Dog fatally shot by police officer

Dog fatally shot by police officer

CHAMPAIGN - A Champaign police officer shot at two dogs that were tangling on a city street in west Champaign Saturday evening, killing one and injuring the other.

A release from Champaign police department spokeswoman Rene Dunn said at about 5:25 p.m. officers were sent to John Street and Crescent Drive where one dog was reportedly attacking another dog.
A woman was walking her dog on a leash in the area of John and Crescent when a pit bull reportedly ran up and attacked her dog.
The woman and another witness tried to separate the dogs, including kicking the pit bull, described as aggressive,  several times.
When officers got there, the dogs were still fighting and the woman no longer had control of her dog.
One of the officers, whose name was not released, drew his gun and fired multiple shots at the pit bull. Once the dogs were separated, police figured out that both had been shot. The dog that was attacked died at the scene. 
The animal control officer took the pit bull.
Dunn said because an officer fired his service weapon, the department is conducting a “use of force” investigation.
Unlike situations where humans are shot, the officer will continue working while the investigation is ongoing, Dunn said.

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Linda Rogers wrote on November 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

So, first the dog was attacked by another dog and then shot and killed by a police officer? The dog that was leashed when he/she was attacked by a loose dog is the one that was shot and killed by the police officer?

illini_trucker wrote on November 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Wishes people would read before they type! The article stated that the owner no longer had control of her animal when the officers arrived. I guess this is why I'm not a police officer. If it was my choice, both animals would more than likely be dead because an injured animal can be far more dangerous... Instead of finding the owner of the pit bull, I'm sure the People are gonna eat this alive like Kiwane Carrington..... Which I guess I'm gonna venture on now to the court website to see how our model citizen Mr. J. Manning is doing now!! 

Linda Rogers wrote on November 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I read. Just wanted to make sure it was not a misprint. It seems a little hard to believe that the victim of the attack ended up being killed by the police officer. Glad I do not need to walk my dogs in that area.

vacupetowner wrote on November 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

Yes the dog that was shot and killed was on a leash being walked by the familes teenage daughter. And to the people further down making comments perhaps not all the details were in the article for a reason. Champaign does not want to make the poice force look incompetant and over zelous to fire their guns. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. 

CU2012 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

So they couldn't just maced the dog in the eye for sakes they carry roit sized cans wih them at all time good going CPD!!!

NathanL36 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 am

Yet another example of why the Pit Bull should at the very least require training, and a license to own. This breed of dog has become more of a status symbol (bling?) than a pet, and especially on this side of town. This could have just as easily been a child.....I don't blame the breed, but left unchecked, and under a training regimen of thugs, this is a very dangerous animal to other dogs and humans as well. The city needs to step up and put a few conditions in place before your allowed to own a Pit Bull.

auntsonyas wrote on November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

We already have leash laws in place that apply to all breeds in Champaign. If they were enforced the problem would be solved.

cwdog57 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 7:11 am

i just don't know where to start with this. it's almost like gun control. it's not the gun or the dog,it's the people! a responsible pet owner(gun owner) is always going to do the right thing,comply with the law. there is a leash law in champaign/urbana. this dog was "running at large" it was obviously not socialized or trained in proper behavior to be around other animals and was maybe even a fighting dog. ANY dog can be used as a fighting dog or as bait for one. ANY dog can kill,bite or main. ANY person can shoot a gun and kill or main another life(human or otherwise). both are against the law! it doesn't make the breed pitbull any more dangerous than any other breed. the status symbol for some individuals unfortunately is a  large breed dog. do you think those individuals will comply with any law pertaining to their dog if they are already engaging in illegal activity? are their guns registered? is their dog registered,vacinated, secured in a fence,trained to obey, housebroken? these are all the responsibility of a good pet owner and generally pets behave according to their owners demands.

pitbulls are a lovely ,intelligent,gentle and compassionate breed. they are also muscular, powerful and strong. easily trained to be a wonderful family pet and protector.

don't blame the messenger!

cwdog57 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

i forgot to add my heart goes out to the woman who lost her beloved pet to an untrained police officer and a dog running at large. the article didn't mention what kind of dog she had. maybe it was a registered pitbull on a leash?

illinois home page has a video of the owner making a statement. her dog was a labrador retriever. i don't understand how the police officer could have missed the attacking dog. how far away did he think he needed to be from the fighting dogs when he was firing his gun at them. just walk up and at close range fire at the offender. they were occupied with each other. oh well i guess you would have to have been there. hopefully an investigation into the dogs owner will occur and they will be held accountable for their actions.

rsp wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

i forgot to add my heart goes out to the woman who lost her beloved pet to an untrained police officer and a dog running at large.

An untrained officer? He tried to save her dog. Even if he hadn't pulled his gun there is no given that the yellow lab would have survived the fight. You fail to consider that the bullet could have gone through the one dog and into the other, who was already injured.

Lastly, what should he have done to prove he was a "fully trained cop"? Reached in with his bare hands and pulled the pit bull off the lab and locked it up? Set his gun to "pit"? Dogfights are dangerous, even to break up. 

illini_trucker wrote on November 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

Yup!! Called that one on the spot!! Well, it WAS the 3rd comment down! Blame the cop for not being the "Dog Whisperer" on the spot!!

so much for neutralizing the threat! Never mind the unpredictability of an animal that's already shown aggression. Never mind the wounded leashed dog who is probably going to gnash at anything. Nevermind the fact that either animal was now a threat to the public! Never mind 48 potentially rabid teeth. It's all the officer's fault for not being one step short of God!

