Breaking News: Cops Shoot and Kill “vicious” Dog at OB Farmers Market

by on October 17, 2009 · 129 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

dog shooting

The scene at Hodad's parking lot, after 5 shots were made, Wed Oct 7, 2009. Photo: Jim Grant.

Originally posted October 7, 2009

OCEAN BEACH, CA.  The usual calm and fun at OB’s famous Farmers’ Market was broken this afternoon when a San Diego Police  officer shot and killed a local pit bull in Hodad’s parking lot on the 5000 block of Newport Avenue.  Police claim the officer was forced to shot the dog as it was attacking another officer.

The shooting of the dog, described as a black pit bull, and named “Blue” occurred around 5pm.  At the 10 pm news, two TV stations reported that apparently an undercover police officer was either approaching the dog’s owner or was in the vicinity when the dog began attacking the officer and a woman. Upon hearing the woman’s screams, two officers approached the dog. The dog, with a leash, was biting the officer. That officer took a shot at the dog, but it continued to bite. That’s when a second officer shot the dog at least twice and killed it.  Both the woman bitten and the officer were taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The dog’s owner, a local guy who some said was homeless, was also reportedly taken into custody on a couple of misdemeanors.  He had supposedly fled the scene during the dog attack.  Police stated he was arrested for the attack and for fleeing.

Eyewitnesses decried the use of such force, and disputed the number of shots police say were made at the dog.  One officer speaking in front of the media said three shots were made.  Witnesses said up to 5 or 6 shots were made.

UPDATE from Fox 5 News:

I saw a lady limping away and clearly she had been bitten by the dog,” said Rebecca Barnett who witnessed the incident.

Officers say two undercover policemen tried to stop the dog’s owner.

“They identified themselves produced their badges and said, “SDPD please stop’!” said Police Sgt. Misty Cedrun. “He continued to run.”

The officers then chased the man into a nearby parking lot.

“The pit bull turned on one of the undercover officers and started biting his leg,” said Sgt. Cedrun. “The other officer fired a couple of rounds into the dog and eventually put him down.”

Rio Mesta said she knows the dog owner and his pet dog named Blue. She was at the site Wednesday and said she was horrified.

“You don’t senselessly shoot an animal six times,” Mesta said. “I played with him 24 hours ago; put my face in his face and he licked my face so not a real threat there people.”

Mesta and some others felt that killing the dog wasn’t necessary.

“I am just aghast right now, I’m appalled,” said Heidi Cohen-wolff. “We know darn well he’s got defense training; he’s got tranquilizer guns. He’s got many other options.”

San Diego police though said the officer felt threatened and there was no other alternative.

“Some people might think that’s excessive but in this instance, that pit bull was actively attacking an undercover police officer,” said Sgt. Cedrun. “So there’s only one way for us to stop that threat.”

Cedrun said the dog had a history of threatening behavior. She said many citizens came forward to say they have seen the dog lunging at people. Cedrun said the dog owner, who is homeless, faces misdemeanor charges for the attack and for running from officers. The woman who was attacked had very minor injuries. The officer was taken to the hospital where he was treated for minor bites to his le

San Diego News Network reports:

The animal went after the officer about 5 p.m. in the 5000 block of Newport Avenue, near the site of a weekly farmers’ market, SDPD Sgt. David Jennings said. The lawman opened fire in self-defense, killing the dog at the scene, the sergeant said. Medics took the officer to a hospital for treatment of bite wounds. His condition was not immediately available.

At this point, 5 to 6 hours after the shooting, there are conflicting reports of the circumstances surrounding this shooting.  There were many eyewitnesses, and some of them have made comments to this post. More news will be made available as soon as we see or hear it.

{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

PSD October 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I just heard a report of at least one more dog being killed, a puppy not matching the description of the one in the story and apparently accompanied by a man and his young son and not acting aggressively at all. The story was that the animal was deemed a threat because it was off-leash, not because it actually attacked. At this point I’ve only talked to one person who showed up shortly after 6 and got the story second-hand, so it could be complete hearsay and should be taken with a grain of salt…I’m going to see if I know anyone else who was down there, maybe around the time of the alleged incident(s). Anyone else know anything?

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Brian October 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Is the video online somewhere?

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Dave Sparling October 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I posted a video everyone has ignored on facebook. I believe there is more to this story. I did ask a cop if the dog was armed. I also got out of there after filming.

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Pat October 7, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I heard the shots and was on scene right after words.
I witnessed the dog lying on the ground shot dead by ow less than 4 shots . I believe I heard 5.
The young man owner of the dog was on the ground crying ‘you shot my boy!’.
I started leaving distressed but came back yelling at the top of my lungs what in the f#*k are you doing. They( the police) asked me to leave saying I don’t know what had happened.
Within minutes several police units , fire and life guards where on scene and the area was tape off.
I went back to my shop very upset yelling expletives along the way .
I locked up shop and came back out to get as much info as possible.
I was interviewed by 3 or 4 news stations.
I heard witness reports that didn’t match police accounts.
There were under cover officers there that had a operation going that lead to this whole debacle.
I’m still shook up by all this. I feel the whole situation was unnecessary.
More later

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jim grant October 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I wormed my way behind the scene and have 20 or so photos taken from 30 feet away from the dead pit bull. I have no other details.

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Jason October 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm

oh, a pitt bull. gee do i sense a little racial profiling of dogs? maybe it was legit, but sounds very fishy from what i’ve heard. i was at the bbq house at 6:30 coincidentally, but couldn’t get close enough to make heads or tails, so i’m not taking sides one way or the the other, but it’s tempting.

