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I Smoke Because Cops Kill Dogs

Why do I smoke?  I smoke because it helps me cope.  I smoke because cops kill dogs.   I smoke because I help the families of those dogs.  I smoke because I feel their grief and their rage.  I witness the horror and misery as they are often  handcuffed and beaten and forced to watch and listen as their dogs die shrieking in agony and thrashing around in a pool of blood. I watch as  neighbors and friends are prevented at gun point from helping the dog.  I watch as the families fall apart.  I watch them get divorces, I watch them turn to alcohol and drugs, I watch as they pull up stakes and move away from the horror that follows them.  I watch as they struggle to pay vet bills for the ones that do survive.

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I smoke because I feel their frustration and anger when nobody will help them.  I smoke because lawyers won’t take their cases; because city officials ignore them; because the cops are almost never held accountable.  I smoke because those we elected to speak for us refuse to help; because I feel the helplessness and despair of the victims.  I smoke because it helps me control my rage as I watch cops lie in the face of incontrovertible video proof; as I watch their supervisors support them in their lies.  I watch as they collapse in grief, cradling the body of their slaughtered pet.

I smoke because I feel their pain when  they have to watch their little girl’s leg get shattered by a bullet from a cop trying to shoot a dog; because they are struck in the head by an errant bullet and get permanent brain damage.  I smoke because I feel the pain of the man and child who watched their wife and mother die from being shot by a hysterical terrified cop trying to shoot their dog.

I watch.  I feel.  I grieve.  I rage.  I smoke.

 

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News

Philadelphia Cop Runs Over Dog And Kills It In Front Of Owner

On Sunday, August 9th, Sidara D. Son watched in horror as Sgt. Chad Culbreath, 35th Precinct, Badge #3207 of the Philadelphia Police Department ran down and killed her dog Phoebe.

Phoebe snuggles with her favorite toy

Phoebe snuggles with her favorite toy

Culbreath was on a routine patrol through the area.  Son and her friends were socializing outside her home.  One of her friends was holding Phoebe by the collar.  Sensing danger, Son and her friends tried to flag down the police car and asked him to slow down.  At that moment Phoebe escaped from the person holding her and tried to run to her owner.  According to witnesses, Sgt. Culbreath sped up his car and deliberately ran Phoebe down and almost hit the person who was trying to recapture her.

Son ran to her dog and gathered her broken, bleeding body into her arms.  Culbreath stopped his cruiser and got out.  “It’s just a dog!” he said scornfully, as Son screamed at him, wanting to know why he did that.  He threatened to arrest her for touching her dog!  He refused to let her leave to get Phoebe to the veterinarian and called for backup.  Five more cars arrived and blocked off the street so nobody could get in or out.  Culbreath’s supervisor, Sgt. Morrow, was one of the back up units.  He also stood by and refused to let Son take her dog to the veterinarian.  Sgt. Butler of animal control was on the scene too, and she informed Son that she would take the dog to Animal Control and euthanize it.  Son kept trying to make them let her take her dog to an emergency animal clinic.  Eventually they let her go, but it was too late, Phoebe died in her arms on the way.

Memorial erected to Phoebe by her friends and neighbors

Memorial erected to Phoebe by her friends and neighbors

Neither Culbreath’s supervisor Morrow, nor their superior, Derek Woods, have been able to be reached for comment.  Son has demanded an investigation and has been assured that one will be carried out.  Unfortunately those of us who follow these events know all too well what outcome that will have.

We spoke with Sidara D. Son in an exclusive interview.  She struggled for composure as she described the horrific scene.   “I have videos of the incident and I would like it to go viral,” she said. ” I want the truth to be seen by the world of how cruel and heartless Officer Culbreath was and how the Philadelphia police handled the situation.  Phoebe was not ‘just a dog’!  She was my child, my precious angel, she brought so much joy to my life.  I miss her so badly.”

Phoebe has a Facebook page here .  There is also a petition on the page asking for Culbreath to be terminated.   Son has handled this incredibly difficult situation very well and is determined to make positive things happen from this.  She has donated dozens of stuffed toys to her local animal charity in Phoebe’s memory and would like to see a law made that would hold cops accountable for killing dogs.  Ms. Son has embodied grace and dignity, in direct contrast to the callous way Sgt. Culbreath and his department handled the situation.

