Ohio Chief Offers Dumbest Response to Public Questioning Officer Dog Shooting

Amanda Warren
Activist Post

Residents of Woodville, a small and quiet Northern Ohio town, got their first dose of what it’s like to have officers shooting innocent dogs and creating chaos at routine stops. They didn’t like what happened on Monday, November 3, but that is not stopping the complete thumbs-up from the department.

Officer Gilkerson pulled over a family and was beginning to search their car. A dog named Moses, who hangs out with his owners at Lockport Transportation, meandered over. Gilkerson immediately shot it, shattering the dog’s leg. It didn’t matter that there was a two-year-old child in the car.

Owners of the chocolate Labrador retriever received an unequivocal “no” when they requested compensation for the whopping vet bill. All actions of the officer were cleared and approved that day.

An example of how any type of shooting, at any time, of any animal, no matter how small or unassuming, can be twisted to serve the officer’s needs – this is what he described according to Toledo Blade:

The dog did not stop and continued toward me with a look in its eyes that I would describe as focused on a target. The dog did not seem interested in veering from its set path. … The dog’s behaviors and mannerism did not seem playful. The tail did not appear to be wagging, etc.

That was his written statement. You can see the actual wording from the police report. The dog never barked or growled (he wrote) and has always been described as sweet – thus, its presence at the office. He wrote that he shot it for the family’s safety.

The vehicle owners said the dog was wagging its tail – big surprise. Since officers often say they shoot at threats, this incident and others like shooting a cat, leave people confused and angry.

Only the officer’s view is important. Here’s what Chief Whitehead said:

What happened that day is very unfortunate. But the only one that will ever be able to justify what he saw is that officer.

If you can believe it – it gets worse.

Whitehead goes on below. People were asking why a taser or pepper spray wasn’t used instead. Here is the all-time dumbest response I have ever heard to try to justify blasting away a friendly animal:

If we were to taser or spray Mace at the dog, and it wanders out into the roadway and gets hit by a truck, think of the crucifixion we’d be going through if that happened.

Just going to let the mentality of that sink in for a second … How easy would it be for officer who think that way to turn that kind of viewpoint on people?

Woodville Mayor Richard Harman piped in with his support:

I wish it never would have happened. We all do. This officer had to react. … He’s probably going to get bit next time because he won’t shoot.

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said:

I do know that officers are not trigger-happy and looking to kill animals that do not need to be killed. I would want to believe that officers have made the right decision. We trust the officers with firearms to make the right decision when to shoot and when not to shoot.

See here’s the problem with that, Sheriff. The people in that town and elsewhere disagree. They no longer trust officers to make the right decisions given their obvious cynophobia and indiscriminate use of deadly weapons. The responses above are dismissive replies to the potential loss of life.

What’s more – for all the thousands of “Justice for…” Facebook pages, there are donation accounts because people cannot afford the emergency care bills. It cost $3,000 to help Moses. What are we paying for? Someone carried Moses to safety. Someone brought him to the vet. The vet had to repair what the officer did. Someone has to help bring extra care to the dog.

We pay for policing and then have to further dig into our pockets for their destruction of life? We are tired of cleaning up your mess!

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