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doug porter October 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm

old hermit dave, who regularly comments here at the OB Rag has posted a very short video on the OB Rag Facebook page that shows the dead animal AND it shows the cops chasing him off. i think there WAS something else going on here.

http://www.facebook.com/video/ link is now dead

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john October 8, 2009 at 1:03 am

From the rash of officer shootings in the early ’90’s defending themselves from dangerous suspects armed with:
A garden trowel.
A tree branch.
A shovel.
A big mouth, etc.
I came to believe there was a poster in the locker room downtown with a standing order “when you unholster, and fire, your weapon, you empty that weapon, as does your partner. No exceptions- the dead make lousy eyewitnesses to their own civil suits against you.” Fortunately the number of these tragedies has subsided, through better training? Luck? but the poster probably remains.
I do wonder what kind of salvation from an attacking dog is offered to a civilian by an officer firing a gun at at the dog at the time he has his jaws on you. Thus calling their story into question by any logic.

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Frank Gormlie October 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

Thanks for bringing those other shootings from the Nineties up. A group of artists put together a series of bus bench “ads” depicting the “reason” for each shooting by SDPD, one with a trowel, another with a branch, another with a tomato stake, etc.
And don’t forget the shootings of the 3 homeless guys with mental problems in and around OB this century, including Danny Woodyard back in Feb of 2003 right there on West Pt Loma in front of dozens of residents.

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Dickie October 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

I’d love to view this video of Dave’s but I don’t do . . . (am not in?) . . . Facebook. Is there any other way to access it? Or could somebody send it out by email somehow?

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Camille October 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Dave posted the video link on this page, and you don’t have to be a facebook member to view it. Just click on the link and it will take you to it!
I suspect there is more video that he hasn’t posted, and that the police would love to get their hands on it so they can destroy it.
I personally know the young woman who was recorded by NBC (and not all she had to say was included in the footage they posted either!). If she says they shot the dog at a time when he wasn’t actually attacking an officer, you can believe it!
What I don’t get it is why they had to use deadly force…? Don’t they carry stun guns?!? Tranquilizer guns?!? Something non-deadly that could have put the scared dog out for long enough to control the environment without actually killing him and putting bystanders at risk of being hit by a stray shot?!? INSANITY AT ITS FINEST!!!
By all accounts, this dog was only trying to protect his owner, which is totally natural. I’m sickened and saddened, not to mention totally outraged by this entire debacle!!! And I don’t even live there; I’m 2000 miles away!

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Dickie October 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for the response, Camille, but I can’t find any link to the clip that does not require signing up for Facebook . . . other suggestions??

and I live 700+ miles away and am also sickened and scared by the image of multiple shots fired at Newport OB Farmers Market. Please remember though a mere 10 months ago the BART (rapid transit) police in Oakland shot and killed a human person (caught on video) while he was face down on the ground. Some who think manslaughter not murder is the right charge say the officer meant to grab his taser!!! @$&*@@&*%!!!

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john October 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

What, you don’t want to furnish information about yourself, and the network of friends and family you might have to the CIA for its database?
That’s unamerican! Be happy that the government is working hard to “keep us safe!” (the phrase is reason to boycott any media outlet that I see using it, KFMB-TV I believe the latest)
Besides, if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t care! (vomits)
I believe “classmates.com”is a similar “honeypot” structured if not by intent, by default, to usurp personal data by those with Orwellian desires for us. After going there and seeing their desires to have me “fill in the blanks” of periods in my life that seemed obvious. I know you didn’t say this was why you don’t “facebook” but big brother is a hotbutton issue for me.
Myspace was good. Youtube as well. Information sharing has its price tho.

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Dickie October 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the rant, john, this orwellian sort of shit cost me livelihood and career back in the 60s when no one believed the authorities would do something like that . . .( just for doing what I thought was right . . . i didn’t even break laws . . .) this is America isn’t it? I am going to start a website called hermitinacave.me with zero access to anyone . . . such is the fate of anything resembling privacy in our society in the 21st century . . .

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Lisa October 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

There is more to the story. It did appear that the dog had bitten or injured a woman who was holding her ankle. The dog did have a leash and at the time of the shooting was not actively biting, lunging or attacking anyone but instead was cowering next to a car. I’m sure he was frightened and confused by all of the commotion. If the dog needed to be subdued wouldn’t a taser have been more appropriate? It would be different if the dog had been actually attacking someone and deadly force was the only way to stop it. It certainly did not appear that deadly force was warranted or necessary. My 18-year-old daughter and I were there in the crowd and she witnessed the shooting. We are new to San Diego and have 2 dogs that frequent OB, The Farmer’s Market and Dog Beach. She was interviewed on camera along with another witness. She was in tears and will not soon forget seeing a police officer shoot a dog dead in the street. I was extremely proud of her for speaking up about what she saw. She was even more upset by the seemingly callous, unprofessi0nal comments being made by some of the police officers performing crowd control. A dog was killed and an innocent bystander or even a child could have easily been shot or killed by a ricocheting bullet. The use of deadly force against a person or an animal should only be used as a last resort. I am appalled and I certainly hope the citizens of OB demand an investigation. What is the link to the video on Facebook?

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doug porter October 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

the facebook video is about 15 seconds long. it’s posted on the OB Rag facebook page.

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Camille October 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

See there? I hadn’t even read your reply yet and I asked some of the same questions!
I KNEW there was a reason for me loving you, dear friend!
The link is up above, included in the remark by Doug Porter. It’s WAY too short! There’s GOT to be more to it! I think Dave was just too scared to post it!
Can’t wait to see you!!!

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Pat October 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm

The dog was difinetly wearing a leash. I heard the dog became agressive only after feeling his master was being threatend by a undercover officer trying to subdue the young man as he was trying to leave the scene. It still blows me away they shot 5 rounds in the Hodads parking lot.
As one officer was being intererviewed she said some people might think it was excessive force.
I yelled yeah it was excessive it was bullshit!

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doug porter October 7, 2009 at 10:09 pm

the dog’s name was Blue. according to channel 5, a “homeless” man has been arrested on misdemeanor charges for running from an undercover police officer.

