Colorado Police Officer Shoots Dog After Going To Wrong House

jeff-fisher-and-ziggyWe already have a distressingly long list of cases of police officers allegedly shooting dog pets either in mistaken raids or without provocation. We can now add the case of Jeff Fisher and his dog Ziggy in Colorado. Fisher says that deputies shot and killed Ziggy after they went to his house by mistake. Now it appears, according to local accounts, that the Adams County deputy sheriff, Wilfred A. Europe III, who shot the dog was involved in a previous fatal shooting.

Fisher says that officers opened his door and Ziggy ran out and was promptly shot three times.

The officers were responding to an alarm and went to the wrong location. Europe was reportedly the shooter. He was previously investigated in the shooting of a 40-year-old man last February. Europe says that the man was reaching for a gun on the floor of the car. However, the gun turned out to be a pellet gun. No charges were brought.

His facebook does not help featuring a picture of a sign that reads, “No Trespassing – Violators Will Be Shot, Survivors Will Be Shot Again.”

dog-shot-europe-facebook-sign

Source: CBS

41 thoughts on “Colorado Police Officer Shoots Dog After Going To Wrong House

  1. If you are stupid enough to try and draw a pellet gun on a cop, being shoot is what you should expect.

    Not idea what happened with the dog but there does seem to be a pattern in cop/dog interaction forming.

    Any cop that posts something that stupid on their FB page should expect extra scrutiny. wahat a maroon

  2. Police are supposed to be peace officers. There is a profession where you clear a room of any possible threat with little or no regard for any other factor: they call them soldiers during wartime. The more this kind of thing happens I’m forced to lay it squarely at the feet of the ever increasing militarization of police. You nitwits don’t have to shoot every dog you see. Unless they are obviously and imminently about to bite you or someone else? Leave the damn dogs alone. Or expect that eventually if you are yourself a pet owner that some really and rightfully pissed off citizen is going to track you down and return the favor by executing your pets with the same careless disregard you’ve shown for their family. It will happen at some point. It’s human nature. And I’ll say I told you so.

  3. cops discharging their weapons in the line of duty is statistically very small.

    from a 2011 report:

    “In 2011, the number of firearms discharge incidents involving members of the New York City Police Department remained unchanged from the previous year: 92 total incidents. As was true last year, this is the smallest number of firearms discharges since the recording of police shootings in
    the City began. While it must be acknowledged that the most serious category of discharges— shootings involving adversarial conflict with a subject—increased by 9 percent over last year’s record low, it is also true that experiencing 36 adversarial-conflict incidents during a year makes
    for a remarkably infrequent rate. In context, the rarity is even more apparent: in a city of 8.2 million people, from a Department of nearly 35,000 uniformed members who interacted with citizens in approximately 23 million instances, 62 officers were involved in 36 incidents of intentional firearms discharges during an adversarial conflict, with 19 subjects injured and nine killed. This is an impressive record of firearms control. Neither the Department nor the officer on the street can afford complacency, however. Protecting the public from those who disdain the law is a noble calling, but it carries dangers. Two officers were murdered in 2011—one as a result of being pushed to his death, the other slain by gunfire during an incident in which no officer fired—and in other incidents three additional officers were shot and injured. Furthermore, as this report was being prepared, the first six months of 2012 saw eight officers injured by gunfire. It is true that the drastic reduction in violent crime over the past decade has meant that criminals and police enter into conflict less often. But the declining figures associated with officer involved firearms discharges are equally a testament to police officers’ restraint, diligence, and honorable performance of duty. In this arena, the Department and its officers have provided an example for law enforcement nationwide.”

    the numbers arent much different in other large jurisdictions. From what I can tell the problem is with smaller forces. it also appears that cops who have shot before are more likely to do so again.

    But in any event, the number of weapons discharges are very small and the number of deaths is even smaller.

    our police forces are not out of control beasts.

  4. Gene H. 1, January 17, 2013 at 9:21 am

    “[O]ur police forces are not out of control beasts.”

    They aren’t the portrait of restraint either.

