More on Law Enforcement

Radley Balko’s been getting some great press for his new book: Rise of the Warrior Cop – The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. There’s an excellent excerpt from the book available at Salon: “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

Very powerful stuff. I hope the book gets excellent distribution.

Some of the Law Enforcement Officers over at Glock Talk had some of their own reactions to it…

Radley Balko droppings… no matter where they are laid, they will always stink.

[Of course, keep in mind that it's an internet forum that's going to attract some of the worst scum.]

Radley is also known for his “puppycide” posts, detailing the alarming rate at which law enforcement officers seem to need to shoot dogs, as opposed to, say, postal workers.

Now Law Enforcement Today has an article by Jim Gaffney, their risk management contributor, suggesting that officers may want to be careful about shooting dogs to avoid lawsuits. Who Let the Dogs Out?

Officers need to be concerned about the possibility of a lawsuit being filed if an officer is involved in a dog shooting! Many in society these days consider their dogs as valued family members rather than simply the family pet. In fact, the preferred nomenclature is “canine companion” vs. pet these days.

This perspective is a trend emerging in the federal circuit courts of appeal. [...]

While attending the ILEETA Conference last month, I attended a class facilitated by Laura Scarry, a Chicago attorney who represents law enforcement officers accused of civil rights violations at the state and federal level. Ms. Scarry advised participants of this change in the court’s view regarding dog shootings. We learned, in fact, such a shooting could possibly be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment! This class informed participants of current court rulings in place by circuit courts ruling that the use of deadly physical force can result in a federal civil rights lawsuit if a dog is “wrongfully” injured or killed.

For the purposes of this article, the portion of the Fourth Amendment under discussion is where the Fourth Amendment discusses that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. The federal courts recognize a dog, one’s canine companion, as an “effect.”

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