The animal advocacy group Freeze Don’t Shoot has determined that a family dog is killed by police every 56 to 98 minutes.  That does not account for the many that go unreported and unrecognized.  It is a horrific epidemic filled with brutality, cruelty, cowardice and hysteria.  It is unacceptable behavior from those who are supposed to be protecting us.

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News

Nebraska Cop Shoots and Kills Dog Chained In Its Own Yard

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A Merrick County Nebraska cop took it upon himself to shoot and kill a dog chained up in its own yard after neighbors called 911 to complain that the dog had bitten a child.

The Merrick County Facebook page released this statement:

“The Merrick County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vicious dog complaint in the 1100 block of Valmont Street in Palmer, Merrick County. Subsequent investigation revealed that the animal was identified as a American Pit Bull Mix breed that allegedly maliciously attacked a minor child on a bicycle while riding on the public sidewalk. During the investigation, it was clearly determined that the dog in fact was unprovoked, attacked and bit the minor child causing injuries.
When the Deputy responded to the residence to locate an owner or responsible adult (which no one was present) the Deputy attempted to capture the animal for quarantine (to verify vaccination records), (which was later determined that the dog was NOT current on vaccinations) and the dog viciously attempted to attack the Deputy. The dog was put down safely to prevent any further attacks on law enforcement and/or the public.
The responsible parties were contacted and notified of the situation and the animal was properly disposed of at the request of the responding responsible parties.
The Village of Palmer has ordinances in place to prevent the citizens of the municipality from dangerous animals of this breed and have vaccination requirement guidelines. The State of Nebraska revised statutes has in place certain requirements for vicious animals.
Please review the following ordinances and statutes if you have any questions regarding the animal requirements.

Village of Palmer:

Article 2
Section 3-201, 3-203, 3-204 (Animal License), 3-212, 3-213 (Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Definition), 3-214 (Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Notice; Procedure), 3-215 (Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Restraint Required), 3-216 (Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Confinement Required; Warning Signs), 3-217(Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Liability Insurance), 3-218 (Dangerous or Vicious Dog; Prohibited Acts) 3-219 (Confiscation, Destruction of Dog), 3-220 (Pit Bulls; Prohibited), 3-221 (Pit Bull; Definitions), 3-222, 3-224 (Pit Bulls; Confined or Leashed), 3-226 (Pit Bulls; Signs), 3-227 (Pit Bull; Impoundment), 3-228, 3-229, 3-330, 3-321 (Rabies Suspected; Impoundment), 3-232 (Rabid Animals; Capture Impossible)

State of Nebraska (Revised Statutes):

Revised Statute 54-617 (Dangerous Dog; terms, defined), 54-618 (Dangerous Dogs; actions required; costs; limitations on transport; permanent relocation; procedure), 54-619 (Dangerous Dogs; Confinement required; warning signs), 54-620 (Dangerous Dogs; Confiscated; when; costs), 54-622.01 (Dangerous Dogs; Serious Bodily Injury; Penalty; Defense).

This case is currently under investigation.

The goal of the Sheriff’s Office is to provide our citizens a general view of the services we provide, provide information on reduction of crime and protection, provide statistics of crimes in our county, and post current events/news activities throughout our local communities and national events.”

The owner’s account differs significantly.    She was never given a chance to defend her dog, Sophie, who was on her tether in her own yard, a fact that was omitted from the official statement.  The little boy had been interacting with her son that same day and there had been no problems with the dog.  According to the officer, the chained up dog was a deadly threat to him because she was growling and had her hackles up.  Proper protocol was not followed in this case.  She was never contacted about the incident.  When Lindenklaus arrived on the scene he told the family of the allegedly bitten child to go into their home because he was going to kill the dog.  Family members arrived home from running an errand and found their dog lying in a pool of blood.  Lindenklaus “cleaned up” the scene and took the dog’s body and threw it in the trash.