    ————————-

    http://www.cato.org/raidmap

    Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America

    http://store.cato.org/reports/overkill-rise-paramilitary-police-raids-america

    “Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

    These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

    This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.”

  5. I have to say that the police in my town are peace officers. They don’t over react to angry citizens and take an active role in almost every charity and youth group.

    I credit the leadership and the extensive training that is on going through all ranks. They work very hard at not allowing an “insular, us versus them” attitude to develop.

    Okay, they may not be as good looking as the firemen but then, who is? ;)

  6. 62 officers out of 35,000? that is 0.18%. Seems pretty restrained to me.
    In fact it seems incredibly restrained.

    that is less than 2 officers per thousand have used their weapons.

  7. http://www.policemisconduct.net/

    A little accountability, but he’ll still receive a reduced pension — $44,000/yr)…

    Former trooper going to prison

    Posted: Jan 14, 2013 8:20 AM EST
    By Matt Henson

    James Deeghan James Deeghan

    Burlington, VT

    “This is not a good day for the state police,” said Vt. State Police Col. Tom L’Esperance.

    His boss called his actions a betrayal of the badge. And Monday former state trooper Jim Deeghan took responsibility for stealing more than $200,000 from taxpayers over the past six years. “I regret the time spent, man hours spent by the state police in this case, because I know they have more important things they could have been doing,” Deeghan told the court.

    The 22-year veteran of the force pleaded guilty to two counts of false pretenses and two counts of neglect of duty for a time card scandal. Over the past six years the former sergeant and patrol commander of the Williston barracks added hundreds of overtime hours to his time card — hours he never worked. To cover the falsified time sheets, he wrote nearly a thousand fake traffic tickets and made up police calls he claimed he responded to.

    “I just hope people don’t hold the state police responsible for what I did, what I did solely,” Deeghan said.

    As part of a plea deal, Deeghan will spend two years in prison and perform 500 hours of community service.

    “Initially I thought it was going to be one act — it escalated — stress, depression set in and it continued to escalate and it eventually became routine for me,” Deeghan said.

    Prosecutors said most importantly the 49-year-old Colchester resident must repay the money he stole. “I don’t think you can find in this court or the state where this amount of money in a criminal preceding is paid back to the taxpayers in six years — it’s unheard of,” said Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan.

    State law prohibits prosecutors from going after Deeghan’s pension. But as part of the plea deal, Deeghan agreed to use his pension to pay the 202-thousand dollars back over the next six years.

    Deeghan also agreed to a revised pension based on the salary he really earned — not the inflated figures. So instead of receiving a pension of $68,000 a year, he will get $44,000.

    While Deeghan is serving his two year prison sentence, Vermont’s Green and Gold will begin the difficult task of rebuilding the public’s trust. “Can we police ourselves? The proof is the in the pudding — a trooper is off to jail because of the crimes he committed while on duty,” Col. L’Esperance said.

    The case prompted the Shumlin administration to take a critical look at pension reform. The governor, unions and lawmakers support a bill to seize the retirement benefits of any state employee involved in embezzlement or fraud.

    Deeghan will serve his time at a prison out of state where other public safety personnel convicted of crimes have served sentences. The exact location will be determined in another month or two. Until then he will be held in protective housing.

  8. “cops discharging their weapons in the line of duty is statistically very small.”
    “chances of winning The Lotto are statistically very small.”

    But try telling that to the respective recipients of the money or the bullet.

  9. kairho:

    “But try telling that to the respective recipients of the money or the bullet.”

    then dont engage in criminal behavior and your odds go down to almost nothing.

  10. I believe this incident happened at Mr. Fisher’s place of business. Ziggy was an eight year old blue heeler/border collie mix. It appears the officers not only couldn’t find the right address, but one was trigger happy after forcing Mr. Fisher’s door open and Ziggy ran outside.

    Citizens and their canines aren’t safe from trigger happy LEO’s.

    Sadly, there’s an increase in LEOs shooting dogs. Ziggy is dead. The LEO is still on duty, carrying a badge and a gun. Adams County, Colorado, should be ashamed this moron ‘serves and protects’ in their borders.

