Canine death squads

This sort of thing is one of the many reasons why you’ll never see me shedding a tear whenever there’s news about a police officer getting shot:

One of the most appalling cases occurred in Maricopa County, Arizona, the home of Joe Arpaio, self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America.” In 2004 one of Arpaio’s SWAT teams conducted a bumbling raid in a Phoenix suburb. Among other weapons, it used tear gas and an armored personnel carrier that later rolled down the street and smashed into a car. The operation ended with the targeted home in flames and exactly one suspect in custody–for outstanding traffic violations.

But for all that, the image that sticks in your head, as described by John Dougherty in the alternative weekly Phoenix New Times, is that of a puppy trying to escape the fire and a SWAT officer chasing him back into the burning building with puffs from a fire extinguisher. The dog burned to death.

In a massive 1998 raid at a San Francisco housing co-op, cops shot a family dog in front of its family, then dragged it outside and shot it again.

When police in Fremont, California, raided the home of medical marijuana patient Robert Filgo, they shot his pet Akita nine times. Filgo himself was never charged.

Last October police in Alabama raided a home on suspicion of marijuana possession, shot and killed both family dogs, then joked about the kill in front of the family. They seized eight grams of marijuana, equal in weight to a ketchup packet.

The police are not the good guys. Society does not depend on them, it would not fall apart without them and it would be much better off without them. Without any of them. They don’t stop crime, in fact, it is demonstrably provable that they don’t even slow it down.

They are a collective fraud. They bust heads, shoot puppies and haul people off to jail, providing the media with pictures to sell the false idea that they are protecting you. Of course, if they were, they’d have more cops on the rape and murder patrol than collecting the driving tax.

No doubt some readers will have the usual hissy fit that my utter lack of regard for the police means that I’m some kind of liberal hippy. But for those who are inclined to believe that, I’d merely ask: what is so conservative, what is so very freedom-loving, about a police state?

When the police put down the machine guns, stop dressing like Darth Vader in a Wehrmacht-style helmet and start behaving politely against instead of knocking down doors and shooting pets, I’ll be happy to reconsider the issue.