California Police Walk Past “Beware of Dog Sign,” Fatally Shoot Family Dog, Change Account After Release of Video . . . Later Found To Have Acted Properly

0406_NWS_SGT-L-EMDOGFOLOWe have been following the seemingly endless cases of shootings of dogs around the country. The latest is in El Monte, California where the police entered a family’s front yard some nine months ago (passed “Beware of Dog” signs) and fatally shot the family’s 2-year-old German shepherd. There was no imminent crime or exigent circumstance. Police were coming to collect a photograph of the teenage son of Cathy Luu and Chi Nguyen, whom they had previously reported had run away from home (he returned shortly afterward). A video tape shows the officers, Detective Arlen Castillo and then Officer Ken Fraser, open the gate without calling into the house. Fraser actually pets the family’s pit bull on the way in. Then the German shepherd comes out barking at Castillo and Castillo shoots the dog.

SCHUSTER (Uniform)-07-13-01 El Monte Police Chief Steven Schuster (left) has now announced that “The full incident was investigated, including both officers’ actions, with no sustained policy violations found.” He simply said that “the officers felt that their safety was compromised due to the dog.” That is all it takes apparently.

The video however shows the officers ignoring the “Beware of Dog” signs. That does not seem like a smart idea and created the likelihood of a confrontation with the dog. Notably, the officers account changed after it was disclosed that there was a video tape. Police said the officers shook the gate and proceeded cautiously only to be set upon by the dog. The video shows a very different scene. Shuster shrugged off the discrepancies: “The initial statement included information that was known to the reporting officer at the time, which was prior to knowledge of video evidence. As we learned about the discrepancy, we corrected the statement to the media and public and asked for the original video file to assist in our investigation. We completed a full investigation on this matter, and determined there were no sustained violations.”

That is a remarkably forgiving standard for police misconduct. It is an alternative to the outrageous policy of Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed a new policy that would require officers involved in a shooting to wait 72 hours before making a statement. The policy came after a scandal where a surveillance video showed one of Brown’s officers shooting a mentally ill suspect for no apparent reason. The video contradicted the officer’s testimony and undermined the charge against the victim. Brown’s solution was not greater disciplining and monitoring of officers but to impose a delay to allow officers to craft their statements.

However, in El Monte, they just treat such contradictions with the officers’ account as a “discrepancy” and change the police account. Fraser was later promoted.

Kudos: Michael Blott

52 thoughts on “California Police Walk Past “Beware of Dog Sign,” Fatally Shoot Family Dog, Change Account After Release of Video . . . Later Found To Have Acted Properly”

  1. The problem is calling the police in the first place. The intelligence level of police hires is dropping you just don’t know what to expect but it is best to just expect the worst.

  2. cops, like attorneys, have several things in common. They all squawk, eat crap and are protected by government. the idiot in charge should be taken out and have the crap beat out of him. cops are lower than whale poop, and that’s at the bottom of the ocean. whenever I see a cop car, I think of liars, cheaters, low life scum bags, and just worthless individuals. Just a punk-ass-punk with a badge and gun. This is just absolutely despicable!

  3. The police uniform has become an eternal “get out of jail free” card.

    On the note of “differences” between police officer reports/statements and video– a federal civil lawsuit has just been filed in Iowa for that Davenport mall police beating of the shoplifter. The defendants are the two cops–(the one who beat her and the one who held her down while he did that) and the city.

    1. anonymous – when juries are asked after officer involved shootings, etc. why they let the officer off, they usually point to the fact that they want to support the police.

  4. I fear for my life whenever I see a police officer. Do I have the right to shoot the police on sight? If the police fear for their life they shoot unarmed citizens and pets.

  5. This happens all over the place. I know a guy who got drunk in a Westower Communications company truck, drove it home from a bar, drove into his neighboors house and caused 30K in Damage, got fired, was rehired immediately thereafter per direction from the VP as an IC, then was promoted ! ! ! Too much of this BS happening

  6. The police lie and when they are confronted with a video proving they lied they then change their story with absolutely no consequences. Cops who are caught lying in their police reports should be fired and they should never be believed if they testify in court.

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