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bodysurferbob October 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm

how many san diego cops does it take to shot an OB dog? just 1 but it takes a dozen to control the unruly and outraged crowd that witnessed the shooting.

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Mike G October 7, 2009 at 11:15 pm

A Pit Bull at the Farmers Market. I take my 3 year old girl to the farmers market all the time and I stay clear from any pit bull around. I’ve had friends that have been bitten by pits and my cat was killed by a pit on a leash right in front of my door in OB. There are some pits that are nice, but it all depends on the owner. Most pits have chains and are all bad-ass looking as if trying to give the owner some instant street cred. Most of them are accessories that are bought in a pre-packaged set with tattoos, black baseball hat, terminator sun glasses, corduroy shorts, and a wallet chain. Now I don’t know if Blue and his owner are overtly agressive but I hate pits.

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john October 8, 2009 at 1:18 am

I see your point wholly but you can’t hate ALL pits.

Petey, Little Rascals? Wasn’t he a pit, or a close resemblence?

Everyone loved Petey!

problem is of course the element that often owns it, though when the worst happens the strength and ferocity become an undeniable factor. I think it’s been shown there are more bites by cocker spanials per year, (never mind full sized poodles can be really vicious!) and many bites by closely appearing breeds are attributed erroneously by witnesses as pits. Before pits the “evil” breed was rhotties, before that dobermans, in the 60’s it was “police dogs” as my dad called German Shepherds. Pits do have the tremendous jaw strength as their original intent was to clench on the nose of a bull as the butcher slaughtered it, releasing adreniline to (allegedly) make the meat more flavorful in england before this practice fell from favor in the early 1800’s. Raised with love by sane peoople I doubt they have any more tendancy to bite than other breeds, in fact when they came to the US and were used for fighting they were tested to not bite the referee when he separated them- if they did they were culled from breeding lines.
To me this issue begins with the leash, every dog especially at the market should be leashed. While the police may have been way out of line if the animal was loose the owner is as culpable or more than anyone for setting the stage for disaster. Who knows.

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Abby October 8, 2009 at 7:19 am

Most pits are great dogs. It’s bad owners that make bad dogs.

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JESSE October 7, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Everyone criticizing the cops for shooting the dogs have no idea what these guys deal with on a daily basis. People hate on them just because they wear a badge. I’ve personally seen this guys dogs get aggressive towards different people and other dogs for no apparent reason! Besides the fact I’ve witnessed him selling drugs on the streets of O.B. he has no business owning dogs, I mean the guy is another homeless troll that litters a beautiful place and his unpredictable dogs were just nuisance.

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Abby October 8, 2009 at 11:25 am

Perhaps if the cops weren’t so difficult and heavy handed all the time people wouldn’t have such a bad attitude.

I have to say I’ve had more negative encounters with the police in SD in the past 3 years than in 14 years living in New York City.

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JESSE October 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Like I said These guys already deal with hate, even from people that don’t have a reason too… But they ARE trained to protect. If this dog (Blue) Which has already attacked my friend and his dog two weeks ago had gotten a hold of a child… I wonder what all you cop haters would say then…Especially If they hadn’t killed this dog (with an aggressive past) and it bit, maimed, or killed someone then who would’ve been responsible… surely not the police. But all of the cop haters I see on here would find a way to blame them. I commend the decision and feel safer knowing they are ready to serve and protect.

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mike October 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

please, you sound like you are making all of that up! you just happen to have seen these dogs be aggressive before, and have seen the owner selling drugs, calling him a litterer…sounds like a made up story to me!

these cops ere undercover and started grabbing the dogs owner, how stupid are these cops???

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Jen October 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I agree. I know the owner of these dogs. The guy is anything but a troublemaker. He minds his business and he loved those dogs. This is total police brutality and it disgusts me. Something needs to be done. Police dont have the authority to shoot someone or their dog unless their life is in danger, which was apparently not the case at all. My heart goes out to the owner of these dogs and I’m going to personally do everything I can to make sure something like this never happens again. RIP Blue.

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JESSE October 9, 2009 at 4:13 am

He’s a drug dealer… thats a troublemaker with a capitol T! His dogs attacked my coworker and his dog in the back alley near SunShine. He used to keep Blue on a rope for a leash. When we threatened to call the police (which we should’ve done) he started crying and sobbing. Two days later I came to OB and gave him the leash that He had been keeping blue on for the past two weeks… His first words were “Thank you”, and “I’m going to get a muzzle for him too”. WHY WOULD HE EVEN THINK HE NEEDS A MUZZLE?? because the dog is unpredictable! I know he loved his dogs. And Im sure he was a ‘nice guy’ But homeless people that cant afford to get proper vaccinations, or safety gear for their pets, dont have any business owning a pet let alone TWO dogs. The puppy had mange… We’re lucky it didn’t have worse.

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Dogtown AZ October 10, 2009 at 4:52 am

Sounds to me like you are looking for a little attention Jesse, claiming to know the dogs owner…and then saying he is a drug dealer….been buying drugs lately Jesse…. not from Stephen…interesting that there were undercover officers on the scene…if Stephen had run off, why was he on the ground crying after the cops blew his dog away…he couldn’t have been running off….and Blue wearing his leash and being blown away from 5 shots….a 10 month old puppy…sounds to me like excessive force was used….by the man

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Cc October 8, 2009 at 12:03 am

Poor Blue. I’m going to miss seeing him outside of OB-oke. He was a just a puppy… A really sweet dog, he didn’t deserve that.

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Dave Sparling October 8, 2009 at 12:53 am

For sure there is a very strong odor left in the Hodads parking lot on October 7th 2009. Not sure Sacrilegious Dave can find any humor in this for Fridays comedy @ OBC, but I can damn sure guarantee the Old Hermit Dave will cover it in detail @ Monday October 12 meeting of the Drunk Poets Society, on stage and on video for the www.

