that the dog was running into a side yard of a home when it got shot. “Bam, bam–that was it,” Quintana said. “The dog was running for his life.”

Apparently, the dog was fifteen feet or so away from the cop when the shots were fired.

You may remember another story about a Denver cop killing a “vicious” dog, a Dalmatian, in 2004.

Excerpting from that prior post:

The story in the Denver Post this morning reported that Denver Police spokesman John White said, “The dog bit the officer on his wristwatch, likely saving the officer from serious injury … The officer fired once, striking the dog … but it returned and attacked a second time. That’s when the dog was put down.” (Five slugs total in what was probably a forty to fifty pound dog!)

Well, no shit Sherlock! A Chihuahua could cause serious injury if backed against the wall; if it’s territory had been invaded and if it had already been wounded.

This cowboy mentality on the part of Denver police officers; this absurd state-of-mind fed by some notion that if it’s police business anything is justified; anything goes; any damned violence or humiliation or — for Christ’s sake! — the outright murder of a family pet is just okeydokey, no problem, just one of those unfortunate things that happens when the cowboys ride, has just got to be reined in.

Mayor Hickenlooper, Manager of Safety LaCabe and Police Chief Gerry Whitman were recently handed a mandate by the people of Denver via the ballot box to get a handle on police behavior; to restructure and certainly reexamine police policy in cases similar to this; most of which have involved the deaths of human beings.

The Mayor and his minions had best get moving on this one. ‘Cause, Denver may be known as a fanatical sports town, but don’t even try to get us started on how we feel about our animals; our dogs!

Okay. I guess a little “here we go again” is in order. As I’ve written before, the cop who is able to protect and preserve his or her own humanity in spite of the unkind world he or she is expected to confront and tame; calm and pacify day after day after day is, indeed, a lucky cop.

Yes, and after having said that, there is that acknowledgment that there’s more than a few beefed-up, hard-as-nails (or scared shit-less, masquerading as hard-ass), trigger-happy half-wits who never, ever should have been given the blue and the badge and the gun; I’m thinking there’s more than a few of these guys and gals puffing up their chests and gritting their teeth who never, ever give a second thought to preserving and protecting their own humanity much less that of whom they serve. These are dangerous people.

You shoot a three-year-old yellow Lab to death who is running away from you, but you shoot anyway, because you know you can get away with it by simply reporting you felt “threatened,” is a cowardly act by someone who has lost their humanity. Period. You, mister Officer–whoever you are–should be ashamed of yourself, should turn in your badge. Next time it might be my dog, or, hell my next door neighbor who you, mister Officer–fuckin’ cowboy that you are–would surely feel justified in murdering because, um, you felt “threatened.”

Let me end this by saying there is a difference between “feeling” threatened and actually being threatened. ‘Course, I guess that’s a concept a little to deep, a little too vague for a Denver cop to figure out.

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8 Responses to Denver Cop Kills Dog – “Threatened by a Yellow Lab” – Give me an effing break!

  1. I said a few years ago that the number of acts of violence would begin going up and *keep* going up until we’d retaken the White House. I’m unhappily being proven correct. I just didn’t think the police would be -part- of the problem. I was thrilled there were no deaths during the DNC, though the red-meat reich was all but drooling for it – and preparing for it and whetting their knives hoping for it. Guess this is part of the PNTSD (Post Non-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – they didn’t get to snuff any damn libruls -then- so now they’ll just start shooting pets. The heroism is legendary. I wonder how long till some poor old street geezer or god forbid homeless vet gets it. Here’s hoping hizzoner takes a little of the remaining DNC cash hoard and buys a deluxe clue-pack: Hiring thugs with personality flaws equals gigantic publicity disaster plus lawsuits. Wake up Mr. Mayor, Wake Up.

