Police killing of Cisco getting a second look
In addition to taking a closer look at the incident, in which a blue heeler named Cisco was shot by an officer who had responded to wrong address, the department says it is re-examining its policies.
“This incident has drawn a lot of attention,” Assistant Police Chief David Carter told the Austin American-Statesman.
“We’ve received a lot of calls, a lot of emails from people who are very concerned. And we are, too,” he said.
Cisco, owned by Michael Paxton, was shot by officer Thomas Griffin, who was responding to a call about a domestic disturbance. Griffin arrived at the wrong address by mistake and said he shot the dog after it charged him.
Paxton denies that Cisco behaved aggressively, but reports indicate that at least two complaints had previously been filed with animal control about the dog — one by a woman who claimed she’d been bitten when she tried to pet him in a parking lot.
While originally discounting Paxton’s version of events and saying the officer acted properly, police officials showed a more conciliatory tone Wednesday.
“The bottom line is, we have a citizen who was going about his business, who was not involved in criminal or suspicious activity,” Carter said. “And he loses his dog. … That’s a big deal, and we recognize that.”
Carter said the official review includes the 911 call and how dispatchers responded to it, the officer’s tactics and what happened afterward. Carter said the department is also examining its policies and training for animal encounters.
The review will also look at whether the recent shooting death of an Austin officer might have resulted in “hypervigilance” on Griffin’s part when he encountered the dog, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
The shooting garnered national attention. A Facebook page called “Justice for Cisco” has more than 71,000 supporters that have left messages of support and, often, outrage.
Acevedo offered condolences to Cisco’s owner during an interview on the “Dudley and Bob Morning Show” on KLBJ FM Radio.
“My heart goes out to him. I think if you ask everybody in the department, believe it or not, we’re animal lovers, just like everybody else,” Acevedo said
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, apology. animal control, art acevedo, austin, behavior, bites, biting, bitten, blue heeler, cisco, dog, dogs, killed, michael paxton, officer, pets, police, police chief, shot, texas, thomas griffin