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Dave Sparling October 8, 2009 at 1:02 am

Something smells very bad in the Hodads parking lot tonight October 7th 2009. I am not sure Sacrilegious Dave can find any humor in this for this Fridays OBC comedy show, but I can guarantee the Old Hermit Dave will cover this in a extreme liberal view this next Monday October 12 meeting of the Drunk Poets Society on stage @ WINSTONS and video to the world.

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jim grant October 8, 2009 at 7:38 am

Dogs are animals. Animals can be unpredictable. The Merritt Clifton Study is a good place to educate yourself on aggressive breeds. That way you can avoid making uneducated statements. This was a 20 year study and it is higly reguarded.

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Brian October 8, 2009 at 8:30 am

I’m just glad the rules are different for men. I’ve bitten women *lots* of times, and never been shot once.

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jim grant October 8, 2009 at 8:32 am

Generally it is highly rewarded!!!!

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lane tobias October 8, 2009 at 8:46 am

seems a little dangerous to let off 5 or 6 rounds in that parking lot on the night of the farmers market. what if they missed and a bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit somebody that wasn’t involved in this? Its clear these cops weren’t using any kind of common sense in this situation. Did they really have to put the public at risk to kill a leashed dog?

Even though I have very little information, it seems like there was something bigger going on here……

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Pat October 8, 2009 at 9:43 am

There’s good dogs and bad dogs just like there are good and bad cops, regardless of breed.
I was a little put out as I was leaving the scene when one of the under cover officers
who I heard (hearsay) was one of the shooters was joking and laughing showing no remorse for what had happened. Not good PR.
Then I thought about the young man who was being hauled off to jail after having his dog shot killed. I felt remorse this morning as I awoke for flying off the handle and yelling at the police. I wish the cooler of me would have prevailed. But I was really pissed off by what I saw. This is not a good situation, not for the police , not for the community , and certainly not for the young man whos dog was killed by SDPD.

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Jason October 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

pr? who gives a crap about pr? if you were pissed off, you shouldn’t feel remorse. trust your gut. you were there, weren’t you?

but agreed, animals are unpredictable. humans (especially armed ones, cops or not) & dogs alike.

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bodysurferbob October 8, 2009 at 9:47 am

pat – there used to be a great bumpersticker: “support the police. beat yourself up.”

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Brian October 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Shouldn’t it be, “Don’t beat yourself up. The cops hate competition.”?

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jon christensen October 8, 2009 at 9:49 am

OMG – multiple shots fired in a crowded public place – to KILL a dog clearly ON A LEASH (see photo) – this is RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT – bullets go through walls, windows, people. WHY??? The cop who did it was either a coward and just a plain mean son of a bitch – indifferent to the risk he (assuming it is a he) is to the very people who pay his salary. Fire that cop – Prosecute that cop. Make him an example to rein in this rogue cop behavior. Welcome to San Diego. Tourist and dogs beware.

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jon October 8, 2009 at 9:54 am

Makes you wonder just how many “undercover cops” are patrolling our weekly farmers market….and why…..

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OBSteven October 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

why do we need undercover cops at the farmer’s market. Are Jackie’s Jams actually jelly?

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Jason October 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

how bout just grabbing the leash and pulling the dog off the victim? did anyone try that? what injuries did the cop sustain? minor injuries to his leg!?! i could understand it if the dog had a death lock on some part of the cop’s body, but a coward with a gun makes a murderer. nuf said.

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OBSteven October 8, 2009 at 10:03 am

They will only do what we have shown them they can get away with. The lack of community outrage and the impossibility of any responsibility for their actions. It’s quite sad and it’s only going to get worse.

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Shawn Conrad October 8, 2009 at 10:20 am

Anyone think it is time for a Policing The Police Task Force?

When I am king being undercover will be entrapment.

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Pat October 8, 2009 at 10:24 am

I just spoke with community relations officer David Surwilo.
He heard I was concerned with events that unfolded last night.
He stated that the dog had some history of being agressive and had been evaluated by animal control. I felt a little differently knowing this .
But still have to ask could this have been handled better?
I mean 5 shots , did it have to come to that?

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Dave Sparling October 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

No matter how much lipstick the police PR people put on this PIG, you still have to question why a undercover cop decided to use a gun with real bullets in a downtown OB parking lot on Market Day. For sure this kid with his dog was not going to be the San Diego DRUG bust of the year, even if the undercover cop playing rich dude wanting to buy some drugs, bought some from the kid with the dog. It is time America ended both of its major costly stupid wars on drugs and terror.

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Lisa October 8, 2009 at 10:58 am

Apparently this happens more often than I realized. I just googled Police shoot dog under news and all of these stories came up from the last few days. In at least one of these a bystander was injured by a ricocheting bullet. There are countless others… Don’t tasers work on dogs? I realize that the police have to protect themselves and us but shouldn’t deadly force be the LAST resort? Is it OK to just shoot first and ask questions later? There is such a thing called escalation of force and they are all trained in that. You start with the least harmful method of force needed to contain the situation such as pepper spray then proceed to tasers and guns only as a last resort when all else has failed. I shudder to think how they would have justified this if a person had been collateral damage. From my view point in the crowd this seemed to be nothing more than a total over reaction spurred by unreasonable panic or anger. Only the shooter knows that and I hate to think officers are walking around in crowds with guns who would succumb to either one of those emotions in the heat of the moment. I normally have a lot of respect for most police officers and what they face on a daily basis but I don’t think it is too much to expect someone carrying a gun to be able to assess a situation with a clear head before drawing their weapon. I totally understand the need to control or subdue the dog but was shooting Blue 5-6 times really the only option?

http://www.ohmidog.com/2009/10/06/chief-who-shot-dog-ordered-to-turn-in-gun/

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20091002_11_A13_ATulsa693368

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Lisa October 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

Maybe instead of allowing this to escalate into a he said she said between the citizens of OB and the Police we should try and turn it into something positive. What’s done is done but it would be nice if the Police Dept would admit that in hind sight there were better, safer options. Maybe they should take this opportunity to do some continuing education and training on how to handle situations like this in the future especially in light of the fact that OB has such a large dog population. It is bad enough that this happened in the first place but it would be even worse not to use it as a learning experience. There should be some kind of police protocol on how to handle situations like this that don’t result in the death of an animal. I’m sure there are plenty of animal organizations, dog trainers and the like among the citizens of OB who would be willing to partner with the police to educate them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the police and the citizens of OB were able to come together peacefully on this to make sure this never happens again?

