There's a debate raging here in New Orleans about dogs and cops. Monday a police officer, responding to burglary call in the Lakeview neighborhood, shot and killed Jax, one of two Dobermans owned by Dr. Patrick Coleman. The rest of the details are murky. The police say they had to kill the dog for their safety. But the force seemed excessive, as the officer fired 8 shots, and Jax was crippled from a recent back surgery so the owner says the dog was no danger. Coleman reports that the police first stated that his other dog, the one still alive, was the one that charged the officer. What disturbs me the most about this was the attitude of the police. Dr. Coleman reported in a local interview that the police were huddled around laughing while he mourned his dog, and when he calmly asked them what they were laughing about, an officer stepped forward and said "You need to calm down." Typical cop behavior.
I've never liked cops. Some of my friends are cops, and I have met many good people who go into the police force with the intent to make the world a better place. It's just that I have personally been abused and mistreated by police entrusted by the public to protect and serve. Well, there were two times in my life in which I was excited to see police. Once Gilgamesh when he was a toddler got lost in the streets in front of our house and the police were very helpful. Then, one time my friends and I were getting severely beat up by a Lomas gang in Omaha and the police showed up. The Lomas gang ran when the cop cars arrived, leaving my three friends and I bloody and nearly unconscious in the street. We were jumped by the way, and did nothing to start that fight. Those cops ironically gave us tickets for disorderly conduct, though we did nothing but act as targets for the gang members' boots. The police didn't bother chasing the gang members.
When I was young and had long hair living in Nebraska, I used to get pulled over all the time, and twice police officers tried to start fights with me. They'd push me and say "I know you want to hit me, go ahead." Anyway, when you are 17 and see things like that, it effects you. I asked my students today, "How many of you trust the police." None of them raised their hands. That is sad and contributes to our current problem of violent crime in New Orleans. And then you read stories, like the Haitian man who had police put a plunger handle in his rectum. And locally, there are many documented cases of police officers using their power to rape, steal, and even murder. When I worked at a psychiatric hospital, after a time, I started feeling like it was us (staff) against them (patients), and I'm sure police feel this every day, akin to the Stanford Prison Experiment.
I would be mad as hell is someone shot my dogs. Dr. Coleman has filed a lawsuit against the police. I have no doubt he'll lose. While a jury in New Orleans might not trust cops, they sure as hell don't like Dobermans. People here in New Orleans tend to be very afraid of dogs. My dogs are pretty harmless, and unlike most of my neighbors who don't have dogs, we've never been robbed. Except by the insurance industry that is. Maybe I could teach my dogs to bite insurance execs.
My dogs Kochise and Mosey.