  11. Bron 1, January 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

    anon posted:

    you do know the cato institute is infested with anarchists dont you? or are you ok with anarchy?

    —-

    Oh, brother…

  12. “that is less than 2 officers per thousand have used their weapons.”

    That might help to explain how 2 NYPD cops injured 9 bystanders while shooting at a man they thought might be going to shoot at them.

    I wonder how many teachers or school janitors per thousand have used their weapons – or ever will.
    .

    NYPD fired about 12 shots at this guy in Times Square apparently.
    Hit 5 times in stomach.
    He had a large knife.
    Either the knife was very long or his arms were, judging by the range from which they fired – and the indifferent rate of shots to hits (around Times Square FFS!)
    http://gothamist.com/2012/08/12/watch_the_fatal_confrontation_betwe.php

  13. I suppose its standard practice to shoot dogs…. Don’t they….. Colorado….. Suspect….. Weed drained brains….

  14. Strongly agree with the comments of Frankly, Gene, and AP.

    Bron, how do you get “cops discharging their weapons in the line of duty is statistically very small” from a report about the NYPD? Are all police forces across the USA just like the NYPD when it comes to the use of their firearms? If you had written ” NYPD cops discharging their weapons in the line of duty is statistically very small” then I wouldn’t disagree with you. Personally, I’d take that report as evidence that cops don’t need to be trigger happy to be good and effective police and as an indictment of those police forces with much higher rates of firearm discharges.

  15. This cop needs a job with the garbage department except he will be running into dogs. He defintely should have his weapon taken and put on a list of those who should not be given a permit.
    If he is so dead set on killing a dog, it would have been fitting that the wrong house he went to was the superintendent of police’ home.
    The cop agency should be suspect of any person applying for work named Wilfred. Will Fred shoot some poor house dog? Will Fred go to the wrong house again?

  16. The characterization of police forces becoming paramilitary organizations is either an exaggeration or a very loose definition of paramilitary.

    The reason that SWAT teams dress the way they do is due to officer safety and needs of what they have to accomplish during their deployment. The implication in the cato article of drug users being non-violent is greatly lacking in fact. It frequently is the case where firearms are in possession of those who deal in narcotics and they often resort to violence.

    The reality is that when going in to a potentially violent event, where the potential for firearms discharge is high, a standard patrol issue bullet resisting vest is not enough nor is the equipment typically facilitated by what a traditional police uniform permits. SWAT teams wear Threat Level IV armor that covers most of the body, some times areas below the waist belt, shoulders and sometimes helmets. It also offers greater protection against rifle fire. It is entirely unreasonable to require police / sheriff’s SWAT units to dress down to patrol uniforms simply to convey a “less paramilitary” look and substantially increase their chance of being killed or wounded.

    Furthermore, a traditional police uniform is becoming increasingly impractical given the equipment requirements and environment many officers work in.

    In my case before I retired I worked in a rural area that had essentially three conditions. Snow, mud, and dust. On days where we needed to wear a traditional uniform it was always getting dirty, snagging on something, or uncomfortable to wear. Later we began wearing more BDU type of uniforms. They had more pockets, were more comfortable and handled equipment significantly better. Our uniforms were olive green, most of the cities were dark blue.

    In the past, officers carried far less equipment than today. In the mid 1980’s most deputies carried a portable radio, vest, two ammo magazines/speed loaders, a handgun in a holster, a pair of handcuffs, a key ring, and a flashlight/nightstick ring. That has changed greatly.

    I carried the following just before I retired. Portable radio, vest, two magazines, pistol in holster, three sets of handcuffs, key ring, flashlight ring, ASP expandable baton, rescue breathing mask, latex gloves, Taser with extra cartridge, seatbelt knife, notepad, backup knife, and two cellular telephones and a flashlight. There were deputies who carried more equiment than I did such as OC spray and backup pistols and more. I carred 28 pounds of gear on me everything including the uniform and equipment.