You're all correct!!! The cop should've undressed to biker shorts and a wife beater tank top and done business the humane way. Reach your bare arms and hands in there, separate them politely, wait 15 minutes for 3 other backup cops to come, then ask each dog separated what the problem was, then charge the pit bull with a domestic! The other dog could've gotten a 72hour police no contact order and then an emergency order of protection to make sure this violence doesn't happen again!!(can ya tell the sarcasm yet?????)

edit: I would like to correct myself. According to web sources, most adult dogs have 42 teeth... So instead, 84 potentially rabid chompers!

raw5463 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Agreed - when dogs are fighting (and I've seen my share of strays come around) they don't stay in one position.      The officer may have aimed as best as possible, but when dogs are rolling around in a fight, biting and growling, the bullet could very well have gone thru one and then to another. 

Fromthearea wrote on November 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

More class act sensationalist writing from Mary Shank.

boxermom2008 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I love it how the article immediately mentions the breed of the loose dog but fails to mention the breed of the attacked dog.  and yes, that was sarcasm.  ANY breed of dog that is running loose and who has not had proper care, obedience and training could attack.  as for firing shots at both dogs...totally reckless, irresponsible and excessive force.  why is this different from situations were humans are shot?  the officer should be suspended while the investigation is ongoing. 

rsp wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

And what should they have done? They were trying to save the dog. Let's hear some real ideas. 

Who-Whom wrote on November 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

There a a few facts that should be followed up on before speculation, and I hope N-G does follow up.  Unless you were there you can't really know how it went down, but feel free to post trollish comments until N-G innactivates them.  

I hope and pray the attacking dog's owner is revealed and held responsible for the dog's actions while running at large.  Severe criminal charges to hopefully send a message to owners of all dog breeds to keep their pets under control and contained.  

It is very sad that the victim dog was shot, but it may likely have required eventual humane euthanasia, and likely heroic veterinary medical treatment to save after being mauled by the "Pitbull".  Pepper spray would not have had much effect in my experience, even batton or baseball bat blows to the head historically don't do much to release a Pit's death grip.  Of course, we have denied CPD the less than lethal option of TASERs in situations like this.  The officer had little recourse, and the concern is: was it safe to fire in a manner that bystanders or residences were not downrange.  I forgive the collateral wounds from missing the intended moving target attacker, or the bullet may also have passed through  ANY breed can be dangerous, especially when frightened or wounded, but the pitbull stigma will remain as long as negligent owners cause incidents like this.

     In my experience, our local Animal Control officers regularly perform the dangerous job of saving aggressive and vicious dogs from the necessity of being shot by police so they and their owners at least have some due process.    They do this with a pocket full of treats, a rabies pole, maybe pepper spray (only partially effective as a deterrant to attack), and their wits.  Some of our police officers are more experienced and better with animals than others.  I just hope that (human) public safety was the primary concern when firing multiple shots into a dog fight.  The officer will be made accoutable, but acting like this was a human citizen or suspect shot will be of no benefit.  

rsp wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Animal control doesn't do this with dogs who are fighting. Do you think they will stop for a treat? Really?

Who-Whom wrote on November 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

Thanks for missing my point, where did I say a dog fight could be broken up with a treat?   Point being the limited amount of tools Animal Control has to take a typical vicious running at large dog into custody.  

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

They usually do that by cornering the dog and they have help, without the dog being in a fight with another dog. I think you are the one who has missed the point. I have seen them pick up vicious dogs. They don't cooperate. Several years ago it made news when an officer tried to catch a dog and was severely bitten. The dog refused to let go. 

mwyczolko wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

may i ask why the "aggressive" dog is identified as a pitbull, but the victimized dog's breed is not mentioned? was it deemed irrelevant?  so, by default, the pitbull's breed IS relevant? 

bias, ignorance, and an unwillingness to expand the possibilites of dated thinking have no place in news.  at the very least, the reporting is one-sided and incomplete; at the very worst, it is incendiary and subversive.

i'm not even going to get into the details of all the other dog breeds that have been stigmatized and then welcomed back into the public's good graces, and the "pitbull", as generic of a term that is, will surely follow suit.

responsible dog ownership plays a critical role regardless of breed, though admittabley, as an "pitbull mom" i concur that pits do require a heavier hand than most other breeds.  but, given the proper structure, will thrive and are notorious snuggle bunnies and kisses givers to their families.  

sadly, what occurred on saturday night was that an aggressive and uncontrolled dog attacked a leashed dog that was being walked by a teenage girl, resulting in her witnessing a police officer fatally shoot her dog.  

neither of the dog's breed are relevant, or they both are: end of story.


rsp wrote on November 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

In addition to the leash law I'd like to see a chip requirement based on weight, not breed. Breed bans are based on stereotypes when the most common breeds for bites people wouldn't think of. Chips could pay for scanners for more cops to be able to check ownership of dogs. No chip the dog goes. Chips are inexpensive. Easy way to start checking compliance with rabies laws too. As it is they have to find the owner. Just make it part of the tagging license. It could be done with all dogs but it's really over a certain weight. 

getoverhere wrote on November 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

You have got to be kidding me. I've broken up fights between dogs with my own bare hands and authoritative voice. There is absolutely no reason for an officer to discharge his weapon unless the dog is attacking him and threatening his well-being OR approaching him in an agressive manner. None of which happened in this case. Don't they have tasers for this??

This isn't a new thing by the way, for the CPD to abuse it's powers and play with their toys at other's expense. Just look at how they treat 15 year old black boys running away because they are scared s***less when 6 hillbilly cops are hounding after them. Look at how aggressive they are with young, underdeveloped, and DRUNK undergrad college students that are so wasted they couldn't punch the air in front of them. But when it comes to the real criminals, the robbers, the rapists, the murderers...yeah we don't really hear much about that because they're not out there going after it. Too focused on small cases acting like "big" men because they have a gun and are licensed to use it in public. Most of these guys in the CPD are trying to play out their fantasies of action in real life and have little regard towards the effects their actions have on the local community. But what do you expect? The municipal police here Champaign hire a bunch of outsiders from who-knows-where who don't give a flying rat's *** about the community they are paid to serve. They only care about their careers and making busts to advance to higher positions/pays. The only cops in this community that have any respect for citizens are the Sherrif's department, because they are all from here.

