Once again, police have managed to murder an innocent teen while trying to shoot his dog. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were responding to a report of loud music in Palmdale, California.
As they walked up the driveway, they say a pit bull “aggressively charged at the deputies and attacked one of them,” biting a deputy on the knee. At this point, a teenage boy came outside and restrained the dog, taking it to the back of the building. Then, “the pit bull came from the rear of the apartment and again charged at deputy personnel.”
“At that point, two deputies shot at the pit bull from a 5- to 7-feet distance, at which time, the pit bull retreated back to the rear of the apartment complex into the carport area,” the statement from the department says.
The deputies then walked to the back of the complex “in an attempt to corral the dog to prevent additional victims,” where they found the 17-year-old child on the ground with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Naturally, the department avoided taking any responsibility, blaming a “skip round” — one that had bounced off of the ground — for this baffling display of incompetence. The teen later died in the hospital.
A bullet fragment also struck one of the deputies in the leg. The dog, of course, lived but will be euthanized.
“Personnel may use firearms to employ deadly force when dealing with animals when they reasonably believe that death or serious physical injury is about to be inflicted upon themselves or others,” a spokeswoman for the department said, noting that “If it becomes necessary to destroy an injured (euthanasia) by use of a firearm and the conditions are such that there is an extended or inappropriate response time by the animal control agency, authorization to use a firearm on an animal must be obtained from an on-scene supervisor.”
It is unknown if an on-site supervisor issued any such authorization.
Unfortunately, this is just the latest example of officers choosing to “go Rambo” in situations that could have been handled differently. As always in these situations, an innocent person paid the price for their decision to act in this manner.
Featured image via screengrab