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Video of police shooting dog prompts outrage

The fatal shooting of a dog during a February SWAT team raid in Columbia, Missouri, has prompted the police department to change its policies, Chief Ken Burton said at a news conference Thursday.

You might guess he was talking about the department’s dog-shooting policy, which, judging from this video, seems to be shoot first, shoot some more, and ask questions later.

But no. After killing a family’s pit bull, wounding their Welsh corgi, and terrorizing the suspect’s wife and child — in a bust that netted a mere palmful of marijuana — the police department has revamped department policy so that there won’t be lags between the time they obtain a search warrant and the time they, stormtrooper style, bust into homes.

Burton said the department moved slowly in Whitworth’s case because the SWAT team is made up of part-time members who hold other jobs within the department.

The fact that officer killed one of the suspect’s dogs, intentionally, and wounded another, accidentally — while the incident is still being investigated internally — seems, to him, of little import.

Burton said the pit bull was acting aggressively, and he defended the actions of the officers involved, according to The Missourian.

The suspect, Jonathan Whitworth, pleaded guilty on April 20 to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was fined $300.

Subsequently, the police video was released and found its way onto YouTube, prompting a surge of protests from animal activists.

“We’re getting death threats from literally all over the world,” Burton said.


Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time May 10, 2010 at 12:25 am

They have a part time SWAT team? What, they saw it on television and decided it would be a nice status symbol? Another family terrorized, another dog killed, by clowns masquerading as police officers.

Comment from Jennifer
Time May 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

The dog was acting aggressively? REALLY?! Some people storm into the fucking house and start causing chaos and the dog’s expected to just fucking sit there? Of course he’s going to become aggressive. It’s called the instinct to protect his territory and his family. What the fuck is wrong with people today?
I’ve never trusted the sanity of law enforcement and I never will. They’re drunk on power and completely disgusting human beings.

Comment from Anonymous
Time May 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

jesus christ! Is anyone surprised that they are receiving death threats?

Comment from Anonymous
Time June 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

This is absolutely disgusting. If that poor kid doesn’t grow up to be a cop killer it will be amazing. That poor family. Yes, we need to do something about drugs in this country but to break into someones house, kill their pet and traumatize their child… SICK AND WRONG!!! Shame on everyone of them and all who stand up for this type of thing.