I'm just afraid of where it goes from here. If they are willing to shoot at two helpless dogs to quell the fight, what are they going to do with two HUMANS who fight? Humans are far more dangerous than our canine friends...

auntsonyas wrote on November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I agree, shooting at people or animals should not be every police officer's default first response. Maybe additional training on how to assess a situation is required for the whole force. They should at least learn how to safely break up a dog fight.

illini_trucker wrote on November 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

@getoverhere: well then buddy, make a difference!! Police signups for CPD are in June-July with testing in August if memory serves me correctly. I put police in the same category as our servicemen. If you cannot stand behind them, then feel free to stand in front of them! Don't hide behind a username and password and troll the NG comment section. Go out and BE SOMEBODY!! I heard they did away with the massive 4-gauge rabies vaccination needles to the stomach!! So go nuts buddy! (I'm somehow reminded of Bill Engvall's "shark bite suit" joke!)

SR22 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Your comment alone proves your ignorance.  CPD only hires officers from "who knows where"? False. Many of the cops are from this area, do your research. 6 hillbilly cops chasing a 15 year old boy who was just "scared"? False.  He should have no reason to be scared if he hadn't done anything, and if that were the case, he would have cooperated just like any other innocent (if he really was, which he wasn't) citizen would have done.  The cops are just playing out their fantasies? Those are men and women who put their lives on the line daily, for people like you to sit behind a computer and bash on them.  

Also, I'm sorry, were you there? Do you know how the dog was reacting? Oh, that's right, you weren't.  Before you jump to outrageous assumptions, like the officers are just using their guns as toys, perhaps you should think.  

freechampaign wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

You know he was not there. If he was he would have broken up the fight with his "own bare hands"

SR22 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Don't forget about his authoritative voice! 

freechampaign wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Oh thats right. He has his "authoritative voice" because he has already "grown a pair".

getoverhere wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

The article doesn't mention anything about the dog attacking or approaching the officer with agression. If that would have been the case, the person who wrote the article would have included that bit of information, as that would have been the reason why the officer shot at the dog.

I don't ask anyone to put their lives on the line for me daily, nor do I care. The consitution clearly states I have a right to bear arms, and that's the only protection I need/use. If you want to put your buttocks on the line for me, go ahead, but you do so at YOUR OWN will, not mine. But as long as I am forced to pay a very large portion of my hard-earned money to employ these clowns, I will continue to chastise them on public forums and complain until they start doing what I pay them to do correctly. They serve me and you, not the other way around.

I have had many experiences with this department, way more than you most likely, over either ridiculous things or false pretenses, in which case every time I went to the court house the judge laughed at them and dismissed my cases. I don't pay these people to mess around with dogs. Had I been the victim and that was my dog that got "accidentally" shot (I thought they were trained marksmen) I would be suing the department right now for every penny they're worth, and I hope that person does pursue a legal whipping.

SR22 wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Bless your heart.  If only these men and women were allowed to deny you help, should you ever need it. Although, I'm sure you won't, since you can break up dog fights with your bare hands - kudos to you for that!

And yes, I will proudly agree with you that you have more than likely had many more experiences than I have with the CPD, but that sounds like a character flaw on your part, not because these fine officers are intentionally trying to mess with you.  And actually, if the call is for them to break up a dog fight, then yes you are "paying them" to mess with dogs.  

Joan Of Bark wrote on November 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm
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Police officers are not 'trained marksmen'-yes they are trained, but not so well trained like a sniper would be.

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 12:11 am

Just a question, you think they should just grab a strange dog, could have rabies, with their bare hands because it hasn't bitten them yet. What do you think will happen when they grab the dog? Since you have so much experience with them. Keep in mind the dog probably wasn't wearing a collar and they couldn't get anything over its head. 

akmp3 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 1:11 am

Uhhhhh...So how many of you are employed by the police department?

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 8:11 am

Look again, it's pet people. Not police people. Once in a while I'll suspect a spouse but never a cop. There's the job risk. 

illini_trucker wrote on November 19, 2012 at 5:11 am

I can safely say I'm not a police officer or city employee. Given the caliber of the public that has at least posted a comment on this article that I'd be forced to swear to protect, for both our sakes, lets all go into Thanksgiving Dinner THANKFUL that I'm not! 

illinikjw wrote on November 19, 2012 at 8:11 am

Yet another instance of the Champaign Police Department's overzealous use of force.  I know the woman whose dog was attacked, and she says the officer didn't even hit the attacking dog, just her pet.  The attacking dog survived, and her lab's only injury was a bullet wound.

Good job, CPD!  And great, unbiased reporting by the NG!  Makes one feel safe and happy living in this city, where cops use deadly force in a family neighborhood (across from a school, no less!) to break up a dog fight, and then lie about it in the press.

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Both dogs were shot. One time.

illinikjw wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm


Animal control said to her that the other dog WAS NOT SHOT.  Her dog was shot, yet despite being less than 6 feet away, the cop couldn't hit the attacking dog.

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The animal control officer may have not inspected the dog at the scene but a vet did. The attacking dog was shot. 

drewbert41 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

The officer should have called animal control instead of shooting two peoples pets. Out of control or not. Unless they were putting people lives in danger, he shouldn't have killed them.

The main problem here is that an officer decided to discharge his firearm in a neighborhood over a couple of dogs. I mean shouldn't he be using mace, taser, or batons first?

