Comments about ‘Salt Lake City Council wants answers from chief over shooting death of dog’

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Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 4:05 p.m. MDT

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Virginia Beach, Va

The police officer was totally wrong. You can't march into someone's back yard and say oops I shot your dog. The cop needs to be fired.

Jonestown, TX

So a non verbal three year old might have gotten into a yard with a dog that was too terrifying for a cop? And how would that same kid have opened the gate latch, two feet above his head? Maybe the dog was the perp and dragged the kid into the yard after it opened the gate with its teeth. Yeah, that's it, the dog was the perp.

Why, AZ

It is sad that this happened, but it is funny how these days dogs are like family members. We need to remember that animals are not humans but people seem to forget.

There is no doubt that the police need to fix what caused this shooting, but it is not worth the police officer losing his job. His job is worth more than one dog's life.

Logan, UT

Fire the cop, he needs to be made an example of. Cops can't just do whatever they want.

Norman, OK

I think that we need to find a middle ground between asking for the officer to be fired and openly shooting dogs. The officer did not just do whatever he wanted. He did what he felt was needful. Shooting the dog is maybe a decision he regrets, but it is hard to ask for the guy to be fired for shooting a dog. It is just a dog. It is just a dog.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

RSL and Gina,

The fact that it was "just a dog" does not matter. We live in a country where we have agreed as a society on a set of rules. That set of rules is the constitution. The constitution protects us from others, be it a LEO or anyone else from entering onto your property and/or destroying that property. Had it been anyone else there would be legal action. Once again, it doesn't matter that it was a dog. This officer broke the law and needs to be accountable.

Hagerstown, MD

The officer showed callous and brutal disregard for the rights of the dog's owner. He had many options to search the area without killing the dog, not least of which was looking in from outside the fence. If the fence was too high, it might have been a clue that the child he was seeking would not have been able to enter. Even if he felt compelled to enter, calling animal control to restrain the dog or deploying pepper spray were options. But in an astonishing lack of resourcefulness and in brutal and spiteful contempt for the owner (and for the poor pet dog) he killed the dog instead. Worse, it turns out the child never left the house, indicating a sloppy, disorganized and unprofessional search plan. This officer should be fired. He has poor judgment and is manifestly unfit. If the department fails to dismiss him, then they clearly lack a sense of public accountability or standards of professional responsibility. A whitewash job won't be acceptable.

The department needs to settle with the owner fairly and quickly. Hiding behind trite claims that the act was "legal" completely fails to recognize it was wrongful.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

An apology would of Been nice

Cletus from Coalville
Coalville, UT

I have yet to see a cogent answer to the question "Why didn't you simply just back away?"

St Louis, MO

The "it's just a dog" comments couldn't be more wrong-headed. We're not talking about an human life versus a dog's life, in which case almost everyone would agree the human life takes precedence. If it's a guy's career versus a dog's life, then you look at the circumstances. It doesn't sound like this officer had any compelling reason to fire on the dog. The just result would be that this guy finds a new career and is successfully sued for a lot of money by the dog's owner.

St Louis, MO


So the dog and his owner are just out of luck, eh? "Sorry, sir; even though your dog was confined to your backyard minding its own business, I had to blow its brains out. There was a kid missing somewhere. Oops."

Was the dog lying hidden, ready to pounce? If the cop entered the backyard with caution and was viciously attacked by surprise, then we have a dilemma, don't we? How likely does that seem? What's juvenile and absurd is the idea that this officer surveyed the situation, sized up his options, entered the backyard and ended up with no other option than to draw his gun and shoot.

I would hope that police are trained to evaluate their surroundings and not put themselves into confrontations with possibly unfriendly or territorial animals unless they have immediate probably cause. "A kid was missing in the vicinity" doesn't cut it unless there was some other factor that put that home in question.

Cletus from Coalville
Coalville, UT

Thank goodness for clear thinking, rational cops. Sad to see that some cops who react rather than think still slip through the cracks and are allowed to join the ranks.