    From a practical standpoint a traditional uniform is really on its way out. It is also more expensive and takes much longer to put on (traditional uniforms take time to pin on all the badges and decals whereas a BDU uniform everything is sewn on.) Plus it is impractical.

    The idea of making cosmetic changes to what sheriff’s deputites and police officers wear to match an idealized expectation of what LEOs should like is misplaced in the practical considerations of what is going on in the field. There are many reasons for the change in police uniforms and they are not all nefarious in nature.

  17. As Gene suggested, someday someone whose dog has been indiscriminately gunned down by the police will give tit-for-tat by showing up at the police officer’s home, gun poised. But please don’t shoot the innocent dog! That just devalues the life of that dog, your dog, and any dog or pet (which you want to stop). If you’re intent upon shooting, shoot the one responsible for your dog’s death … then run like hell!

  18. Sling Trebuchet contributed:
    I wonder how many teachers or school janitors per thousand have used their weapons – or ever will.
    ~+~
    One of the reasons for this is because teachers and school janitors do not as a regular part of their jobs have to face violent incidences or persons like LEOs do. Many teachers and janitors go their entire careers without having to have faced an aggravated assault. Few officers in an agency larger than one or two officers go more than a few weeks. A simple assault typically at least every two or three days at best.

    To add some insight into your concern of the person shot 5 times. It is often not the case where a person stops their threat / attack after having been only shot one time. There is a common misconception that a knife is not as dangerous. It is not entirely true. A knife can be just as lethal as a firearm at close range. What some do not consider is that a handgun can run out of ammo, a knife can be used to stab someone dozens or in some rare cases hundreds of times more. You do make a point of questioning the need to essentially empty a magazine on someone where it might obviously been unnecessary. But understand there have been times where multiple shots were needed to save the life of the officer.

  19. It is disturbing that police seem to raid the wrong address so many times. It is even more disturbing that the family dog is always in the wrong when it comes to the police.
    If the prior incident involved someone reaching for a weapon, I don’t think the officer had time to determine that it was only a pellet gun. As John Candy said at Wally World, the pellet could get lodged under the skin and cause a bad infection! :)

  20. Did the dog come out of the house or come at the LEO with a weapon? Just his paws and teeth? Kick him. Shooting the dog is not a valid response. If you are such a chicken shit the you should not be a cop. You are not trustworthy with a badge and gun. Golf course work.
    There should be some tests on cop applicants. Walk them through the kennel and see of the dogs growl at him. Let the police dogs give him a once over. Sick a police dog on him and see what he does.

  21. “One of the reasons for this is because teachers and school janitors do not as a regular part of their jobs have to face violent incidences or persons like LEOs do”

    The reason I mentioned this was the in the first line of my post – which was a quote

    “that is less than 2 officers per thousand have used their weapons.”

    The two NYPD cops who injured 9 bystanders had never fired their weapons before, it seems. On a range perhaps, but not even in mild iritation otherwise.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/empire-state-building-shooting-nypd-bullets-shot-all-nine_n_1830007.html

    It’s all very well to be careful of knife-weilding people, but look at the Keystone Cops performance linked in my previous post.
    Were they intending to simply humanely stop the guy – by increasing his body weight beyond what his legs were capable of supporting?
    Were they intending to shoot him regardless of he being killed?

    In either case, a better standard of aiming would be appropriate.
    Hitting a target gets easier as the target approaches.
    Hitting a target using a handgun can be a bit of a lottery if the target is large multiples of knife-lengths away.

  22. Darren,
    All the sheriff’s departments in the end of the state where I live issue BDU uniforms. They are simply practical for both patrol officers and correctional officers. You have pockets to carry your stuff, and the problem of an overloaded tactical belt goes away.