I wasn't there, but this sounds rediculous and I wouldn't want him to continue to patrol the streets unless there is more to this story.

Who-Whom wrote on November 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

Unless Champaign County Animal Control officers were in Champaign (very unlikely at 5:25 PM near shift end unless out dispatched to another call), you can imagine the response time from Art Bartell Drive in Urbana to Crescent in Champaign during heavy traffic (and no lights or sirens to get past said traffic)  That's why the PD was dispatched for such an urgent call.  Waiting for one of the 2 Animal Control Officers on duty (one is usually dispatched to Champaign, the other gets the Whole Rest of the County except City of Urbana) will be a long wait unless luck is on your side.  So... waiting for Animal Control is only prudent in a stable situation, not an actively violent one.  


rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Fighting dogs don't respond to batons except to maybe attact the one who is beating on them. CPD do not carry tasers. Pepper spray may have been tried and not worked. Some dogs will not respond to it. 

45solte wrote on November 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

FYI what worked for me in a (off-leash) pitbull vs. (leashed) mini-Dachshund attack years ago:  I pulled the back legs of the pitbull up in the air and held them there so he couldn't move around with much force (leverage gone).  This was completely by trial and error (as the men of the neighborhood, including the pitbull's owner, stood around doing nothing but watch).  I got bit at some point with initial failed efforts to try and get my dog loose from the mouth of the pitbull (thanks to the unusually ample rolls of skin around her neck he only got his grip locked on the scruff of her neck), but, I did not even notice until later and wasn't sure if the blood was from me or from my dog (she survived).  When you're in the moment you're not weighing your every move with personal safety in mind, particularly when it's your own dog's life on the line.  The risk of having to do the rabies shot series is one I would take to try and save my dog/s.

My situation did not involve a fight (it was an attack).  If the 2 dogs in the article were fighting then it's a lot harder to break up a such a fight as you've got 2 riled up dogs to manage after you get them apart.  I imagine CPD has policy on what risks are deemed acceptable for their employees to take and that probably involves not physically even touching the animals.      

katina80 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I live in this neighborhood and drove by after the event. The number of unleashed dogs in this area is unbelievable. I have had unleashed dogs approach my dog when I have him out on his leash and no one is even keeping an eye on their pet. I feel horrible for the family who lost their pet, but instead of blaming the police, or the breed, why aren't we addressing negligent owners? If the pit bulls owners had their animal leashed, this could have been avoided. I have made calls to animal control reporting my neighbors for leash violations, and I will most certainly ramp up my reporting after this event. Pet owners need to take responsibility or risk losing their pets, plain and simple.

commonfolk wrote on November 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Regardless of the amount of time it would take for an Animal Control Specialist to show up wouldn't waiting for them have been better than shooting and killing one of the animals? These animals were not harming any people. They were fighting each other. This is like saying they should shoot people if they are fighting and not calming down. Call in state and let them use a tazer or wait for animal control. Why is waiting a worse option then firing a weapon? I fully agree that these animals should be leashed however accidents can happen. I'm in the middle of taking my dog to training classes right now and leash him inside sometimes just to make sure he is used to it. If I was the owner of the leashed dog that police officer would have gotten a beating.

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

 If I was the owner of the leashed dog that police officer would have gotten a beating.

Under the circumstances they may have let you get away with it and just restrained until you could control yourself. But attacking the person who tried to save your pet isn't going to help anything. Both animals were hit one time. It's possible it was the same bullet.

A vicious dog can attack another dog or a person at random. It could have rabies. It could run off and attack someone else while they all stand around and wait. But that's okay. I'm sure if you tell the dogs to wait till Animal Control gets there they will sit and wait quietly. 

freechampaign wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

"If I was the owner of the leashed dog that police officer would have gotten a beating."

There you have it, the mentality of some people is why our society is in shambles!

auntsonyas wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Why don't the police use pepper spray when trying to control a dangerous dog? It's what letter carriers use. We know the police carry pepper spray because they don't hesitate to use it on our teenagers to get them to move a little faster down the street. This is exactly why people don't want to call the Champaign police for help anymore. Our children are growing up never knowing what it is to be able to trust the police to help.

freechampaign wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

would these be the teenagers that you read about repeatedly getting arrested for weapons charges, home invasion, robberies and batteries!

auntsonyas wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Well, no, my son was pepper sprayed while trying to leave Bradley's and walk to the parking lot. It was very serious and we were all up all night, don't tell me he deserved that. In his case a loud "move along" would have been more than sufficient. In Kiwane Carrington's case, pepper spray or a taser would have been sufficient to stop him, and not ended a young boy's life. And in the case of the pit bull vs. lab, pepper spray would have been more than sufficient to stop both dogs in their tracks. I would suggest that the Champaign police should choose the LEAST damaging method appropriate to control the situation at hand, rather than choosing the MOST damaging method, time and time again.

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Maybe you should go see what goes on at Bradley's at closing. And see why they have to call the police to clear the parking lot. Some people move along when they are told. Others are too busy starting fights, damaging cars. But I'm sure your son is an angel after a few drinks. Maybe they should have walked him to his car instead. Called to check on him later. Everyone who goes there knows what happens at closing. That's when the fights start. But some people enjoy that kind of thing. 

FlyinIllini0407 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

About 4 years ago down in Southern Illinois I was walking my 6 month old daughter in her stroller down the street when an aggressive pitbull charged us, I kicked at the dog and yelled... nothing worked, I kept myself between the dog and stroller trying to scare him off but nothing would work. I ended up presenting my left forearm to the dog and he bit, from there I was able to get the dog on his back, and I had no choice but to choke him until he was gone... the owners who were convicted felons, the dog had obviously been abused and I hated to have to do it, but what else could have been done. These people tried sueing me, but when all was said and done they just ended up paying for the 63 stiches I had to get, and were court order to never own a dog again. These poor animals are a product of their environment. I have friends who own pitbulls and they are the most loving of dogs when raised the right way. Sad story to hear, and so near where I live now. Now that my daughter is nearly 5 and we always go to centennial park, don't think I wouldn't do the same thing again.


