I find this letter hateful and misguided. No one is putting animals above
people. however, it does seem to me that you saying that it is OK for police to
shoot any and all dogs in a neigborhood if a child goes missing. Dogs that are
secure and contained on private property. meter readers, repair men, delivery
people, assessors all come into contact with neighborhood dogs, all without the
need to carry guns and shoot dogs. There were so many other options open to this
officer, not the least of which was dont enter the yard until Geist was
restrained the the owner or animal control. i do blame this officer. I find
Cheif Burbanks callousness unacceptable. Maybe you might try walking in our
shoes, who count our pets as family. We don't like it when our children are
shot in cold blood.
I doubt that if the officer had seen the child being cornered by the dog anyone
would be upset by the outcome of the officer shooting the dog. No one is
claiming the life of a dog is greater than that of a child.However,
especially in light the child was found at home, I want to see the officers
justification for violating 4th amendment rights and trespassing laws to search
a fenced off area with an expectation of privacy. Officers have to exercise
extreme caution before they violate Constitutional liberties. Unless he had
some suspicion that the child was there (like actually seeing the child, or some
sign of the child back there) he had NO business being back there.If
I were the owner of the home and came home to find an officer back there, my
first action would be to ask for a warrant, and barring a warrant I would ask
him to leave.
Nobody's putting animals above people. The officer showed incredibly poor
judgment, though, firing a gun in a quiet neighborhood and killing a dog. As a missionary I dealt with plenty of ill-tempered dogs without a
revolver. Why couldn't he?
Sister McGoo,She didn't say that. You are putting YOUR words in HER
mouth. That's not fair.She never said, "it is OK for
police to shoot any and all dogs in a neigborhood if a child goes
missing".Stop being over-dramatic. This situation is sensitive
enough without you throwing stuff like that (which she never said) into the
situation (obviously to cause Contention, and escalate the bad feelings towards
police).We need to start healing... not keep adding insults and
putting insulting words people didn't say out there AS IF they DID say them
(to get people riled up).Nobody thinks it's OK to shoot all
dogs in the neighborhood... if a child goes missing.
I don't know what happened other than the dog was killed by a cop. All I
know is he should of apologized. Humility is the best defense from being
@george of the jungle,The officer has apologized. The DEPARTMENT has
apologized... over and over. But some people won't let it go.The officer is not happy about what happened, I can assure you.
Yes, Darrel, the child was found at home. But at the time of this incident, did
the officer know that the child would be found there? No.A missing
child is considered an emergency. In an emergency, police officers have the
right to enter yards and even, in some cases, homes if necessary.If
it had been your child, and if the results had been tragic --- or even if your
child had been found asleep inside a box under a blanket in the basement, as was
the case here --- would you want the officer to bypass anyplace in searching for
the child?This entire episode is one of the most overblown and
idiotic things that's happened around here in a long time. There has been
more whining and whimpering about that dog than there has been since the GOP
began their whining and whimpering when Obama was elected.None of us
know what the officer was confronted with. This is one more case that supports
the need for officers to be wearing cameras. But there are those who think
that's a violation of their rights, too.
Humans are more important than dogs. Sorry, but it's true. Deal with it. Get another pet.
Exactly right 2 bits. Zero hate in this letter. Not much
consideration for those who show zero consideration for police officers , but no
hate. I have seen people posting online that they would like to shoot the
officer. Way over the top and don't tell me your not putting animals above
humans. That's a lie! I don't think any of us know all the
facts in this case, and NON of us were in the officers situation. You need to
realize also what they were looking for. A boy that wandered off or a boy that
was taken? May not have been a toddler who happened to wander off on his own. We
live in a day and age of depraved individuals and predators, so likely looking a
little more thorough then you might imagine. All that being said, I
agree with private property rights and it does sound like this situation could
have been handled better. Owner sounds like he was legally and responsibly
holding his dog on his property. City needs to be held accountable for that, but
I don't think anyone needs to loose their job, unless extreme negligence
can be proven.
i am not putting words in her mouth. If anything she's putting words in our
mouths. i have never heard anyone argue, other than police supporters, that a
dog is more or less important than a child. Her dimishing the importance of of
Geist, or any dog for that matter as a means of justifying the shooting is
offensive to me. If a child is missing and its ok to shoot one dog in its secure
yard during the search, how is there any diffence if they shoot three? or five?
i am not being over dramatic. i am being realistic. This in not a
zero sum game, there was not situation where it was either Geist or the child.
the child was found asleep at home. Geist was secure in his backyard. His death
was needless and senseless.
Presumably none of us were in the yard at the time the dog was killed. Any
judgments are therefore speculative and reflect our own biases. Each year there
are more than 4.5 million dog bites in the US, some of which are serious. It was
a difficult situation and there are no good or bad players. Let it pass.
@Sister McGooI agree with you. There were other ways -- effective
ways -- to subdue a threatening dog (which a Weimeraner is not!) Pepper spray
is very effective and very quick acting. This shooting was not appropriate and
not well-based, and there should be recourse for the owner against the City. At
the very least, the officer should have an unfavorable report put in his file
and go through some rigorous remedial training concerning how to handle animals
when he invades their yards.
@Furry1993,How do YOU know there were more effective ways???You don't even know the situation details! At least I
haven't heard a full explanation of where he was and where the dog was.
