November 3, 2014
(TheAntiMedia) Last week, the media was aflutter with a German Shepherd police puppy wearing an over-sized bulletproof vest. From the Huffington Post to Buzzfeed to the Washington Post to CBS to NBC, Today and beyond, the viral photo of the Boston police dog received national attention and praise. This portrayal of police relationships with dogs is starkly different than most, which involve police brutally shooting and killing dogs who do not have the special privilege of “being a cop.”
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Over the last several weeks, a variety of stories have glorified dogs that work for police. Local stations have covered stories about new K-9 additions to teams
—replete with adorable pictures. They have discussed the trauma of cops having to “bid an emotional farewell” to a police dog ridden with cancer. They have championed the dog that helped bring a sexual assault suspect into custody. Of course, Secret Service dogs made national news for attacking a White House fence jumper. They were deemed national heroes and the man they encountered is now facing charges for assaulting police dogs.
This glorification of police dogs is a representation of the broader double standard in American society that offers police special treatment while the citizens they abuse (and these citizens’ dogs) are granted far less than their civil rights and liberties.
Last year, police in Hawthorne, CA made national news for shooting a Rottweiler when the dog’s owner was filming police. A couple in Flint, Michigan is suing after SWAT police shot their elderly dog, Clohe, in the face at a wrong-house raid. Last year, a Concord, CA cop shot an elderly cocker spaniel mix near his spine.
Police kill dogs every day, but usually, a story must be alarmingly sadistic to grab major headlines, such as the recent story of a cop making kiss noises at a young pit bull then shooting it when it walked up
—or the Rottweiler last year.
While some cops may mourn over one of their own dying and many go their entire careers without incidence of animal cruelty (a sign of sociopathic leanings in children), there is something unique to law enforcement that attracts a tendency toward animal abuse.
It isn’t often that mail carriers, plumbers, and gardeners attack and maim dogs
—even though they could if they wanted. The post office is eager to attain ammunition, plumbers have plenty of wrenches, and gardeners could get particularly cruel with their tools if they chose to hurt an animal they felt “threatened them.” But stories like these are not rampant.
Rather, stories where police could easily have used tasers to subdue aggressive dogs but chose to shoot are commonplace. Others about friendly dogs being murdered are endless.
Just as police dogs receive special status in the media and among cops, so do officers when it comes to murder. Moral indiscretion is excused because of a badge, and those the officers kill—both human and animal—are left without fancy, state-funded funerals or charges against their aggressors. Working for law-enforcement comes with an exemption for violence and aggressive acts, often rewarding them with paid vacation rather than condemning.
This reflects a much broader notion of police superiority. The punishment for harming a police officer is a different, more serious category than killing most other fellow citizens. It is a “capital felony.” The same is true for killing a police dog, a crime a young black man was recently sentenced to 23 years for committing.
This is because the goal in prosecution is not justice, but maintaining the superiority of authority in the mind of the citizenry. Authority wins at all costs, and it is this quality of law enforcement that attracts individuals who wish to exercise violence, even if others join the force out of a desire to help others.
Though the paradigm belief that the government’s authority is superior to our own is best exemplified by police and their abuses, it applies to all areas of government. Parking enforcers are exempt from tickets when they park illegally to issue them. The president is exempt from punishment for assassinating American citizens. The military is allowed to murder whoever it wants (even journalists), and because it is an arm of the state, there is no room for retribution or dissent.
Regardless, dogs like the viral bulletproof puppy will be taught to sniff for drugs on non-violent individuals, which will lead to destroyed lives. They will be taught to obey violent thugs and attack those deemed a threat. These dogs are celebrated and lauded as heroes, and to be sure, they will assist in solving some heinous crimes. However, the institutions they work within are rooted in the worst kind of violence: the kind that is excused because it establishes authority over the rest of the population.
While the internet loses itself over an adorable puppy, people and families across the country continue to fight for justice for their maimed and murdered pets. They learn first hand that no matter how cute their pet may be, it is not safe from the sadism of sociopathic police.
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