Local Yocal wrote on November 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm
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Well, the real problem here is whether the officer was justified to use lethal force in this particular situation. Lethal force, according to CPD policy, and state law, is authorized only when there is a reasonable perception of a imminent threat of great bodily harm or death, usually understood to be coming from another person.

Mary Schenk's decription of the breed of the attacking dog is to help justify the unnamed officer's (Don't you just love transparent governments?) snap decision to use his firearm on dogs. We are to believe that a pit bull represented a serious imminent threat to either the officer or another person.  Any squad car video footage out there?

Regardless, there are some on this thread who have managed wild dogs without the use of a firearm. Of particular concern is the location of the two dogs, the location of the officer, and most important, what was behind the targets the officer was aiming at. If an officer is approaching from the street, the dogs are on a lawn or sidewalk, we might assume that residential properties are behind the targets the officer was aiming at. It is not unusual for officers to miss targets in a live situation, since the firearm training required is very minimal, and live situations are chaotic. Chief Cobb and the review team will have to assess the entire situation to determine whether the officer was justified to shoot at dogs in a residential area.

This entire situation again reflects the lack of training our officers are sent on patrol with, and what training there is, seems to be: "use maximum force first, ask questions later." CPD Field Training Supervisor Lt. Paulus said this was pretty much policy nowadays at the November 10, 2009 City Council Meeting. "No-touch" policing, using push-button weapons is now the standard for our ever-more militarized police.

Prediction: through the creative writing process by the officer, maximizing how dangerous the pit bull was, command staff will declare the shooting justified with the officer having "no other choice," but to use his firearm. Forensic testing as to whether the pit bull actually had rabies, and interviews with neighbors to determine if the pit bull had ever attacked a human will go undone; and using the Graham v. Connor standard, command staff will declare that rabies and jeopardy to other humans was the "officer's perception," enough to justify the shooting. All of our armchair quarterbacking on this thread about "what should have happened," is irrelevant. It's what the officer perceives at the time of the shooting is all that matters. 

Funny though, ol' Mary Schenk never interviews the pet owner of the leashed dog as to how she felt about the officer blasting her pet away'd think she would be grateful about the officer "saving her life." ??? 

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

The officer shot from about 6 feet, and he wasn't the only one there so there may have been a "brief discussion" of how to handle the dog. They would also have known how long it would have taken for an animal control officer to arrive. The pet owner gave an interview to channel 3 at the scene and may not have been up to answering more questions. Last point, the attacking dog went after the lab for no apparent reason. That ups the risk that it could go after any person at any time. That made the dog an imminent threat. 

Someone posted that there is a problem in that neighborhood with dogs running loose. Maybe as part of this process they can make it safer for everyone else. 

akmp3 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm

You are just trying too hard to defend the police department. I swear, it's like you are picking an argument with everyone who posts a critical comment.

mpeters wrote on November 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

The person's comment about not having to walk your dog in that neighborhood is not reassuring.  Directly acroos the street is Centennial High school along with the open field, and parking lot.  On the northeast corner is a retirment home, and furhter down Crescent is Jefferson Elementary school, Scholum pool and park, little league baseball fields and Centennial hill.  These areas have large concentrations of people.  We have the luxury of analyzing events after they happen and pick every detail apart. There are many breeds of dogs that have characteristics that give them an edge Pitbulls have the locking jaw, German Shephards have the bite force, Rottweilers, Chow Chow can be agressive but so can a lot of medium to large breeds.  The conditions and training are the key.  People that have dogs to say they have them is rediculous!  I do wonder what is protocol when two animals are fighting?  Does animal control get the first response or when human life is at risk does the police department? 

This is sad to hear that a person following the rules has lost their pet.  Her pet's actions could have saved her life.

illini_trucker wrote on November 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

There's only one thing left to say: 

To the Champaign PD and its officers,

  I would like to sincerely THANK YOU ALL for the work you do. The work that keeps anarchy off our streets and our overall public population as peaceful as could be expected, given our diverse population. I know y'all are not perfect. Mistakes are bound to be made. And if they are, the People whom you've protected for sometimes many DECADES will be the first to degrade you, your badge, your Department, and your fellow officers to no end and then will sue your pants off costing the rest of the public you protect $500,000 or more. There's a lot on the line when you're forced to think sometimes instantaneously; yet a slight hesitation to think about public repercussion could cost you your life or the lives of others or worse. I would like to apologize on behalf of the public whom you all are sworn to protect, that we don't mean it! There may be comments below mine that say "speak for yourself" but when we are in a desperate life-altering if not life-ending emergency, we wish you all were there to do what your paid to do; to do what your passionate about! While the rest of the Public continues to degrade you on this comment section and many others to follow relentlessly, this Thanksgiving I will pray. Pray that you forgive the same said Public on all these comment sections; that in their last throes of life when they wish they could've made amends because you were one block away from their residence when that burglar or robber slit their Carotid artery, watching blood squirt on the floor as the victim lay there helpless, while you are blowing through lights sirens blaring, doing your best to do what you do, that you may have already forgiven them, so that they may comfortably be in peace with their Maker; whomever that may be to them.

This Thanksgiving, we Thank You!


John Q Public and fellow citizens

alabaster jones 71 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm
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You can appreciate the police for the hard, and often thankless, work that they do.  You can also criticize when one of them or a collective of them makes a poor decision.  You don't have to choose between one or the other.

