We have been following a spate of cases (here and here and here and here and here and here)where police officers have shot family dogs in what some are calling over-reactions to such animals. The latest is “Boomer,” a golden retriever who barked at an officer and ran toward him. The Clayton County Police officer “ordered the dog to stop” and then shot and killed it. The dog had an electric fence and was still near the front porch when shot.
Lawrene King insisted that the dog was a typical golden retriever which barked and never bit anyone.
The officer was on foot in response to a report that someone was selling meat from the back of a white pickup truck. King states that a neighbor said that the officer pulled and fired his weapon almost immediately. Boomer died 25 feet from his spot on the front porch. However, there was no sign indicating the presence of an electric fence.
Dog lovers have been complaining that officers use lethal force too often with barking animals. Police officers insist that they should not have to wait to be bitten before using lethal force. There is a legitimate question as to the failure to use a baton or pepper spray of other means short of firing a sidearm. Such use of a firearm creates an obvious danger to others, including the teenagers who were in the house at the time.