NEWS AND VIEWS-LORAIN, OHIO, USA: I have watched the relevant section of this viral video currently being extensively reported by the news media and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the Ohio police department’s vetting procedure when employing new police officers is inadequate. There is no question in my mind that the Lorain police officer, Elliott Palmer, who fatally gunned down a family’s three-and-half year-old golden retriever is unsuited in terms of their character to be a police officer as matters currently stand. Perhaps some retraining might help.
On YouTube the video is ‘age-restricted’. I can present the Daily Mail’s version but please note that it is unpleasant and hard to watch but I have seen a lot worse from the Asian dog meat markets. It occurred on July 2nd. A group of dogs were outside being rounded up because fireworks had disturbed them. Police Officer Palmer was sent to the neighbourhood.
At base of the article there are more articles on police officers shooting dogs. Take a look and see if you agree with me that there are far too many unnecessary dog killings by the police.
He clearly made the wrong judgement call when, Dixie, the dog concerned, approached him wagging her tail. Yes, Dixie approached him quite quickly but, on my judgement, there were no signs of aggression. He shot her because he said:
Due to the totality of the circumstances, I feared for my immediate safety. As the dog charged me, I drew my service pistol. At this point the dog was no more than a few feet away from me. I then discharged my service pistol several times at the dog to stop the threat. The dog then ran toward the front of my cruiser, and passed due to its injuries.Officer Elliot Palmer
Officer Palmer is actually lying if we are to believe the dog’s owner’s version of events. She says that after the first shot, Dixie collapsed in the street struggling to get up but Palmer continued to shoot the dog despite no possibility of Dixie attacking him. She was totally disabled and at that point severely injured.
Tammie Kerns, Dixie’s owner said: ‘I really don’t know. He is saying he feared for his life, but how is he fearing for his life when the dog is going in the opposite direction?’
The officer’s poor attitude is indicated by firstly incorrectly assessing the dog’s behaviour as she runs towards him and then continuing to shoot at Dixie. Clearly, he was determined to kill Dixie when even on his assessment all he had to do was disable her.
The man is unsuited for the job of police officer in Ohio. There is no question in my mind about that.
I did a quick check on the vetting procedures for police officers in America and they are quite extensive it seems to me. But this isn’t the first dog that has been shot by a police officer unnecessarily. Some appear to be trigger-happy. It seems to me that they want an opportunity to discharge their firearm and when a dog runs up to them as they might for any reason, they can’t resist pulling the trigger.
The sad event took place on July 2. Apparently, there were July 4th fireworks going off and Dixie and other dogs were outside their homes. The neighbours were trying to round them up when officer Palmer was sent to the area to help retrieve the dogs.
Kerns said that she thought the officer was there to help stop traffic to prevent the dogs being involved in a road traffic accident. But things quickly turned bad. As you can imagine the video footage has sparked outrage and the Lorain Police Department are investigating.
They disclosed the body can video footage, I believe, because members of the public had videoed the shooting. In other words, they had to disclose it.
Kerns said that she is going to sue the police but that was said in the heat of the moment. She said “You stupid f***. Why did you do it? I’m suing you.”
Remarkably, Palmer immediately called for backup after the shooting! Why did the man require backup when he had shot an innocent dog that was lying in the street. Perhaps he was concerned about the reaction from the public! Apparently after he shot the dog the neighbours yelled obscenities at him and at other officers present. The neighbours expressed shock and horror at the events.
Palmer’s sergeant ordered him to return to the police station “to remove him from a volatile situation, as he was being targeted by the citizens on-scene.”
There are calls for Palmer to be sacked which is entirely understandable. A peaceful protest has been planned for July 7 at the Lorain Municipal Court by the Justice for Dixie Concerned Citizens campaign group.
The rally is planned to ‘show our support for the family of Dixie and express our request for the immediate removal of Officer Elliot Palmer from the Lorain Police Department,’ according to a member of the campaign group.
Further comment: Police officer vetting in America has to be made more rigorous combined with extra training on dog behavior assessment. There have been too many unnecessary killings of companion animals by police officers. It should not be difficult to amend the current vetting process to include improved training on how to deal with approaching dogs to enable police officers to make a more accurate assessment as to the dog’s mentality when approaching. They need to know more about dog behaviour. Palmer was too nervous of dogs. Perhaps he was frightened of dogs. Is there an assessment in the vetting process of an applicants’ fear of dogs?
Update: There are calls for this jerk of a police officer to be prosecuted and jailed as he is so hated by the public. There is a petition: CLICK THIS TO GO TO IT.
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