Pitbull Shooting Leads to Lawsuit

Standing ground

On January 1, 2013, the Huffington Post reported a tragic police shooting and death of the pitbull, Kincaid, occurred in the morning at the residence of Stacy Fields and her stepfather Ed Augustine. Two Baltimore, Maryland Police officers were arresting a suspect while Mr. Augustine was restraining Kincaid pleading for him not to shoot Kincaid. However, the police officers alleged that Kincaid lunged at them in which one officer responded with six shots, three of which connecting with Kincaid.

The complaint alleges that the two police officers laughed after Kincaid was shot and one officer threatened to arrest Mr. Augustine if he touched Kincaid’s lifeless body. According to the report, Kincaid was showing no aggression to the officers during the arrest of the suspect. Now the case is going to court and Fields and Augustine are suing for damages and attorney fee’s totally $450,000. They are also asking the court to order Baltimore police to stop routinely shooting dogs without feeling threatened.

The ASPCA senior vice president, Randall Lockwood, also commented on the frequency police shootings towards animals. According to Lockwood, the ASPCA cannot put an exact figure together but the occurrence of police shooting of dogs happen about 50% of the time when an animal is involved. Of that 50%, 66% of the dogs involved are pitbulls.

It is sad when police officers are reckless when it comes to discharging their firearm, especially on animals. I understand that police officers have to protect themselves in addition to protecting the public, but when an animal is showing no immediate threat or danger to an officer, that officer has no right to “freely” discharge his or her weapon.