Salt Lake City Council wants answers from chief over shooting death of dog

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • What needs to be said.. LAYTON, UT
    July 7, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    I don't understand why the city counsel would follow the same offensive choice of words that will surely end Burbank's rule and authority. I don't know what SLCPDs track record is like in the past( other than this) because people don't focus on positive( same with me) but they will always notice negative trash talk like... "Educate the Public" ( I did) they have a long... long..... processes ahead of them with words like that because that choice of words is enough for my self and my entire family , as well as every Dog Person that i know in this state to show up to every rally that is held in protest of BAD POLICY. That policy will change, the public are not the ones that need to be educated. we can start with having them be mail delivery first, then after that UPS, after that a Missionary and then maybe after that they can handle being a Cop and seeing a Doggy. I don't think they will get away with to muck now and maybe a little respect will start to be shown.

  • TeddyB Grand Blanc, MI
    July 6, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    The commenters who think firing Officer Olsen is too severe are wrong. I would not be surprised if they are cops. Yes Officer Olsen's job is worth more than a dog's life. TO HIM. Maybe he should have considered that when he chose to open fire, instead of backing up. Carelessness with a gun is not something to be ignored. Where did his missing bullet go? There was a missing child right? Yet he fired anyway. He needs to go. I think if he had any honor, it is a choice he would have already made. Then after shooting Geist, he took off. Is this the man SLC wants protecting them. I wouldn't. I would rather have no cops than a force made up of men like him.

  • TeddyB Grand Blanc, MI
    July 6, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    It appears the parents of this missing child got immediate attention? The child's home wasn't even searched properly, and the cops are all over SLC breaking our constitutional rights against unlawful searches. How many times a year does this child go missing? I never got such good treatment by the police. When my house was burglarized, and I asked them to check for fingerprints, I was told they only do that in the movies. What if Officer Olsen had encountered a mentally handicapped or angry adult. Would he have shot them in the head?

  • lit Hazleton, PA
    July 6, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    RSL What you seem to forget along with other people, is that WE ARE ANIMALS too...Stop downgrading another living thing because you only have two legs.
    My pets are family members.

  • mike.mike Oceanside, CA
    June 27, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    In this article I saw no apologies from city officials in the police department or city council. Of course the police are protecting the rights of the officer. Too bad there’s no one to protect the rights of the dog. Why did the tall officer with the sun glasses, smug look on his face, head tilted, and hand on his hip feel it necessary to lecture the guy on probable cause as related to the killing of the dog? He also sounded uncomfortable answering the guy’s questions about the trigger happy cop, and had to gain control by requiring the homeowner to state his name, address, and phone number. Seems that wasn’t important till the guy started to ask questions.
    It just irritates me to see cops get off with no consequences for mistakes, poor judgment, or abusive behavior. This just reinforces, and bolsters their belief that they can do whatever they want and will be protected by the “Blue Code”.
    And the city council, knowing that the citizens of their community aren't knowledgeable, requests the police department to “educate” the public. They should know to lockup their dog if a child is missing.

  • lifeobserver Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    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.

  • HopYop Fort Lauderdale, FL
    June 27, 2014 2:31 p.m.

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

  • luvlyldy Dana Point, CA
    June 27, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    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.

  • luvlyldy Dana Point, CA
    June 27, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    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!

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 27, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 27, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    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.

  • reallydudereally san antonio, TX
    June 27, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    no pepper real situation
    lets not forget the unfit parents here , 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...

  • Joseph Tomanelli Clermont, FL
    June 27, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    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.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 27, 2014 9:43 a.m.


    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.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 27, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    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.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    June 27, 2014 7:29 a.m.

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

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 27, 2014 5:35 a.m.

    An apology would of Been nice

  • okulus Hagerstown, MD
    June 26, 2014 9:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Herbie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 26, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    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.

  • JinaYi87 Norman, OK
    June 26, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    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.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    June 26, 2014 5:23 p.m.

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

  • RSL* Why, AZ
    June 26, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    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.

  • JimmyJackJohnJones Jonestown, TX
    June 26, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    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.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    June 26, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    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.