But you seem willing to judge him on your ASSUMPTIONS of what happened.I doubt he just reached over the fence and shot the dog so he could get
in...I assume (which means I may be wrong) that he entered the back
yard to search (not knowing there was a dog) and during his search was caught
off guard by a snarling dog charging him.In that situation you
don't have time to determine the breed of the dog, determine if it could be
harmful or not, determine what the dog's mind-set is at the moment. Etc.
You have to protect yourself.I'm pretty sure if he thought he
could get out before the dog got him... he would have.He wasn't
out looking for a dog to kill. Or killing any dogs that prevented him from
getting into back yards.
@2 bits"But you seem willing to judge him on your ASSUMPTIONS of what
happened."yet you are doing EXACTLY the same. Judging the
character of this officer based on your assumptions of what happened. The
difference is that you are assuming his intentions were noble and that he
followed policy.No one has that information from the police
department, and even when they get that info, there were only two witnesses to
the event, and one is dead. The other may be truthful, or may be covering
up.Outside of that, the public deserves to know what the policy is
in these situations and whether the officer followed the policy. They deserve
to know why the child was found 30 minute before this dog was shot and no
'stand down' order was issued. They deserve to know what authority
allowed an officer on private property without a warrant, and what is the extent
of that authority.
silo,I made it clear I was making an assumption (because we
don't KNOW the circumstances) and it was hypothetical. The other comments
seem to assume they KNOW what he did.. and why he did it. There's a
difference.We don't know why he decided to shoot. But we know
officers are trained to only reach for their weapon IF their life is in danger.
They train on that pretty intensely. And they're pretty good at only
using their weapon when it's needed.Some mistakes have been
made. But we should not AUTOMATICALLY assume he did wrong. I
agree with the rest of your comment. We need to know what happened.We already know what department policy is, that's published and common
knowledge. You only use your weapon IF you think your life is in danger. Courts have already ruled on when you need a warrant and when you
don't. Police DON'T need a warrant to enter your yard, they DO to
enter your house.Why they were searching 30 minutes after the boy
was found... they must explain. But that's not the officer's fault
(unless he had his radio off)
He right's hate of any government, even those who put their lives in danger
every single day is reaching silly levels now.Repubs, give it up.
Stop trying to make this a political issue.Yes, it's sad that
the police over did this. But he felt like his life was in danger. Had parents
done their job then they wouldn't have even needed government assistance.
2 bits It any one would of mention or even in this peace as "the
officer that has apologized", I wouldn't of said any thing. So
it's more important to be humble than to have companions, sometimes.
Yes we are all making assumptions, we have to as the SLCPD has stated it would
take one month to investigate. One month seems excessive to me. I have written
previously that I just don't understand how the officer could have thought
a three year old had unlatched a gate, re-latched it upon entering a yard. Haven't seen any photos of the backyard - what kind of fence and gate
does Mr. Kendall have, anyone know?
Utah Dem -- if it had been your child missing would you have wanted the officer
to search every possible place?Remember, sometimes children are
carried off by adults. Adults who can open and latch a gate. Remember the
little girl found in a garbage can behind a neighboring home?
One old man - it really doesn't matter whose child it is. Since we only
have the local media to tell the story we are going to make assumptions and
second guess what officer Olsen did and could have done. Was it a chain linked
fence that he could see through? Was it a wooden or vinyl fence where he
thought he needed to open the gate? We don't know because Olsen is silent
and Burbank thinks it should take one month to ask Olsen what happened. I own two dogs and when anyone comes on to our property my dogs barks
and let's us know. So yes search everywhere but be sensible about the
Re: "I find this letter hateful and misguided. No one is putting animals
above people."No doubt.But, PETA haters, and those
suggesting the officer "showed poor judgment" are putting animals above
people.Aggressive, large-breed dogs are one of the many, many
hazards we train and equip police officers to deal with. In this case, the
officer exercised good judgment and properly applied his training to an
extremely hazardous situation created by the selfish, thoughtless decisions of a
homeowner.If you one chooses to harbor a dangerous, aggressive
animal, its death at the hands of a person being threatened by it is one of the
readily foreseeable consequences of that choice.Knee-jerk blaming
and armchair second-guessing of police officers for performing the duties we pay
them to do for us is a sure indicator of pathological immaturity.
"selfish, thoughtless decisions of a homeowner"? You mean the guy who
had his family dog safely contained within his fenced yard?
@OneOldMan:Don't start again with the "child might have been
carried off" excuse. Do you really think a kidnapper would try to hide in a
yard with an "aggressive" dog or even a barking dog? There's
nothing to suggest that the dog was barking before the cop entered the yard, so
hence, a reasonable supposition is that there was no one in the yard but the
dog. Making up pretend "facts" to justify an otherwise
unjustifiable shooting doesn't help anyone.
Eliyahu, supposition. Yup. And you're supposing there is no way the child
could have been in the yard because of the dog.Perhaps.Perhaps not.It's that perhaps not that justifies an officer
looking in the yard.
Sister McGoo your comments are so completely off base I can't believe
it.By the way, as I've said in the past, you weren't in
that back yard. You don't know what happened. You don't know if the
dog attacked the cop. The cop didn't just randomly shoot the
dog because he wanted to. I'm sure he'd have rather not shot the dog.
Go and read the Utah deadly force statute. While it is mostly
aimed at humans, it could cover dogs. We will find that most likely, the use of
deadly force against this dog would be appropriate. But then again, none of us
As much as I hate to agree with Burbank about anything, his comments were
absolutely correct. Those that are calling for this officers head, job, gun,
family, prosecution are just plain juvenile.