Joseph Tomanelli
Clermont, FL

I find this behavior disturbing as I am watching my country turn into a police state.

Officer Olsen should be in jail. Too severe? Ok, let's consider this, let's say the dog owner takes a gun out to the back yard and shoots his own dog for displaying aggressive behavior. He would be arrested on the spot. So, what is the equal justice for Officer Olsen? Felony charges for a list of offenses, including trespass, illegal search, discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood, public endangerment, and obstruction of justice by leaving the scene.

Olsen should be banned for life from serving in Law Enforcement. I seem to remember Michael Vick who killed his own dog and got 13 months in jail.

san antonio, TX

no Taser....no pepper spray..no real situation awareness..wow
lets not forget the unfit parents here either...wow , wow
what made this cop think it wasn't gonna be a problem if he invaded this dogs turf...
hmmmm....big dog , big fence ,..hmmm....ill be ok and if not ill t.martin this dog
just cut the check, your wrong...
and you wonder why people from other states frown up at Utahs inbred way of thinking
even some of yall comments are crazy ...
break the cycle...

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The pre-judging from the cop-haters is amazing. They don't even know any details yet... and they have him convicted and fired!

They make it sound like it was his intent to shoot the dog, or "Doing what he wants to".

I doubt any cop would shoot a dog just because he wants to. They are actually pretty good at getting out of VERY tense situations without using their gun.

We don't know the details, but I assume he was in the back yard doing his search when the dog discovered him and was alarmed at a stranger on his property (totally understandable, that's what dogs do, that's why we use them for guard-dogs).

If the dog was between him and his exit, or if it was charging and he didn't think he could reach the exit before it was on him... he was probably out of good options.

Let's not pre-judge. Prejudice is such an ugly thing. Lets wait until we know the details and why the officer thought he couldn't just back away.

I'm pretty sure if he thought he could safely back away... he would.

St Louis, MO

Allright, 2 bits, let's say it's detemined he simply made an honest mistake entering the backyard and was going to be bitten. He shoots the animal in self-defense. What's appropriate? Maybe a sympathy card to the owner and a gift card for at Outback or something? There has to be some consequence and some compensation for a dog owner that did nothing wrong, yet had to bury a dog with a hole in its head.

Dana Point, CA

The police officer is totally wrong. That dog was doing nothing more than defending his home.
The police officer should have backed out. The police should have remained outside the gate, called the owner to come home and look in the back yard for the child. It was unnecessary to fire
several shots. If the child were back in the yard the officer could have killed the child as well.
As for Jina and RSL your comments show that you have truly never owned a pet nor loved or received the unconditional love from one.. Pets are part of the family. And for you to say it is "just a dog" truly just shows how insensitive you are. Perhaps you think of dogs as more of business as in breeding and selling. Or perhaps your culture is more into consumption.
That police officer should receive consequences if not be fired. He was too impulsive. Again he came into the dogs yard. The DOG DID NOT GET OUT OF THE YARD AND GO AFTER HIM!

Dana Point, CA

Flashback: I believe you too do not have all the facts. It does not show the ignorance of anyone to think the "the cops were sloppy, disorganized and had an unprofessional search plan." a well thought out plan could have prevented this event! If as you say the child was found safe in the house perhaps that is where the police should have started again with the parents. And what was the reason the officer felt so strongly that the child was in that backyard. This from what I understand was a three year old. Could he have scaled the fence, open the gate? Was his favorite toy or blanket in the backyard?
What was the urgency to enter a backyard where there is such a large dog? Had the officer sized up the situation first he would have known there was a dog in the backyard and again unless the was strong evidence that would indicate that the child was in that backyard he could have waited.
I also feel it was quite cowardice for the officer to not still be on scene when the homeowner arrived home. The owner deserves more than an apology.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

So the kid was found at his home................... so why in the world didn't the cops look there first??

Salt Lake City, UT

Reading the other comments makes one wonder how the cop got a shot off with all the witnesses crammed into the yard to second guess him. 15 seconds of watching the owner on the news tells you why he says a dog was his best friend.

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