First, with regard to your not living in DC, you may not reside here but the fact is that you are in effect a citizen of the District. All Americans are "citizens" of DC because this is the nation's capital. Therefore, you should go down the entire list of the suggestions in the posting and decide which items best suit how you feel, and then act accordingly. You are under no obligation to state where you are from, but it would help our cause if our officials our knew what citizens of other places feel about us. In particular, I would write to MPD Chief Lanier, and city council members Mendelson (the chair of the committee on public safety, which oversees the MPD), and Mary Cheh, who is the chief advocate for animals on the city council. and Jim Graham, who sponsored the felony animal cruelty act.
Second, you might consider writing your own congressional representatives and senators, and tell that that you are appalled that this is going on in the nation's capital and ask them to file a complaint with Mayor Fenty on behalf of the citizens of your state to bring this barbaric activity to a halt. Many congressional representatives live in DC and some serve on committees that provide oversight to the District. Write a suggested letter for your representatives and senators and send that to them to sign and send off. (I will post below a suggested letter later).
Third, you can take the lessons from what we are trying to accomplish in DC and apply them to your own cities, counties and states. If you dig deeply enough, you will find similar cruelty elsewhere, but much of it does not make the press, as was the case in DC until just recently. The DC government now knows they are being watched. In Prince Georges' Country in Maryland, for instance, just over the border from DC, this kind of blood bath has been going on almost daily ever since they banned from the city pit bull dogs and mixes and look-alikes a few years ago. For instance, you can read an account of a recent incident there by clicking here.
By the way, the police shooting our dogs is not the only problem we have with animals (dogs) and our government here. Until just recently when a new head of our local humane society took over, on order from our Department of Health, all pit bull strays were killed in our animal shelter, puppies and pregnant mothers alike, because they were never not evaluated for adoptability. But that reprieve is sure to come to an end if a bill now pending before our city council gets approved. That bill would give the mayor the authority to declare any breed of dog he wants a dangerous dog, which could very well mean that the police would be "authorized " to deal with them as they wish. (See www.oppose1789.blogspot.com) In the meantime, our Department of Health, which is responsible for animal control, is ordering the execution of our dogs simply for biting other dogs, even non-serious bites, as long as vindictive owners of the injured animals say the want the biting dogs killed. (See www.savesidney.blogspot.com or www.savebubba.blogspot.com.) The list goes on.
Thank you for caring about the situation here in DC. The more people who speak up, the faster we will bring this bloodshed to an end. And not only bloodshed, but also protect the reputation of the other some 4000 police officers who are dedicated and hardworking, and who care about these issues as much as you do.
Suggested letter to your U.S. congressional representative/senators apears below:
You can return to the main posting by clicking here.
Dear Congress(man/woman) or Senator ________________:
I am writing to you as one of your constituents about a tragic incident that occurred on May 23rd in the nation's capital that I would hope you would raise your voice over.
The incident involved what appears to have been a wanton act of animal cruelty which, if true, would be a felony under the laws of the District of Columbia. In that incident, a police officer chasing a drug suspect, stopped his pursuit when a dog named Precious, on a leash tied to her porch and in her own fenced-in yard, barked at him. The officer then fired two shots at Precious, hitting her once. When the Precious' owner grabbed her and held her between her legs, yelling to the officer, "I have her," the officer yelled back, "I am going to get that [dog]," and then shot Precious four more times. Precious then ran back into her house, hid under a bed, and died. An hour later, the officer arrested Precious' owner, Michael Bailey, for disorderly conduct because of the way he conducted himself after the officer shot and killed his dog. Mr. Bailey spent the night in jail, the night his dog died.
I understand that these allegations may be already under investigation by both the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Washington Humane Society, but I still believe that anyone with a connection to Washington must speak out on this abhorrent act of animal cruelty so that justice is done and the wanton killings of dogs everywhere by our police officers do not go unnoticed. Washington, D.C., is not the only municipality with this problem. Therefore, I am asking you, on behalf of your constituents, to write to Mayor Adrian Fenty and ask that through and complete investigations be undertaken, that any act of animal cruelty involved in this case be pursued vigorously, and that measures be taken to prevent these killings from happening again. I am attaching a suggested letter for your or your staff to send to the Mayor.
What makes this matter particularly bad is that the MPD was on the Department of Justice's watch list for seven years as one of the police jurisdictions known for excessive use of force, and was just recently released from the special monitoring two months ago. But as long as these activities are going on in the District by its police officers, the District of Columbia is not a safe place for any of us to visit.
Thank you for reading this letter and taking the action I am requesting.
Suggested Letter from Congress(man/woman)/Senator:
Honorable Adrian M. Fenty
Mayor, District of Columbia
One Judiciary Square
Washington, DC 20001
Fax: 202-727-0505; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mayor Fenty:
My constituents and I were both shocked and saddened to read about the apparent senseless shooting of the dog named Precious on May 23rd by a Metropolitan Police Officer (MPD). If the allegations against the officer who did the shooting are true, this is not the kind of activity that we would expect to see in our nation's capital, a city of which we are all citizens. Moreover, it gives our citizens such a negative view of this great city that some of they may choose not to visit it, and that would be wrong.
My hope is that you have ordered or will order a thorough and fair investigation of the allegations about the May 23rd shooting and, should the findings show that there indeed was an act of cruelty to animals involved, that you make sure that those findings are referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for prosecution. Police officers everywhere must understand that they are there to protect and serve the public and that if they commit crimes in the course of carrying out their responsibilities, they, too, will be prosecuted. And our nation's capital should serve as a model for not standing for illegal activities by its police officers.
Behind the taking of the life of an innocent dog, the tragedy of this incident is that the reputations of the thousands of other dedicated, brave police officers could be tarnished because of the actions of a few, and that, too, would be wrong.