  2. georgeindenver says:

    Thanks, Doog. I guess, for me, the specter of a cop killing a family’s pet–a yellow Lab, for god’s sake!–rubs a raw nerve where a logical questions emerges: “Why not let the trained and perhaps the great deal more humane folks with Animal Control take care of these things? The cop could of stayed in his cruiser, hunkered down and peeked out the window just to make sure this savage beast didn’t lick a little kid on the face. Those tongues are lethal in that way: sop up your face, make you giggle a bit. But, no, give the wrong guy/gal a badge and a gun and you better believe they’re gonna cowboy their way through any situation. Hell, that nine millimeter is the first defense against the possibility of getting dog hair on your uniform. Just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. But, then, what does these days? Hell, Palin has international experience ’cause she can see Russia from her back door, while she gnaws on leg o’ moose as her daughter is getting knocked-up in the back bedroom. Nah, nothing anymore is making a whole helluva lot of sense.

  3. Beth says:

    That’s a shocking story. I just don’t understand how it could have happened.

    I’m afraid of big dogs, so I can understand the fear part, but even if a dog attacks you, how about a good strong kick?

  4. georgeindenver says:

    Thanks, Beth. Or, maybe a shot of mace or, as you say, a kick. I’ve still got to observe that, according to the eyewitness, the cop was not in danger, was not “threatened,” and had no need for either mace, a kick and certainly not two nine millimeter bullets to protect himself.

  5. Dave Felice says:

    George, you’ve said about all there is to say. I’m so flabbergasted even I am speechless. As you point out, this was a yellow lab, not a raging pit bull. Incidents such as this are evidence that our humanity is in danger. And why is a police officer doing animal control work? Did somebody at 3-1-1 misunderstand the nature of the call? It’s just all too incredible! –Dave

  6. georgeindenver says:

    Dave, thanks. Hard to wrap your mind around a thing such as this. I just hope there’s some kind of investigation that doesn’t just simply provide–as they usually do–an official police conclusion that it was “justified.”

  7. Dave Felice says:

    Why are we not surprised? Let’s thank Officer Felsoci for keeping us safe from terrorist yellow Labradors. Maybe it was all a set-up by Glen Spagnuolo.
    ————————————-

    DA won’t prosecute Denver cop in dog shooting
    By Mike McPhee
    The Denver Post

    Article Last Updated: 09/25/2008 04:48:33 PM MDT

    (Photo)
    Zowie Drayer, 5, holds a picture of her dog, Rocky, who was shot by a Denver police officer. (The Denver Post)

    Stories about dog shooting clash
    Denver police kill dog near school

    The Denver district attorney’s office will not prosecute a police officer who shot and killed a dog on the loose two weeks ago in northwest Denver.

    After receiving the police department’s internal investigation into the shooting incident on Sept. 8, the DA’s office concluded today that a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named Rocky had lunged at Officer Michael Felsoci and that he was justified in shooting it.

    Felsoci shot the dog in the mouth as it lunged at him, then shot it again in the back after it turned and ran away, said DA spokesperson Lynn Kimbrough.

    She said the investigation showed that Rocky earlier had attacked a man in the neighborhood, which prompted an emergency call to police and animal control. The alleged victim never was identified.

    The dog’s owner, Katrina Mudgett, said Rocky had never been in trouble before and said the dog lived peacefully with her and her 5-year-old daughter.

    The dog got away Sept. 8 and roamed from its home at West 40th Avenue and Osage Street. It met up with another small dog and wandered to a park near Horace Mann Middle School at West 42nd Avenue and Lipan Street while classes were in session.

    Originally, police said they had received three emergency phone calls about the dog, then said later that someone had flagged a patrol car to report the dog.

    A neighbor, 68-year-old Seferino Quintana, said he saw the two dogs run through a park south of the school toward 40th Avenue, where Officer Felsoci confronted Rocky. Quintana said the dog ran away from Felsoci but that Felsoci chased it while shooting it twice.

    “A loose dog never attacks someone unless it’s in its own territory,” Quintana said. “That dog was running from the officer when he shot it the first time.”

    Mike McPhee: 303-954-1409 or mmcphee@denverpost.com

  8. sally sutherburg (grandma of rocky) says:

    they shot rocky because our little girl chuahua/poodle lunged at them and they shot rocky so they did not have to say they had too shot a little dog that snarled at them

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