Ammo For Sale

« « But nobody wants to take your guns | Home | Gun Porn » »

Police can’t shoot unlicensed dogs

Unless it’s coming right for them:

A federal appeals court ruled today that Detroit police didn’t have carte blanche to shoot a woman’s dogs during a drug raid simply because they weren’t licensed.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a lower court ruling in the case of Nikita Smith, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department after a narcotics raid left three of her dogs dead. A federal judge dismissed Smith’s lawsuit last year, ruling that her dogs, because they were unlicensed, amounted to “contraband” under the Fourth Amendment.

Papers, please.

7 Responses to “Police can’t shoot unlicensed dogs”

  1. Divemedic Says:

    So to summarize the lower court, undocumented is the same as contraband, and police have carte blanche to undocumented contraband dead.

    Do you see where I am going with this? Is that what the left wants?

  2. Lyle Says:

    Err, No. Let’s Fisk this out;

    If they’re in the middle of a “drug raid” (an anti-constitutional act in itself) I very much doubt that they stopped what they were doing, right there upon seeing the dogs, and forgetting their “drug raid” orders for a while and remembering their more important duty to enforce dog licensing requirements, they inquired as to the dogs’ licensing status. Then, having found no licensing papers, they then made the decision to kill the dogs for that reason, and only then, now satisfied with having enforced their improvised sentence upon a dog licensing violation, they remembered why they were there in the first place and thereupon resumed their “drug raid” activities.

    Uh, no. Vastly more likely; they killed the dogs outright, discovered some time after the fact that they weren’t licensed, and then tried to use that new information as a sort of “ex post facto defense”.

  3. JFM Says:

    Nail on the head Lyle. Never bought into the idea that a SWAT team, all armored up with shields and all have to shoot the dogs first.

  4. B Dubya Says:

    Not sure how it works where you guys are from, but in upstate NY the meth lab operators usually keep 2 or more pit bulls on the premises to attack the unwary and police officers.
    I’d shoot the dogs too under those conditions.
    It was in Detroit, after all.

  5. Chris Says:

    @BDubya – If that’s the argument then that’s the argument they should be making and it can be decided on the merits. This BS about “plus the dogs are unlicensed” is where the BS lies. BTW, I wouldn’t agree that shooting up the dogs on a SWAT entry should be standard protocol.

  6. Lyle Says:

    Sure; if a dog poses an immediate physical threat, shoot it, and you’ve got no argument from me. As Chris says; that wasn’t how they presented it.

    License schmicense.

  7. Lucusloc Says:

    @B Dubya

    Under that logic they could preemptively shoot the people too, under the logic that they might be a threat.

    Or we could expect officers to evaluate a situation, determine if a dog is an actual and immediate threat, then take action based on that.

    If the dog is not an actual and immediate threat they could, i don’t know, just leave it be until they figure out a way to deal with it that does not involve bullets.