  23. Gene H. 1, January 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Police are supposed to be peace officers. There is a profession where you clear a room of any possible threat with little or no regard for any other factor: they call them soldiers during wartime. The more this kind of thing happens I’m forced to lay it squarely at the feet of the ever increasing militarization of police. You nitwits don’t have to shoot every dog you see. Unless they are obviously and imminently about to bite you or someone else? Leave the damn dogs alone. Or expect that eventually if you are yourself a pet owner that some really and rightfully pissed off citizen is going to track you down and return the favor by executing your pets with the same careless disregard you’ve shown for their family. It will happen at some point. It’s human nature. And I’ll say I told you so.
    =============================================
    Damn well said.

  24. Bron 1, January 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

    62 officers out of 35,000? that is 0.18%. Seems pretty restrained to me.
    In fact it seems incredibly restrained.

    that is less than 2 officers per thousand have used their weapons.
    ======================================================
    Some things ought not be graded on the curve.

    That is why there are lots of situations, mandated by the Constitution, where 2/3 majority must approve an action.

    Bobbies have a 0 rate and they don’t brag about it.

  25. Blouise, I never would have had you pegged as a firefighter groupie. Working a lot of fire and arson cases in Chicago I got to know many firefighters. They have some great stories of fires and AFTERWARD.

  26. OK, Mr. Turley, your’re the attorney here. Do you ever do a thing when you report about these events. Come on, a bad cop, killing another defenseless dog. DO SOMETHING. These cops are getting away with murder and all you do is write about it. If I had you education and credentials I would pick my battles and bad cops would be one of them!!!

  27. I have a story regarding dealings with law enforcement in a relatively small West TX town of Fort Stockton. Cops are not only out of control due to the militarized mentality, but incompetence is also rife. In our town of about a pop. of 8500 there have been multiple car break ins and home burglaries over the last 6 months. My mom left her cell phone in her vehicle and it was stolen that same night at about 10:30pm. I came up with the idea to send a text message to her phone, because it was still on, stating I owed her $500 and would drop it off at her place of business the next morning and I would have to drop it off before she opened. All this done to hopefully lure the thieves into a trap. I contacted the local police spoke with the Sgt on duty he stated it was a great idea and they would like to be involved. He stated they would have officers near the business the next morning at the time I stated my sister would drop of the money and I described the type of vehicle she would be in. The police and I decided on the amount that would be given in the text and the time of the drop off. I stated I would leave the fake $ envelope in the mailbox. I agreed to this only on the promise the police would indeed be there and my sister would be safe and my mother’s business would be safe. The police agreed and stated they would provide enough police to make sure she and the business was safe. So I followed through with the plan, I dropped off the envelope with fake cash in it and I drove off. My mother’s role was to just open her business as normal.

    Guess what happened next. Absolutely nothing as we waited to hear from the police and as my mother opened her business she checked her mailbox and the envelope was gone. It is safe to say the thieves showed up and took it from the mailbox that very morning. As far as the police and there promise, they never showed up! They left my sister in danger and my mother’s business in danger. They did not call to tell me they were cancelling the operation, they did not contact us at all. My mother called them and they played dumb. I tried contacting the sgt, however my calls have never been returned. One thing that did happen is the break ins have temporarily stopped and my guess is when the thieves got an envelope full of paper they may think they are being watched so they decided to slow down.

    I contacted the local news stations and newspapers about the story and all of them said that they do not do stories that put the police in a bad light and that I was just being vindictive. The press issue is another story, but this example of police indifference, laziness, and incompetence is almost unreal. This is a true story and it just happened last month. This is why so many people have little confidence in the police department.

  28. Lexi requested:
    OK, Mr. Turley, your’re the attorney here. Do you ever do a thing when you report about these events. Come on, a bad cop, killing another defenseless dog. DO SOMETHING.
    ~+~
    Actually you might not be aware but Professor Turley has litigated on issues of concern you, the first that comes to mind is the World Bank protests in DC where mass arrests and other violations that were made by the police.

    It might also be helpful to know that he is one individual and there are a nation, or in fact actually a world, of others out there that the scope of the problem is certainly beyond the means of one man no matter how adept he is. He also has a university teaching aspect of his available time.

    I might recommend looking at our professor’s contributions through the advocacy of this blog and his various appearances in television and newspaper media as actually contributing to a larger common good in that it has elicited others to advocate or litigate on their own accords.