(Not saying the cop in this instance made a poor decision...I'm just saying, in general.)

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

They could also criticize in a respectful manner. Threats of violence, name calling, etc. will not help the situation or the people involved. When people bring agendas into the mix then it's no longer about the dogfight. Then we can't find solutions for the future. If we can't do that we just keep having the same old fight over and over. 

Local Yocal wrote on November 20, 2012 at 8:11 am
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 "... work that keeps anarchy off our streets and our overall public population as peaceful as could be expected, given our diverse population.

Ah, yes, the 'ol The Boogie Man is Everywhere syndrome. IlliniTrucker truely is a faithful reader of the Police Publicity Department News. The sly reference to a "diverse population," is meant to indicate we have "criminal minorities" in our midst? In fact, violent crime is down, is never studied as to why it happens, and personally, living in this town for over 30 years, the one time I saw a person aim a gun at another person, was a Champaign Police officer using his gun to "gain compliance."

"I know y'all are not perfect. Mistakes are bound to be made. And if they are, the People whom you've protected for sometimes many DECADES will be the first to degrade you, your badge, your Department, and your fellow officers to no end and then will sue your pants off costing the rest of the public you protect $500,000 or more."

These "mistakes" are deliberate wrongdoings that violate Constitutional rights, involve extreme, unnecessary uses of force (outright rape in the case of Officer Kurt Hjort) and reflect a type of training that moves from the serve and protect model once understood by the populace, to a "hunt and arrest" model that has more to do with "business" and "job security." No wonder the PTI's future funding was first proposed to be a $25 fee on all misdemeanor and felony convictions. It serves no purpose to trade one set of gangsters (the alcohol runners) for another set of gangsters (the rogue boys in blue and drug cartels they enable). The guilt-ridden angst IlliniTrucker is willing to flush all his Constitutional rights away with is not worth the so-called "security." Lucky for police and the prosecutors, the war against crime is defined as a war strictly against the poor, who are unable to afford the civil attorneys to fight the occasional official misconduct that we must live under.

"There's a lot on the line when you're forced to think sometimes instantaneously; yet a slight hesitation to think about public repercussion could cost you your life or the lives of others or worse."

Police work is not a John Wayne movie. Very rare is the time when officers confront these situations, and an officer with the slightest bit of people skills can easily retire without ever removing his firearm from his holster during the course of their career. You might want to pull away from the cop shows and go on a ride-along to find out just how boring and tedious police work is most of the time. Unfortunately, the PTI is training new recruits with this paranoid mentality, and that has caused many new officers to become the most violent person at a scene, often provoking and escalating confrontation, rather than restoring peace.

"I would like to apologize on behalf of the public whom you all are sworn to protect, that we don't mean it! There may be comments below mine that say "speak for yourself" but when we are in a desperate life-altering if not life-ending emergency, we wish you all were there to do what your paid to do; to do what your passionate about! While the rest of the Public continues to degrade you on this comment section and many others to follow relentlessly, this Thanksgiving I will pray. Pray that you forgive the same said Public on all these comment sections; that in their last throes of life when they wish they could've made amends because you were one block away from their residence when that burglar or robber slit their Carotid artery, watching blood squirt on the floor as the victim lay there helpless, while you are blowing through lights sirens blaring, doing your best to do what you do, that you may have already forgiven them, so that they may comfortably be in peace with their Maker; whomever that may be to them."

Well, there it is, IlliniTrucker's fantasy scenario that makes him willing to live under the Gestapo. Any statistics for Champaign County as to how many times a burgler slit the Carotid artery of a homeowner you'd like to share? I appreciate IlliniTrucker's idealism and hero-worship of the police, but unfortunately, policy makers from on-high, and cynical command staff have made what could be a noble profession into a tool for racist population control, and a revolving business with no reduced crime or drug addiction. I too wish the police an excellent holiday, and would hope they would begin to work with the community instead of seeing us as the constant enemy. You should be paid a starting salary of $80,000 a year, and demand training be extended from the current 3 months of a blizzard of information to a full 4-year professional degree to handle the way-too-many things expected of you. And be sure to join L.E.A.P. asap, and throw your badge at Gov. Quinn for you should not have to be a babysitter to what every person wants to put in their mouth.

illini_trucker wrote on November 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

Dear Champaign PD,

  I believe we have a new candidate for your Department.  After he passes his exams, physical, psychological, and written, please give LocalYocal an opportunity within your Department! While I would like to wait until the eligibility list, as you can see above, this guy/gal has GUSTO!! Please make it a Christmas present for him/her!  I look forward to him/her protecting me and my family with this same said morality in which he pledges above.  Think not of his comments as destructive; but moreso as constructive, and a pledge that he/she is going to rise above the "horrible corruption" and "reckless" ways of the Department in which he has identified.  You provide him with a badge, radio, and a gun and I'll at least provide the bullets for the gun and battery for the radio.  I will even give him some pepper spray, provided I can find some cheap!  Please don't send him anywhere on Bradley Avenue for at least the first three months as a probational officer; I would like to see him/her at least once, as well as he/she should be afforded to spend at least one more Valentine's Day with his/her spouse/significant other.  I would likely assume at the end of the 3 month period, he/she will have gained enough street smarts to respectfully return his badge, radio, and gun, and be 30% as thankful as I have been!

Thanks again for your work!

illini_trucker wrote on November 20, 2012 at 9:11 am


rsp wrote on November 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

Unfortunately, the PTI is training new recruits with this paranoid mentality, and that has caused many new officers to become the most violent person at a scene, often provoking and escalating confrontation, rather than restoring peace.