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Camille October 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Again, for both this post and your previous one, I not only concur, but am so darn proud of both you and Rebecca for standing up for justice, and for stating what should be the obvious!!!

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Mari S. October 8, 2009 at 11:53 am

I’m not happy about this situation one bit! A dog on a leash shot by the SDPD in Ocean Beach during the Farmer’s Market. I can understand if the dog was biting a woman but to shot a dog 5 or 6 times on the crowded streets of OB during the Farmer’s Market is just plain asinine. Hello! Children? Innocent People? Other People’s Property? Why are their undercover police officers at the Farmer’s Market? You know those peace loving hippies get sooooo out of control! I believe the best solution would have been to tase the animal and call in Animal Control! Why are the taxpayers paying for tasers if they are not being used?? What really ticks me off is the lack of professionalism from the SDPD. On Tuesday evening I was over at a friends apartment complex on Santa Cruz when we heard the woman doorstairs screaming. We immediatey ran doorstairs and the woman told us that a former tenant who previously lived next door (who was evicted about 6 months ago and her child was taken away) walked right into her apartment and attacked her and fled. We called the police and when they arrived they told us that a crime wasn’t committed. What? OK…..well because the police didn’t do anything the 1st time…the woman and her scary woman beating boyfriend came back and started screaming outside the apartment and going crazy. (Big time tweekers obviously) We then called police again and again they came and said that there was no crime……I would think that terriorstic threats, trespassing and assault would apply but apparently not. We informed the police that her boyfriend is on parole and showed them where her mother live across the alley. We figured that when we told the officers that the boyfriend was on parole that would light a fire under thier asses and they would do something about it! Nope! But guess what? At 3am the girl and her boyfriend broke into the house and attacked the woman while she was sleeping in her bed!!! Could you imagine? They called police again and finally got a different set of officers. The new officers told us that the previous officers didn’t do anything because the City Attorney’s Office advised them not to arrest anyone for trespassing and minor breaking and entering offsenses. WOW! Makes you feel safe huh? Well I know I’m getting off the subject but my point is…..if the police are so quick to shoot a dog in a crowded section of town….why can’t they protect the citizions when they need help??? Like Dr. Bowd….wonder how is that investigation going? Probably not so well since the police didn’t think a crime occurred at the time they found him lying in a pool of his own blood!!!

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Camille October 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm

INTERESTING!!!
Now I know why the police did nothing when a friend tried to report a vicious attack in her apartment by her ex-boyfriend, with witnesses!
SDPD obviously needs some new guidelines!!!!!!

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Shawn Conrad October 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Who gets to shoot aggressive cops? That’s right…..no one.

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Ann October 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I’d like to extend sincere condolences to the young man whose dog was killed.

“You killed my boy!”. Yeah, I hear you and am with you.

We witness police brutally wrestling people to the ground, totally incapacitating and handcuffing them in a matter of seconds. Why, if the dog was exhibiting dangerous behavior, was he not simply treated in a similar fashion? There can be no justification for having killed the animal.

And what business does an *undercover* ARMED “policeman” have to be hanging around at the market, in the first place?

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Cc October 8, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Ok I need to say this because I haven’t seen it posted, but first blue wasn’t straight pit, he was a pit mix. And secondly, blue was just a puppy, just a baby, he wasn’t even a year old. That’s what pisses me off the most. Shit say a 2 year old child ran up and bit a cop, would the cop then shoot him?
Like I said before, he’ll be missed, he really was a good dog and totally did NOT deserve what happened to him.

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Jason October 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm

they would’ve emptied their clips on a kid. dogs’ mouths are relatively clean, whereas human mouths carry bacteria. oh my.

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Mike G October 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm

OK the dog issue has been talked about enough. The main issue here is that the SDPD uses deadly force for any reason they see fit. Its a dog, its a bum with a tree branch at McDonalds, its the CaveMan running from a cop, it could be one of us next time. They kill for any reason and all they have to do is say “I felt threatened.” The law has to be changed so that the police have to have a better reason to kill than fearing a dog bite, or a splinter. The community has tried to achieve this soo many time without success.
I still hate pits, but i hate this system more.

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Dave Sparling October 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I agree with Mike G. the issue now is will anything be learned by this event? Unlikely in my opinion, mainly because the dog owner was a street person. A Cheney-Bush red bike ride this morning gave me a good human on the street story. Overheard a business person telling someone the GUY was a pain in the ass, stoned street dude. Unless this is a case like that old 40’s movie about a super rich guy wanting to live among the poor, the cops can rest easy. I was minutes away from filming the entire event, but damn glad I missed it.

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KarmaPatrol October 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Rest in peace baby Blue. For those who were bit, I hope you have a speedy recovery, and that you look back on this and realize that Blue was just doing what any dog would do–he was trying to stop the men chasing his daddy, from catching him.

For the 18 yr old girl who saw this tragedy unfold and gave the REAL version of what happened to the news people, THANK YOU. It is important that the truth be told over the protests of SDPD PR….

