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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Police Officers Open Fire on Dogs

Our crack investigative team here at Legal Schnauzer always is on the alert for injustice. But our investigators' ears really stand up when the victims of apparent injustice are dogs.

The Birmingham Police Department already had major problems on its hands, thanks to a videotaped beating officers recently administered to an unconscious human suspect. Now, it appears that officers have opened fire on three dogs for, well, pretty much being dogs.

We already know that local police officers can rough up human beings:

Now it looks like they don't treat animals any better.

The latest incident began early Sunday morning on Birmingham's Southside when officers responded to a call about stray dogs. The dogs' owners, Leisa Bunn and Rusty Crawford, had just gotten home after closing their nearby pizza restaurant. Crawford was walking the dogs, without a leash, in an area behind their apartment building when officers appeared.

Bunn and Crawford say the officers drew their weapons and started firing without speaking first to Crawford. A police department spokesman said officers became alarmed when the dogs charged them, and they asked Crawford to take control of the dogs.

Officers apparently fired about six shots. One dog was shot in the leg and may have to have an amputation. Another dog was shot but not seriously injured. The third dog was unharmed.

Crawford and Bunn became angry after the shooting and wound up being arrested for disorderly conduct.

Our investigators, of course, are primarily concerned about the dogs' well being. But taking the canine component out of the equation, the officers' behavior still appears to be egregious. Birmingham's Southside is a densely populated area, with people out and about at all hours. The officers' actions clearly were harmful to four-legged creatures, but they could have been deadly for two-legged types, as well.

Tommy Spina, attorney for Crawford and Bunn, said evidence indicated the dogs were running away from the officers when they were shot. Spina said the case is another example of overly aggressive behavior by Birmingham police officers:

"In light of recent behaviors by the Birmingham Police Department as reported on the national news, I find this aggressive behavior under those circumstances to be unacceptable and intolerable," Spina wrote in a letter delivered to Police Chief A.C. Roper and Mayor Larry Langford on Monday.


Robby Scott Hill said...

I'd also like to add that Birmingham's Police Officers are terrible drivers. I was Downtown last week. When you're going through Malfunction Junction you expect to get cut off and or sideswiped by Birmingham's inexperienced drivers, but when it's a Police Officer not recognizing that the driver on the left has the right of way and he is speeding, fails to signal lane changes and yield the right of way, you lose confidence in the police pretty damn fast. I wish I had a camera on board that day.

Robby Scott Hill said...

It's not safe to live in Birmingham or Montgomery without a dog. When someone acts outside the color of authority and fires on my family, including a pet, I don't see the faces, uniforms or badges anymore. I just see a threat. I'm licensed to carry heat and I think those dog owners should get some heat too.

Something dangerous happened in this country under George W. Bush. Before Bush/Riley no law enforcement office had ever drawn a gun on me. Now it seems to be a regular thing. The guns always seem to come out. There's never any warrant, no probable, cause just reasonable suspicion from their perspective and here come the guns.

First, my mom gets arrested and convicted. Then I become a person of interest because I choose to speak out about the The Alabama ABC Board and Etowah County''s kangaroo court. I think Kurt Vonnnegut was right. We need to form little gangs. It's OK for Bob Riley and George W. Bush to be with The Dixie Mafia and The New Orleans Commission, but it's a crime for me to join a gang.

James Greek said...

Law Enforcement gets whoever thru can get. They don't get the real criminals be ause they are too damn yellow to get the real criminals! My mom's alcoholic ex-boyfriend deserved to go o jail for beating on my mom. But did he? Noooooooo my mom got arrested fr stabbing him! There was a reason as to why she stabbed him!