I've lived here longer than you so I've seen more probational officers than you have. It's nothing to do with PTI, it's because they are new idiots.  After a while they calm down. If they weren't carrying guns and badges you could almost laugh at them, but they are so I wouldn't do it to their face. It takes time to settle into a job like that. Until they do people notice the mistakes. The inexperience. Were you always perfect? Start every job with all the skills you need? Or did you grow into them? PTI can only provide so much training. After that they have to get out on the street. 

akmp3 wrote on November 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm

We shouldn't have to wait for them to "settle down." They should be doing their jobs professionaly and reasonably from day 1. Stop making excuses for them and start holding people accountable for their actions. Makes no difference if they are "new" or "old."

rsp wrote on November 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Note to CPD: Don't hire any more new recruits. Only hire experienced officers. You know, the old guys. When the field of hires gets too shallow and all you can find are retirees, we'll just close up shop. 

Feel better?

rsp wrote on November 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm


Local Yocal wrote on November 21, 2012 at 5:11 am
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Dear Soviet Union,

I offer a new citizen for you to consider, IlliniTrucker. He apparently does not appreciate being an American and would rather live under an armed dictatorship. He will cooperate with all unwarranted surveillance, searches, and will gladly relinquish all his property anytime an armed soldier in uniform tells him to. I believe you will find IlliniTrucker to share any ideological xenophobias The Party wishes to wage war with, particularly if it's war against minorities on Bradley Avenue. Please deport him from our country at your earliest convenience.

As for training and the PTI, 3 months is far too short of time to consider anyone prepared to go out on patrol as a police officer. Police training should be a 4-year college degree, with a mandatory residency in a poor neighborhood as part of the course work. Likewise, anyone considering becoming a prosecutor should be required to live in general population for at least a couple of weeks at a state prison before assuming they are qualified to recommend a sentence before any trial judge. 

That's what I love about Jesus. He experienced it all and can judge with certainty and mercy since He knows what it's like to be on the other side of the stick.

rsp wrote on November 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

A lot of the cops have degrees and continue with their education while employed. Those sentencing guidelines? They come out of the legislature. People who are totally divorced from the process and trying to win votes. They are the ones who tie the hands of judges and prosecutors to the guidelines. Educate them. 

illini_trucker wrote on November 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Provide the paperwork and permissions and I would probably be gone. At least I wouldn't keep  the false hope that all of the supposed freedoms of the USA aren't gonna get taxed, regulated or banned altogether!! I would rather start with nothing and maintain that same nothing rather than be legislatively teased throughout my lifetime. Just like any good budget, it's a real good idea actually to know what your getting yourself into. Rather than bored lawmakers coming up with pure stupidity laws that they think justifies their job. Split speed limits... THAT was a LAUGHABLE JOKE!! Hahaha!!

so now let's talk about war on minorities. What are you trying to suggest about Bradley Avenue... Hmmm????? And other "minorities" and the "Soviet Union." You not trying to call me a "C" word are ya? Just a reality check, before you reference something, maybe you should check out a little history. Something almost important happened with the Soviet Union in 1991. But I wouldn't expect you to know anything about that. You just like to go around slinging words you have no clue about. But it's all good; you've proven your level of education.


Note to CPD,

Nevermind my previous recommendation with LocalYocal; he apparently still thinks the Soviet Union exists.  Lolz! 

Local Yocal wrote on November 22, 2012 at 6:11 am
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I'm glad your level of education was able to detect the meaning behind the metaphor of "Soviet Union." I suggest a closer move to the State of Montana might yield the libertarian freedoms you seek. It's surprising you believe the Champaign Police actually protect freedom. They don't, unless you are of the correct race and income bracket.

illini_trucker wrote on November 22, 2012 at 11:11 am

Unfortunately, it is physically impossible to travel to a metaphorical state. Again a show of educational level (or lack thereof); else Calgon could've "taken you away!" Away from this god-awful place we call the City of Champaign to a place more perfect; more to your design. If you hate the enforcement so much, why don't YOU move away? It's gotta beat hanging around here being miserable hiding behind a username and password! Oh yea, I forgot, you haven't learned that yet...

Local Yocal wrote on November 24, 2012 at 6:11 am
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You're right. You deserve to be under a real armed dictatorship. Egypt is starting to look good, perhaps a plane ticket there for you? Somebody needs to stay here and keep holding the CPD to account,...since comrades like you are unable to.

clarinet86 wrote on November 21, 2012 at 9:11 am


First, I feel sorry for the pet owner who lost her dog. Secondly, I feel sorry for the police officer who is now getting all the blame. I own a Lab mix. While I was walking him (ON A LEASH) with my 4 yr old, a pit bull mix(ON A LEASH) ran up to him and started attacking him. The owner 'thought' he had the dog tied up better. Both of these dogs were rescues. The pit bull mix obviously needed more training. The owner didn't even help check my dog to make sure he was alright after the altercation. He just walked away. Thank GOD the dog didn’t see my 4yr old. Alright off my soap box, my point is, the dog should not be to blame, it’s the owner not the breed. The pit bull from the story should have been on a leash, should have had training, all responsibilities that fall on the owner. If you aren’t going to take the time to teach it(not abuse it or allow it to fight) then don’t own a dog.

ThinkWithYourBrain wrote on November 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

Yeah, because a domesticated Lab on a leash with it's owner standing there is a real threat.  We're not talking about a fight between two untagged Pits.  This in no way has any similarities, other than a gun going off, with the the Carrington case.  In that case I believe the discarge was unintended. 

mattd149 wrote on November 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

There is a Fire Staion less than a block from the scene. Im sure a blast from an APW would have broke the dogs up.