I heard the shots from my place a few blocks away on Niagara. At the time I thought, “Was that….? Naw!” I can’t imagine what an eyewitness would have experienced watching someone who has been sworn to KEEP THE PEACE brandish a firearm in a crowded outdoor market and shoot a pet within feet of passersby. I don’t care who the dogs owner was, or WHAT breed, this could have been resolved in a more calm and direct manner. Blue did not deserve the excessive force exercised on him, nor the cold and callous jokes being made by the cops who killed him.

This is not the first time undercover SD cops have killed pitbulls they “deemed” aggressive. There was a story in San Diego CityBeat a year ago about a man in North Park whose pitbull with sparkly nailpolish was gunned down IN HIS OWN YARD BEHIND HIS FENCE. She had NOT gotten out, but she was investigating the intruders–doing what ANY dog of ANY breed would instinctively do. Less than a year later, yet MORE reports of undercover drug officers using excessive force targeted at pitbulls.

I agree with the previous post that SDPD need to be taught to use voice and body to stop a dog in its tracks rather then excessive force. Where is the Human Society, and why aren’t THEY taking a stand for the animals of San Diego and offering training for these officers?

If someone was being mauled, I could understand the need to use a gun…..short of that, it goes back to my rant about the “pumped up” element that seems to be creeping into our sleepy town. If these undercover officers cannot integrate into our community and arrest people quietly, peacefully and without brandishing weapons in a crowded market, then WE, the OB community as a whole, need to get this issue out in front of the public eye so we can hold these officers accountable for not just their actions, but more importantly, their critical decision making skills when in a stressful situation. The officers who shot the dog should be put on probation until it can be determined what kind of training they need to improve their critical decision making skills. Will it take another lost family member (maybe human next time) before we stand up as a community and say, enough is enough?

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john October 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Outstanding post, though I might add a clarifying point that it’s not all the fault of the police that we’ve got this situation of “cowboys” out chasing “indians” in our communities with the same disrespect for human rights and dignity shown the real indigineous people of America by the US Cavalry for years in our past.
Too many American voters accept the BS platform to “get tough on crime”, fight a “war on drugs” which is now interrelated with the semi-bogus “war on terrorism” thanks to a 2003 DEA report villainizing drug users as terrorist financiers- obviously a move to pre-empt the loss of their funds to other agencies as the DOJ reorganized under the new DHS. Local and federal officials, both elected and civil service, always use emotions of the electorate to feather their nests with public funds for these often groundless causes. The war on drugs for example is almost impossible to measure any progress on for the billions spent.
The police on the streets fit the profile of the candidate to fill the position, and you must admit that putting someone in a patrol car, often alone, and dispatching him in the dead of night to the wrong part of town to see what went “bump” in the night in an unfamiliar warehouse or the like is definately a task for the aggressive type A personality. It’s up to the management level within their ranks to corral these “cowboys” and ensure they exercise some restraint with their gung ho attitudes, of course. So we walk a fine line here, we can’t expect the perfect hero, strong at one moment, crying with an injured baby in his arms, to be what we end up with on every force.
The public, beyond the readership of this blog, all has a role here. Your grandma and grandpa who want all dope smokers locked up for life have an influence that egg this movement on in the first place. All of us here do as well, in our own behaviour as we interact with police, as the way we treat them is accumulative over their careers. What they respect the most is not insulting them with blatant lies, everyone does it and after awhile it breeds their contempt.
There really is nothing to disagree with in your post and it speaks words a lot of the community also feels, but let’s remember that if we’re going to take incidents like this as actionable, it helps to see the issue from their point of view as well as our own-and give them the benefit of doubt we’d ask of them for us- because outrage on our part will only lead to contempt from them if it lacks this objectivity.

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HAP October 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Karma ~ Amen sister!

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KarmaPatrol October 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Here are similar incidents where the SDPD have shot a pet this year after deciding to go for their gun rather than a non-lethal taser:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/tyson–pit-bull-shot-by-san-diego-police-while-on-walk-ww

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/do_everything_you_can_to_save_my_dog/7584/

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lane tobias October 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I think its both ironic and useful that this conversation is coming out of the death of a companion friend rather than a human being. It shows that a life taken is a life taken, and people are outraged at excessive force either way. That gives the call for reigning in police officers’ force even more strength; its not just an issue of an innocent life being taken, its also an issue of public safety and ethics.

OB doesn’t take kindly to this kind of stuff. Guns kill and maim, and there’s no happy ending when a cop pulls out a weapon and uses it.

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Danny Morales October 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

The state uses brutality to enforce the class stucture of boozhwah society? I’M SHOCKED! SHOCKED. I SAY!-and it’s all a part of the kkklean up OB package. How bloody does this class war have to get before we truly rise up en masse and effect the third American Revolution? A dog here, a houseless person there, an entire country or a beach community…”the history of the world is the history of contending classes. Sometimes hidden, sometimes open, the result is the asumption of power by the newly self conscious class or the mutual ruination of all”-w/apologies to Marx and Engels. Adios mijos from the gates of Wonderland,

Auntie Capitalism

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Ann October 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

lane tobias: “Guns kill and maim, and there’s no happy ending when a cop pulls out a weapon and uses it”.

Cops are being trained to “teach lessons” with brute force and bullets. We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that private corporations are being employed to police streets, to justify their *privatized* corporate funding through trumped up, violent acts. The new fandangled police forces go hand in hand with the privatized prison industry. There’s a mountain of money to be handed out to stockholders invested in security related industries. It’s today’s investors’ best bet.

The deceased Blue and his detained companion are victims of an immensely profitable but perfectly inhuman money-making racket.

