Michigan Court Says It’s Legal For Cops to Shoot Barking Dogs
A drug raid turned especially bad after police officers were forced to shoot two barking pit bulls during the course of the operation. This led to lawsuits from dog owners Mark and Cheryl Brown, who said that the dogs simply barking at the law enforcement officers.
The couple, who are residents of Battle Creek, Mich., filed a lawsuit against three officers involved in the raid for killing their pit bulls just because they were barking during the drug raid.
According to reports from Huffington Post, the couple “argued that the police killing their pets constituted unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment.”
Based on the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, people have rights to secure their properties for unreasonable searches and seizures. This law protects every citizen’s right to privacy and freedom giving them jurisdiction over unreasonable government intrusions and searches.
The Lower Court of Michigan found the case insufficient and dismissed the complaint noting that the couple were criminal suspects. Police officers were able to obtain a search warrant for their residence because of reports of a drug distributor named Vincent Jones was allegedly staying in their home. Cheryl Brown’s mother was owner of the house.
The Huffington Post also reported that upon arresting Mark Brown, who was on a lunch break from work, one of the officers “used a metal ram to open the door” to open the house where the dogs were.
The pit bulls barked “aggressively and were lunging towards the windows” before police officers were able to come in. Police Officer Christof Klein testified that he fired a shot to scare the animals.
The dogs retreated to the basement but once police officers went to clear the basement they obstructed the police, which led to firing of the fatal gunshots.
According to British online newspaper The Independent, Judge Eric Clay said in the proceedings that “the standard we set out today is that a police officer’s use of deadly force against a dog while executing a search warrant to search a home for illegal drug activity is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety.”
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