I am told that these shooting are often unjustified. Police also shoot or beat to death cats sometimes. I wonder if this tendency to overuse violence against pets is partly due to the gradual militarization of the police.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the disturbing change in the way the police conduct themselves. There is a blurring of the boundaries between the military and the police.
An example of this is the police raid on the home of a military veteran (ironically) who was growing small quantities of marijuana in his basement. A SWAT style army of policemen invaded his home having smashed his door down and commenced a shoot out with the vet. The U.S. military veteran thought the police were criminals and defended himself with a handgun. I can see why he thought the police were criminals. They behaved like criminals and scared him to death.
The military vet, Mr. Stewart, killed a policeman and wounded six. The police fired about 250 rounds of ammunition. Stewart fired 31. He was shot twice. He hanged himself in his cell after being arrested for murder and other charges.
What happened to the friendly bobby on the street corner answering questions politely? The police are becoming more hostile and more defensive. They are arming themselves with more weaponry and military-style equipment. This change in police culture would seem to encourage the shooting of dogs and cats rather than taking a more sensitive approach that would be far more constructive and humane.
On occasion, the police are creating criminal activity through their antagonistic and violent behavior against peaceful citizens. It is time to take stock and rethink. What has driven the police to behave like this?
The UK is similar. It is difficult to have a peaceful demonstration in the UK without the police interfering and causing problems simply by their oppressive presence.
I think this is post-9/11 anti-terrorism paranoia. In 2005 in the USA there were 50,000 SWAT style raids. In the 1970s there were a few hundred. Society is becoming less democratic and less pleasant and cats and dogs are in danger from the very people who should protect us from danger.