To the Editor:

   Re: Dog Shot by Police Officer (April 22, 2003)
   I read with disbelief and horror the story of Bruce. I am relying on the accounts published in The Bulletin and The Pioneer. I cut out both articles and stared at them for over a week. Instead of letting it slide, I got more angry with each reading of the articles.
   The Bulletin's headline is "City pays medical bill for dog shot by police officer" and The Pioneer's headline is, "City fronts cash for a dog shot by police officer." Other interesting quotes include, "a justified shoot," "We didn't do anything wrong and I'll maintain that," "Officers doing their job are not liable...," "the city forked out," "No one did anything wrong," the "department" argued that being liable for the medical bills would set a dangerous precedent.
   Am I missing something important? $700 is not paying the medical bill. An abandoned vehicle is not a crime in progress. A dog on a chain behind a fence, with a Beware of Dog sign, is not a life threatening situation. Isn't the normal course of action to ticket the abandoned vehicle and tow it several days later? Why did the officer ignore the Beware of Dog sign(s)? At the point he observed the sign(s) he should have had his Taser gun or pepper spray ready if he was intent on approaching the house. Why did the officer think he "would find the car owner there?" Does someone have trouble with using vehicle registration documents or the telephone? "An animal lover?" Officer Stanfill, you are not telling the truth. "Running backwards" is a dead give away. A) You don't run. "B) If you run, go full speed ahead (not backwards) and vault the fence or climb a tree. It is interesting that Officer Stanfill had time to note the chain on Bruce was "extraordinarily long" but no time to find an alternative to shooting Bruce in the head. Officer Stanfill, you created the situation that you say put your "life in danger."
   Everyone seems to want to put a spin on the truth and make everything "okay." Baloney. The City, the Police Department and especially the Officer, for showing an incredible lack of intelligence, are all at fault. Thank goodness it was not my small child running at the officer with a toy gun. The City owes Ms. Holquin every penny it costs for Bruce's treatment and, as far as I am concerned, punitive damages as well. As for a dangerous precedent, what happened to "the buck stops here" and take responsibility for your actions?
   Headline: Dangerous Abandoned Vehicle Situation Quelled by Shooting Dog.
   Ruth E. Friberg
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