What dog shootings reveal about American policing

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

“Police shootings of humans are a national scandal in the United States, where law enforcement officers kill far more people than their counterparts in other highly developed democracies, and powerful police unions help shield some members from accountability. Those incidents are properly the focus of far more concern than any dog shooting. And even so, dog shootings warrant national attention. This is most evident when dog shootings threaten the lives of humans. Last year, an LAPD officer shot and killed a dog on the crowded boardwalk in Venice Beach — and hit a passing cyclist with a bullet that passed through the dog and wound up in her foot. Last month, an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy killed a 17-year-old when a bullet meant for a pit bull that had bitten a deputy ricocheted off the ground and struck the teen. And even when humans are neither struck nor at risk nor bereaved at the loss of a beloved pet, the frequency with which dogs are shot by cops in America is alarming — and revealing.” (07/13/17)