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Rob October 8, 2009 at 10:18 pm

HEY SHAWN CONRAD, I can’t believe you made the statement about shooting cops. Who are you gonna call when your car gets broken into or someone breaks into your house with a gun, or heaven forbid assaults a member of your family. That’s right you’re gonna call 911 and piss and moan that the cops didn’t get there quick enough. You should be deeply, deeply ashamed of your comment. Police officers are working stiffs just like the rest of us, only they deal with an extremely ugly side of society on a daily basis, and yes their safety is put into jeopordy on a fairly regular basis.
Do officers always make the best decision? No their human, but I would put my trust in these guys before 99 out of 100 people on the street. Can anybody here even imagine OB with no police presence at all. Can you even imagine the amount of drugs, tweekers, drunks, homeless, perverts, and other shitty things that would overtake our community? Believe me OB would not be the place it is today if we had no law enforcement presence.
About this incident, I have 3 dogs and love them as if they were my kids. If I were being attacked by anything that was doing harm to myself or someone I know, and I was trained in the use of firearms, I too, w/o hesitation would defend myself or others. As simple as that. SHAWN CONRAD, I’m ashamed I live in the same community as a piece of garbage such as yourself.

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"Sweet baby Blue's" human grandmother October 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

It is with great saddness as I sit here reading the messages, and trying to phathom how this could happen? The person people have spoke of “the homeless guy, the transient, the stoned dude, pain in the ass, drug dealer (Jesse) the rich man trying to live among the homeless for whatever reason like in the 40’s movies”. Well to all of you, I can speak of him personally. He is homeless by “choice” He made no decision or had any intent to turn your beautiful town into a haven for the homeless, lost souls or people of peace, rather a very simple and peaceful person in pursuit of finding his happiness with his “boy’s” Jackie Boy and Baby Blue”. The shame in him is what came from the eyes of the beholdent, despise, hatred and loathing of how someone homeless with dogs, should be allowed to roam among such great , beautiful people. We encounter people like this everyday, but this young man whose “boy” is gone, would have been the first person to give his money, a smile or even just a hello to the less fortunate “homeless” reminding them that they are still people, instead he is looked down upon with his “vicious dog” that deserved the cruelty that led to his death. The sadness that this young man feels within his soul for his responsibility to the death of his friend, family and campanion, “his boy” gone and for what? And what about the mental anguish of him having to endure, visually see someone that he loved so much be gunned down like a 300 pound wild animal, rather a 10 month old puppie scared, uncertain as to what was happening and protecting his lifeline. I am sorry for the entire situation. I am sorry for the “woman who was injured”, as well as the “police officer”, I am sorry that “Blue” is gone, that “Jackie Boys” little buddy is no more, and most importantly as for the longterm affect this will have on my son…… Did he have a repsonsibility to those animals, absolutely did he feed and care for them, have them treated medically when needed absolutely, did he love them more than his “own life” absolutely. I live in another state, and the images I have viewed on the news, in the paper, on the computer are disheartening. A senseless act by someone in “control”, protecting your city, your people and “out of control”. Thank you to all you beautiful people who have reached out for Stephen, Jack and Blue, you are Angels in a city of Darkness.

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Jen October 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

That was one of the most heartfelt, well written things I’ve ever read. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss and cannot wait to meet you. Have a safe trip down.
~Jen~

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KarmaPatrol October 9, 2009 at 10:48 am

Baby Blue’s Grandma–I am so very sorry for your loss….what you wrote brought tears to my eyes. Our community wishes we could erase those images from your memory, Stephen crying out that the officer shot his boy….all of it. I hope you read all the posts on here carefully, and realize the violence committed against Blue and your son has got this whole community talking. OB did not commit this brutal act on Stephen, Jack or Blue. We welcomed Stephen, Jack and Blue where they have lived peacefully among us it sounds like, for quite some time. But we need to take steps as a community to prevent this from happening in our city again.

John–I couldn’t agree with you more that we need to avoid finger-pointing, and focus instead on the safety of our community (human and animal) in the future. We need to ensure the SDPD and undercover drug agents who feel threatened (whether on or off duty), have a required series of progressive actions to control the situation before pulling a gun from its holster. Many officers use a stick called an asp to abate a menacing person or animal. They can also use mace, a taser or their body and hands which they are trained in police academy to use as weapons to “neutralize” a threat. Most of us posting on OBRag seem to agree in non-lethal force to subdue violence in the future. The part we are debating now is how we get there….

Jen–I wonder if we should focus on getting signatures for a town hall meeting with local politicians and the leadership of SDPD and it’s undercover team. Having the officers who killed Blue put on administrative leave will not guarantee training–but it will guarantee they get paid time off to sit on their butts, eat chips and watch football. If we don’t agree with what they did, we should prevent “rewarding” them. Maybe the signature drive focus can be on forcing our politicians to create an immediate budget and requirement for SDPD and its undercover agents to undergo “escalation training” to teach them other non-lethal measures when faced with a dangerous situation. And what about focusing on getting signatures on Newport during next Wednesday’s Farmers Market, or late tonight in front of Winstons during set break? I still wonder if the Humane Society is going to throw their political weight in our community’s corner, or ignore the issue because it doesn’t pay the bills.

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Jen October 9, 2009 at 12:57 am

I’ll be out petitioning tomorrow for signatures to get that cop supsended upon further investigation into this incident on Newport tomorrow evening if anyone if interested in lending your voice to the voiceless. Let’s take this tragedy and turn it into a cause – a cause to stop pitbull profiling and police brutality against innocent animals. Take our tax money out of their salaries and put it into better police training of how to handle uncomfortable situations with using firearms. Better yet, send them way back to when they should have been taught common sense. But first let’s worry about getting Phoenix (Stephen) reunited with Jack and give them some time to grieve each other’s losses. My heart busted out another deep crack while dealing with todays events.

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john October 9, 2009 at 4:15 am

If possible leave a copy of the petition at a friendly location, and post it here. I’m sure many readers would love to sign it.

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doug porter October 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

hey jen! The OB Rag wants to talk with you! I’ll be at Oktoberfest on Saturday (from about 10 am on…until my feet get tired or my gut busts from eating too many sausages, lol) covering the event. i’d like to talk with you about the petition.
i’ll be the old fart wearing an OB Rag Teeshirt (probably a tan sportcoat) and a red baseball cap. look me up!