    But please consider this as well. If our professor elected instead of partaking in this blog, the news articles and op-eds he would choose two or three cases of police abuse as a full time sole counsel for the victims. The time and resource requirement of doing this might be so great that he is unable to actively speak and write as he does. The end result would be that his efforts only benefit a few victims and in the scoope of things, these efforts become lost as a leaf in the storm. But, for far less direct involvement, our professor is able to provide three to five articles daily to thousands of people in the US and other countries, who might then be inspired to act under their own volition to seek justice for others. So instead of a few cases every few months, he instead posts hundreds of articles in the national media.

    If you think about this from the aforementioned perspective you might be a little more understanding of the contribution Professor Turley provides to the cause you believe in. Asking him to shoulder suing every wayward police officer in the US is a far too large expectation for him. Many would agree what he is doing is above and beyond what most do themselves.

  29. BarkingDog wrote:
    Did the dog come out of the house or come at the LEO with a weapon? Just his paws and teeth? Kick him. Shooting the dog is not a valid response.
    ~+~
    I know you have concerns about an indiscriminate shooting of an animal by the police but know there are times when it is necessary to shoot a dog.

    Dog bites have maimed and in some cases killed people. But like anything else it it should be based upon the situation. A kick can work but often it is not enough. I have been attacked by a dogs before. With one the kick worked, two other dogs got Tased and I had to shoot one dog that had been running around town for several days attacking people. Not something that I liked doing but I didn’t want to get hurt and neither did the others the last dog encountered.

    You are correct in that the gun should be the last option. Most of what I have read on this blog about police shootings of dogs is quite upsetting and not at all needed.

  30. Darren:

    oh my dog you are one of them! :)

    Seriously, you are right there are some dogs who have to be shot. No other way around it.

  31. Eourope shot a retreating dog in the back multiple times, he must be the biggest chicken shit officer in adams county.

  32. WTF THIS IS SO WRONG!!I PRAY THOSE POLICE OFFICERS LOSE THEIR JOBS!!!AND TO THOSE WHO AGREE IT IS OKAY TO SHOOT A DOG, YOUR A LOW LIFE PIECE OF SCUM!!! PEOPLE LOVE THEIR DOG’S LIKE CHILDREN(especially people who don’t have children)! SO UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN YOUR CHILD BE WRONGFULLY SHOT TO THE GROUND BY POLICE AND FELT THAT TYPE OF PAIN, YOU NEED TO SHUT UP!! THERE IS NO NEED TO SHOOT A DOG, IF IT IS TRUELY GOING TO ENDAGER YOU, SHOOT THE DOG IN THE LEG TO IMPAIR IT, NOT KILL THE DOG! YOU SOULESS PIECES OF SCUM!!! THOSE POLICE WERE COWARDS FOR SHOOTING A DOG BEFORE IT EVEN ATTACKED, NOT TO MENTION IT WAS A BORDER COLLIE(NON AGRESSIVE DOG)! WHAT LOW LIFE COWARDS, HIDING BEHIND THEIR GUNS!!!!!!!!!

  33. I pray that Jeff Fisher sues the crap out of the police department, and that EUROPE IS FIRED!!!!!!!! something has to be done about these cowardly police shooting people’s beloved pets when it is unnecessary!!! WHAT A PATHETIC POLICE DEPARTMENT, CANT GET THEIR INFORMATION RIGHT, THEN GOING AND MURDERING SOMEONE’S PET!!

  34. Anybody, and I mean anybody intentionally kills one of my dogs is dead. Especially if it is over some bull shit like this, “oh nos I has wong addwess and doggy gots outs and hes running aways with backs to me, I knows, I BRUTALLY AND UNNECESSARILY MURDER THE INNOCENT THING!”. If this was my dog then that piss ant would be a walking dead man. It may take 20yrs as I am to smart to make my move right away, but I am going to kill you. One day you will be retired and go off for a fishing trip and you just will not come back to your wife.

Comments are closed.