Several protocols were violated here.  First and foremost was the violation of the Fourth Amendment.  The dog was taken from the family with no warrant and no chance for them to even investigate what had happened.  Then the crime scene was tampered with by the same person who trespassed on their property and killed their dog.  Naturally they claim that no protocols were violated and that it was a clean shoot.

Local news station http://www.nbcneb.com interviewed the owner.

“I have to explain to my child why I can’t bring the dog home, and I have to explain to my daughter why she can’t sleep with this dog every night that she sleeps with,” said Rachael Dubbs.

According to witnesses the child ran into the dog with his bicycle. The child’s family did not seek medical attention. The Sheriff’s department says there is no evidence that the boy ran over the dog and his family says that didn’t happen.  Lindeklaus’s superior officer Kevin Campbell described the situtation thus:

“The dog’s hair was raised up, the tail was tucked between it’s [sic] legs. it was barking and growling as it kept lunging at the deputy. The deputy tried to turn to walk away a couple of times, and on the third attempt the dog was very close, and he had to discharge his firearm to protect himself and the rest of the public. He did it the second time to make sure the dog did not suffer.”

“How many people would have been up in arms screaming because this dog just killed someone,” Sheriff Campbell added. “If we would have left, potentially that’s exactly what would have happened.”

NBCNeb says with no animal control in Merrick County, state statute dictates that local law enforcement is in charge of situations like this.

One local animal control center, the Central Nebraska Humane Society, said they would have been happy to help if they had been called, even though that’s not required by law.

Especially because this dog was adopted from them.

“It’s devastating,” said Laurie Dethloff, the Executive Director at CNHS. “We work really hard to make sure everybody’s very healthy and has the appropriate behavior when they’re adopted from us, and as a young pup, there are plenty of things that they’re still learning that could have triggered a not-so-severe issue or a very severe issue.”

Dubbs has requested an investigation.  She asked to see the body cam footage but was told she was not allowed to see it because it is evidence.  Campbell also reported that “a couple other people” had called and reported similar incidents with the dog, but so far there is no evidence of those calls.

According to Sheriff Campbell, Lindenklaus has received threats on their facebook page, which have since been removed. “They’re saying that they’re willing to do it, are they actually?” Sheriff Campbell questioned. “Do I have to worry about my family, does he have to worry about his family because now they’re going to be targets too? That’s questions that we in law enforcement think about anyway, but it’s definitely heightened when you have someone publicly saying that.”

He said of the posts being removed, “We screenshotted it, we saved it so State Patrol could have it because we do take that very seriously….It’s sickening to think about.”

The Merrick County Sheriff’s department does not exactly have a stellar reputation.  According to the Grand Island Independent the issue of the $5,891 missing from the Merrick County Sheriff’s Department office since a 2012 audit continues to haunt that county.  Lori Sautter, a former employee who was tried for theft and found not guilty, announced in a news conference that she has filed suit against Sheriff Kevin Campbell.

Also in 2012, according to the Grand Island Independent, Merrick County Sheriff Kevin Campbell acknowledged in a settlement released on Friday that he hired his wife part time in August 2011 and was employing her full time by August 2012.  Campbell was fined by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission for not filing a disclosure notice with the county clerk. The commission says he also failed to advertise the job as required when it became a full-time position.

A confidential source with inside knowledge of the department alleges that Lindenklaus has a history of criminal acts against the people of Merrick County.  He has been reported to the sheriff on past occasions but nothing has been done to stop him.

Dozens of pages on Facebook are dedicated to bringing this abuse to light and changing laws so that law enforcement will have to answer for shooting dogs.   An advocate group, Freeze Don’t Shoot has been helping victims of dogs shot by cops for the last year.  They provide support and counseling for the victims, set up and run Facebook pages asking for justice, and direct them to professional legal help in a variety of ways.  The organization has been fighting valiantly for these dogs.  They report that it is very difficult to get the general public to even believe that this happens, much less that it happens so often.  The group estimates that a dog is shot by law enforcement once every 56 minutes.  Put “justice for” or “justice 4” into a Facebook search and literally hundreds of such pages pop up.  The cops who do the shootings are almost never punished or held accountable in any way.