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Catherine October 9, 2009 at 8:41 am

I don’t know what to think about this incident as I didn’t witness it. I walked by around 7 and wondered what could have happened to require a dozen police cars. I know there is a significant — and not unwarranted — distrust in law enforcement. And I have a lot of questions such as why not a taser, was there no concern for the safety of witnesses, why did the officer approach the dog’s owner, what kind of undercover law enforcement operations are ongoing here, and what really happened? Unfortunately, there’s no video and what I’m reading here is very much a he said, she said. Some people saying the dog was a sweet puppy and others saying he was aggressive and unpredictable. I’m willing to give the officer the benefit of the doubt that he felt sincerely threatened until I see evidence to the contrary. I’m a dog owner and a dog lover and I would shoot a dog (if I had a gun) if it meant saving myself or another person from being mauled. But I’m skeptical about whether that was the case and, in general, I have concerns that this reflects a general pattern of a shoot-first mentality at SDPD and it concerns me as a person who walks around the neighborhood with a dog everyday. But I’m not going to vilify the officer or sign a petition for his suspension until I hear/see something that clarifies what really happened. Although given the communities upset over this incident, I don’t think the officer would be effective working in this area.

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mike October 9, 2009 at 9:08 am

so who’s making the SDPD outta OB hats, stickers, and t-shirts???

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Shawn Conrad October 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

Rob,

People that touch my stuff get shot. The only 911 call I’ll make is to report the homocide.

I have yet to call the police on any matter in my life. I keep your community much safer than you may realize.

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jon October 9, 2009 at 11:37 am

lol. I saw that response coming a MILE away. I must spend far too much time looking at this blog. :P

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john October 10, 2009 at 5:07 am

I wouldn’t be too proud about the desire to kill- not just fend off, but murder, another human being in the defense of material possessions. We’ve all had things we worked hard for stolen, it is maddening when you worked hard for them.
The economy is bad now, wait until the outcome of the predicted by many “dollar crash” as other industrialized nations reject current dollar hegemony and demand a new currency standard. The recent declaration of a record budget deficit seems to all but confirm this, as well as help it along.
We will see more and more situations of humans doing what they must do, just for basic sustainance- not luxuries or comfort. Our scruples and lines we refuse to cross become blurred when faced with hunger- starvation- for ourselves, our families.
So if someday you have an unknown person in your sights, make sure when you pull the trigger you are sure the value of what you’re defending exceeds the cost your conscience will incurr as his warm blood spills on the floor and his body turns cold and stiff, and you realize you took a life, a person not unalike yourself who will also face uncertain times, for “stuff”. A block away from that 8 track player he was burgling from your ’73 Pinto in your driveway, may be his wife and child shivering in the cold night waiting for the loaf of bread and bologna daddy promised he’d find a way to deliver for their evening meal on the streets.
It’s going to be that bad, folks. Compassion for the homeless, and other humans less fortunate in general- and refocusing our priorities away from the planet destroying quest to acquire more “stuff”, should start before you find yourself among them. (this touches issues beyond your comment, Shawn, which may not apply to your real attitudes- I once had a roommate who professed similar home defense enthusiasm, after a couple of years I realized this was a thin facade over a desire to legally shoot someone- preferably a minority in his case)

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Abby October 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm

You might feel differently when some tweeker climbs up on your roof.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I shudder to think what might of happened had there not been a gun in the house.

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john October 20, 2009 at 2:10 am

Why, do you shoot people who climb on your roof? How did you know he was a tweeker, did he have a shirt that said so?
Not trying to sound like a smartass, but there were burglars before tweek. I know tweekers that don’t steal, they are humans too.
And you shudder to think what might have happened if there had not been a gun in the house. Well assuming you didn’t shoot the guy, what would have been different had you instead of yelling “I have a gun and may actually use it” you’d have said “I’m on the phone with 9/11 and the cops are on the way”?

I’ll concede you present a different scenario, let’s say a woman who may be home alone, and feared for her safety.

I was commenting to a man who said if anyone touches his “stuff” they get shot. I believe my sentiments to him were of merit.

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Abby October 20, 2009 at 10:13 am

The guy wasn’t a burglar, he was trying to attack a woman who my roommates had allowed to use the phone. She claimed he had raped her and stolen her car. I doubt we’ll ever have the full story.

The cops were called, the gun only came out because the moron was climbing on to the roof trying to harm people in the house. No one was shot.

But if he had tried to hurt anyone in the house I wouldn’t have cared if he’d been shot. This isn’t about stuff, this is about people.

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john November 2, 2009 at 5:12 am

Sounds like we’re in agreement then, that people are more important than stuff.

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Dave Sparling October 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

I read where someone thinks I might have more video of the dog killing. I do not and am damn glad I don’t. As much as I could use the money, if I had been lucky enough to film the whole event. I was in Winstons having a cold PBR when the shooting started. I had just left the COW, filming a OBC thanks OB business for putting up our posters video. Fate can sometimes work in one’s favor. I still have lots of poetry and news rhymes to read @ Winstons Drunk Poets Society and stand up comedy on OBC to chance having to deal with unwanted attention from the SDPD. Now on with the Opera.

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theresa October 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

I am so very sad for this whole situation, Jacky boy and Blue were not just animals that some hopeless transient person had… They are his life. This young man in fact did not have a home, he has never put much value on earthly possessions.What he did value in this life are Jack and Blue. I know for a fact that Blue and Jack are licensed and had current vaccinations.. The reasons for this excessive use of force is unknown. I am sorry the lady that was bitten.I know the only reason this young man ran was fear.And that he is suffering the consequences of that and will for ever . My hope that Jack will be returned to his family. We are all deeply sorry for the whole unfortunate situation. HELP us to understand.This young man is my nephew .He is devastated and needs your prayers . God bless all of you that are trying to get the answers.

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