Local Yocal wrote on November 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm
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Wrong. Prosecutors can do whatever they want. There is no "Legislative hamstringing" regarding sentencing at the state level. Prosecutors have the discretion to charge any behavior with whatever level of offense they choose, or drop the charges entirely. Over 8,400 police reports are filed with the Champaign County State's Attorney's office per year, and only about 4000 go forward with criminal charges. Where do the other reports go? To the prosecutorial discretion pneumatic tube and filed under miscellaneous reports at the clerk's office, forever gone. 95% of the other cases are plea bargained and usually reduced from the original overcharging the state engages in. While politicians have bought the "tough on crime" stuff for some time, they are more willing to look at alternatives to incarceration nowadays than the state prosecutors since politicians are beginning to see the cost of imprisoning non-violent offenders.

rsp wrote on November 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

What about crack and cocaine? They may have discretion for what they charge but there are guidelines for the punishment for that charge. That's what I was referring to. The alternatives have been going on for some time and are just now reaching the state level. Illinois has been fighting for quite a while over the early release programs that were in place. Legislation was passed to restart them but after almost 3 years they haven't been put in place. It is likely there will be a court case to reduce the overcrowding.

People demand alternatives at the local level because they don't want to pay for a new jail, or the way juveniles are treated. There is a big movement involving kids. Politicians keep trying to show they are tough on crime and we keep buying it. If we sat back and did any research we would know that this plan of 3-strikes would be a major failure. Low level offenders were locked up for long periods away from their families. Kids without their parents are more likely to turn to crime. So the kids are now doing the crimes. Acting out in anger. But will people learn?

Local Yocal wrote on November 22, 2012 at 6:11 am
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The sentencing guidelines set by the politicians can always be subverted by the discretion of the prosecutors, which is the point I believe you understand. There is always flexibility,  what Ms. Reich calls, "the beauty of the system," where she can give middle class, white U of I students breaks for "one little youthful mistake," and come down like a ton of bricks on the rest of us. For example, Class X felonies require a minimum 6 year sentence in prison. Look at the cute trick prosecutor Stephanie Weber pulled in the cocaine case against James and Paul McElwain just this past October. Prosecutors determine sentences more than politicians.

rsp wrote on November 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

But there's another factor that may get missed too easily. Statistics won't show that a lot of the kids from "Bradley" to use that as a metaphor, show up to court alone. No family. Kids from the UI show up with family, coaches, friends, etc. If you have a support system you are more likely to succeed. If you don't you're not. It says to the judge that the family doesn't care, has given up. Fair or not. They have the CASA program for kids involved in dcfs, I really think they need something like that for kids in legal trouble. One of mine got into trouble several years ago. If I hadn't fought so had that child would be gone. I saw kids show up 14 years old for court without parents. They wanted to punish their kids so they didn't go. Or the judge knew them too. No 14 year old should go to court alone. They should issue a warrant for the parents. It's neglect. The judges see that and think it's better to change the enviroment. But it's the wrong change. 

Local Yocal wrote on November 24, 2012 at 6:11 am
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I think you'll agree that judges and prosecutors should attend strictly to the trier of facts of a case, and the person's record, come sentencing and NOT play to whoever happens to be in the courtroom watching. (As you know, only media and family can attend juvenile proceedings) It's immoral for judges and prosecutors to assume just because a kid shows up in court alone (rather responsible of the kid to show up on their own for their court date), he deserves extra punishment. A story not being told by this publication (and one you apparently saw) is the extraordinary punishments being doled out on teenagers, particularly African-American teenagers. It's as if the prosecutors think hitting them hard early will stop the poverty of thought and income cycle. Instead, the community will only inherit a much harder, angrier, less employable twenty-something paroled to our streets a few years later. But it's great business for the law enforcement industry to have this revolving door system.

rsp wrote on November 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

People write to the judge. Pastors write to the judge. They let them in the courtroom too. Like extended family unless someone objects. You have to consider it from the Court's perspective or you can never make changes. A kid who comes alone has no guidance. Nobody looking out for him. He will fail. Why? Because they keep giving them chances to do the right thing before the case is resolved. They have multiple people telling them what they need to do. It's confusung. They leave without a clue as to what is expected, nothing is in writing, and no adult is there to back up the rules. Ask a kid if he has any homework. Most will tell you no even when they do. They don't hear it. Ask a troubled kid what happened at court, what does he need to do to put himself at the best advantage. He won't have any idea. Tell him to follow the rules at home but what if there aren't any? I really think a program like CASA could make a difference at least for the first-timers. Some of these kids have real issues that will take a long time to resolve. There are a lot of them that could be saved if they knew what to do. Where to turn. 

RLW wrote on November 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

I am amazed at how many people are commenting why didnt they say the breed of the dog that was attacked?

Well, If you would have read the other stories written about this then you would know it was a Lab!

and the girl let her dog go so he would have a better chance to defend himself.

I am amazed at the lack of empathy being shown in these comments.

Again I am sorry for your needless loss because of someone's stupidity.

boxermom2008 wrote on November 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

More name-calling.  Classy.  I am not a "lib", but in going back thru some of your previous comments I noticed you use that term a lot, so I am not taking offense. 

  • The most horrifying example of the lack of breed predictability is the October 2000 death of a 6-week-old baby, which was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. Note, however, that they were bred to be watchdogs! The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)
  • Any dog, treated harshly or trained to attack, may bite a person. Any dog can be turned into a dangerous dog. The owner or handler most often is responsible for making a dog into something dangerous.
  • An irresponsible owner or dog handler might create a situation that places another person in danger by a dog, without the dog itself being dangerous, as in the case of the Pomeranian that killed the infant (see above).
  • Any individual dog may be a good, loving pet, even though its breed is considered to be potentially dangerous. A responsible owner can win the love and respect of a dog, no matter its breed. One cannot look at an individual dog, recognize its breed, and then state whether or not it is going to attack.