The group has set up a justice page for Sophie which garnered over three hundred likes within twenty-four hours. The outrage is not limited to the denizens of Merrick County.

 

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Family Feuds

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Filip Handl

According to SFGate.com, the Handl family says that Filip Handl, 60, was parking his full size GMC truck in the driveway of his home when he ran over and killed his stepdaughter, Lesley Carroll, 41, who was helping him park.  His wife said he had been drinking, and stood there helpless as he hit the gas and pinned Ms. Carroll under the truck. After he hit her he pushed her through a gate on their property, and although family members were screaming at him he continued to accelerate until she was completely underneath the truck.  She died at the scene.  According to the family he was an alcoholic.

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The Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

ABC news reports that in Kenai, Alaska, a family of four and their dog went missing with absolutely no trace in May.  The search has been ongoing.  Last Saturday human remains and canine remains were found along a trail near Kenai, along with a handgun.  Police are confident that the remains are those of the missing family.

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In Chula Vista, 10news.com says a California man who used a samurai sword and a barbecue fork to kill his younger brother at their home has been sentenced to 31 years to life in state prison.  In April 2013 their grandfather found them fighting and went to a neighbor’s house for help.  Police and paramedics found Mario Figueraoa dead on the floor.

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In Orlando, Florida, the AP says last Friday a mother was originally  reported as having stabbed her three children; two died at the scene and the five month old baby died Sunday night.  According to police the children had been cut, but the cause of death turned out to be strangulation for the infnt and the six year old and drowning for the seven year old.  No indication of stabbing was found.

Families are supposed to be where you belong, where you feel safe.  They are supposed to be a refuge, a place you go when you have nowhere else.  Tragedies like this are bad enough in their own right, but the depth of devastation when it is within a family is much worse.  

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Opinion

Australia vs Pakistan

Recently both Australia and Pakistan were attacked by Muslims.  In Sydney,  Australia a gunman entered the Lindt Cafe and took twenty seven occupants hostage.  The gunman forced his hostages to hold an Islamic flag against the windows of the cafe.  The siege lasted seventeen hours.  Three hostages were wounded and two were killed.  It is not known yet whether they were killed by the gunman or by friendly fire.  The gunman was killed in the shootout that ended the seige.  Authorities negotiated with the gunman to no avail.  His motive still remains unclear except for the fact that he had a long criminal record and was unable to get charges against him, including accessory to the killing  of his ex-wife,  dropped.

In Pakistan seven Islamic militants scaled a wall into a military-run elementary school with approximately 400 students and staff and immediately  began killing children and teachers.  The Pakistani  army responded with force.  They deployed snipers and entered the school, killing all seven of the invaders.  The event  was over in eight hours.  The invaders killed 141 people.  The rapid response of the army saved the rest from being slaughtered.

Australia  has draconian gun control laws.  Anyone wishing to own a firearm must supply cause for owning one.  Self defense is not a valid cause.  One person out of the twenty seven hostages had the courage to fight back.  He paid with his life because he was unarmed.  Had his country allowed him to be armed, the outcome could have been very different. The gunman knew exactly  what he was dealing with.  Nobody could challenge him.  They were helpless.  Perhaps the pacifist politically correct mindset prevented them from simply overwhelming him.  Perhaps the hostages had been conditioned to fear the weapon rather than the wielder.  The undisputed fact is that unarmed people were killed because they had almost no way to defend themselves.  Those who are supposed to protect them negotiated with a known criminal with a lengthy record of violence.  Those negotiations failed and people died.  The Australian government is culpable in their preventable deaths.

 

In Pakistan there was none of that nonsense.  Those who protect that country responded swiftly and surely with deadly force and saved 250 lives.  The extent of possible  friendly  fire is not known yet in this case either.

Make no mistake, this will happen here in America.  What we do about it, here, on our home soil, is not up to the government or the police.  We are an armed society.  Those of us who go about armed do so because we value life.  We will not meekly allow criminals to destroy us.  Those who refuse to go armed do not value life.  They would prefer that everyone die at the hands of a murderer rather than defend themselves.  Which group  will you be in?  Will you stand for the second amendment and live, or will you lay it down and die?

Jean Strong

 

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