“Pit Bull” Tasered in Lakewood, Ohio

Lakewood is a town by me that fairly recently banned pit bulls.  It was extremely controversial, with animal control “randomly” showing up at the house of people who spoke out against it, checking to make sure any pit bulls were insured, properly contained, etc.  Randomly, of course.  *rolling eyes*

So this weekend, Lakewood PD was called out to deal with a loose dog, Otis – why the police showed up instead of animal control, I’m not sure.  The dog was supposedly a pit bull, and supposedly acting aggressively.  The dog ended up getting tasered (twice), before being snared and hauled across the concrete into a vehicle.  There is a camera on the taser so you can see and hear what happened.  I am posting a link to the video, but please be forewarned – it is graphic in that you hear the dog screaming and see it twitching.

http://www.fox8.com/wjw-policetaserpitbull,0,5335872.story

I have some major problems with this video.  First of all, the dog is acting defensive and frightened, not aggressive.  If the officers had any idea how to approach a frightened dog, they would have angled sideways a bit, not made direct eye contact, and spoken in a soothing voice.  Not rocket science.  This dog is very clearly a Boxer.  Not that the breed of dog should have anything to do with being tasered (though we all know it did), but why label it a pit bull?  Now the owner is being charged with having a banned dog, so Otis is sitting in the pound until that charge gets cleared up.  I’ll be surprised if Otis isn’t euthanized.  I understand that the officer had to use a two-handed grip to hold the taser, but I find it “convenient” that the camera on the taser is covered up so we can’t see what the dog is doing right before he gets tasered.  If you really look at the video (I know, it’s painful to watch), you can see that whoever is handling the catch-pole doesn’t have enough of a loop formed to get over Otis’ head, so the officer tasers him again, “because he’s still moving.”

The officer said that, “at least he didn’t shoot him,” he chose to use the taser.  Granted, that’s a good thing.  However, just because you used a taser instead of a gun doesn’t justify it.  In my job, I can’t pepper spray somebody and then say, “well, I could have shot him but chose not to.”  Doesn’t work that way.

It just breaks my heart that Otis is sitting at the dog pound, terrified, because his owner was too irresponsible to keep him safely contained, and because Lakewood police have such a vendetta against pit bulls.  Otis isn’t at fault here.  Once again, the humans are the only ones you can blame.