To the Mayor and Police Chief of Hawthorne, California

Dear Sirs:

The blantant injury and then murder of a dog who was trying to protect his owner is just one of a rising number of murder-by-cop of family pets who are just doing their jobs.  This dog was colmpletely docile and disinterested in the police officers until they started to harass the dog's owner, who had been filming them and a SWAT operation.

The dog owner had put the dog in his car, with the windows down on a hot day, and he then approached a police officer who was talking to him.  The dog owner was immediately handcuffed by police.  When the dog owner appeared to be threatened by police, the dog jumped out of the car and barked at the officers.  He then tried to lunge at his owner to protect  him, and instead was shot by one of the officers.  The dog lay in the street writing and screaming in agony, and the person filming the incident stopped filming at this point.  It is not known by us if the police put the dog out of his misery, or if they let it lie there until it died.

While some may feel the police were justified in shooting the dog, those of us who viewed the video do NOT feel this was justified.  All the police had to do was release the dog owner so he could put his dog back in the car and call someone to come get the dog.  There was no reason to kill the dog.   There was no reason to handcuff the owner.  

These police officers must be held responsible for what they did to this poor animal and its family.  What message are you sending the citizens and children of your community if police officers are allowed to get away with shooting first and asking questions later?

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