Dog's owners suing over shooting by cop

City of Champaign named as defendant

CHAMPAIGN — The owners of a dog shot and killed by a Champaign police officer last year filed suit against the city on Friday.

In the lawsuit, Kathy and Jake Saathoff and Kelsey Markou say they are entitled to damages for the "illegal seizure" of their dog when it was shot and killed by Officer Andre Davis and for the emotional distress it inflicted on them.

But it's not about the money, Kathy Saathoff said on Friday. They just want the situation addressed properly.

"We really didn't want to get to this point, but we felt they treated us unfairly," she said.

Davis had been suspended without pay for one day following the incident, during which a bullet also went through a first-floor apartment of a nearby apartment building. Nobody was hurt.

Davis was a patrol officer on Nov. 17, 2012, when he reacted to two dogs fighting at Crescent and John streets in the evening by drawing his weapon and firing. Police reports — obtained earlier under the Freedom of Information Act — revealed he fired seven shots at the dogs, killing the Saathoffs' family pet as their teenage daughter, Markou, watched.

She had been walking their Labrador retriever, which was on a leash, when an unleashed pit bull terrier approached and began fighting with it. Police were called when she and another man were unable to separate the animals.

Kathy Saathoff said she had been directed to speak with Larry Krause, the city's risk manager, to address the situation. She said they spoke in January, but then he never got back to her, and her attempts to contact other city officials have also been ignored.

"They refuse to be accountable for the action of the police officer," Saathoff said.

The ideal outcome, she said, would be to force some action to ensure a similar situation does not happen to anyone else in the future.

Krause could not be reached for comment after business hours on Friday evening, but he told The News-Gazette in April he was still working on a figure to compensate the Saathoffs.

It is the city's policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Saathoff said it is not about compensation.

"We don't have a number," she said. "We're just trying to make a point."

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Sid Saltfork wrote on November 09, 2013 at 8:11 am

How do you break up a fight between two dogs without humans being injured; pepper spray, water, or what?

Of course, it is not about the money.  Although, what is the right amount of money?  Enough to buy a puppy?  Enough to create a memorial where the dog is buried?  It was buried, wasn't it?  What is the right amount?  The attorney's fees have to be taken into account.  Really, who cares since the city will be paying it.  Dog spelled backwards is God.

Did the officer apologize to the family?  Whatever happened to Forgiveness? 

Patty Hayes wrote on November 09, 2013 at 8:11 am

There is something seriously wrong with law enforcement training when the numbers of family pets being killed by officers is upwards of 5,000/yr.  Pets are being indiscriminately killed in their own yards and homes for no reason;  sometimes the result of a search at the wrong home (as was the case of a Buffalo NY veteran from Afghanistan, when his dog was shot in the home's kitchen);  or the recent W.VA case of an officer attempting to serve a summons, found no one home, and shot the homeowner's dog that was tied up on the porch; or this week's even more bizarre instance of a Utah deputy who shot a farmer's turkey because he claimed the turkey had "an aggressive stance".

Adding insult to their loss, police depts. and city personnel whitewash the officers' conduct, telling people that the officers "felt threatened" and then ignore the injured parties.  Seriously?  Why is it that U.S.mail carriers, UPS drivers, meter readers, pizza delivery drivers or Jehovah's Witnesses aren't all carrying guns too, if the threat of family pets is so great?  Are these officers so poorly trained or so lacking in judgement that their first instinct is to shoot and kill these pets, or are they just heartless?  Are these really the kind of people we want interceding in domestic violence disputes or even pulling our teenagers over for traffic violations?

The situation has gotten so bad that a facebook page (Dogs Shot By Cops) is now documenting these tragic instances, and a documentary (Puppycide) is being made to bring more awareness to the problem.   Several cities and states are responding by instituting special training for officers on appropriate, non-lethal responses to encounters with family pets.  In the meantime, perhaps hitting these officers, their depts. and the city with civil litigation may be the only way to get their attention.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 09, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Your listed occupations do not require the worker to continue on with their job.  If you have a barking, possibly agressive dog on your porch; the mail carrier will not deliver your mail.  The same for your other listed occupations.  The law enforcement officer does not have the same option.  A dog is not a human.  Your questions regarding domestic violence, and teenagers do not apply since they are human with some ability to communicate with another human.  Yes, there should be training; but again dogs are not people.  "Hitting the officers, their depts., and the city with civil litigation" does not make much sense unless you are not a Champaign taxpayer.

If people have the time to spend on facebook, maybe they have the money to donate to Animal Response Training for law enforcement officers.  Don't just complain, put your money into training.  Perhaps when people buy their dog from a breeder, or shelter; they would pay an additional fee for Animal Response Training for law enforcement officers.

Every time the N-G runs a story about animal abuse, or a dog accidently shot; people jump on the law enforcement officers.  Maybe, they need training as well as the officers.

Electra1 wrote on November 09, 2013 at 8:11 pm

You know what?  It is not the INDIVIDUAL'S responsiblility to teach law enforcement about dogs or pay for the training: it is the responsibility of their departments.  Twenty years ago cops weren't killing dogs every single day in this country: they are now.  What's changed?  Perhaps a militarization mindset or simply the "it doesn't matter because I can get away with it', or your disgusting 'it's only a dog' garbage.  My dog is NOT just a dog, but a FAMILY MEMBER.  In fact, that's how most Americans look at their dogs.  Cops kill Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers because they claim they 'fear for their lives'- does ANYONE really believe that, or is it really because they simply can?  It is ridiculous to put the onus of this on the pet owners, when it is CLEARLY the fault of departments who fail to take into account the number of homes with dogs, and how those families feel about their dogs.  To say 'the dog is not human' is simply to excuse the worst behavior in a group of people who have often become little more than bullies with badges: look at the number of times they've killed dogs on chains, leashes, in their own yards, at the wrong house, in their own house, in cages, weighing less than 25 pounds, 20 feet away, etc.  Excusing them is simply inexcusable.  While you may feel that mailmen, etc, won't do their job with a dog on the premises if they feel threatened, the actural answer is: yes they will!  They carry pepper spray for a reason, and they are NOT ALLOWED to refuse to deliver mail to someone's home every single day.  As for hitting the officers and department with civil litigation: are you kidding?  Nationwide it has often been the ONLY thing that has brought change in departments who are all too quick to excuse officers who kill family pets for no reason, even when the killing has been filmed.  Losing money, i.e., the pocketbook, brings response when public outrage, letters, phone calles, etc, hasn't.

Katon L wrote on November 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

FREE training is available on the The US Dept of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Learning Portal:

"Police and Dog Encounters video series now available on COPS Learning Portal: Law enforcement officers can expect to encounter dogs in the course of their contact with the public.

This five-video series prepares them for safe, non-confrontational outcomes to their interactions with dogs while on duty."

http://cops.igpa.uillinois.edu/announcements/police-and-dog-encounters-video-series-now-available-cops-learning-portal

Watch now link: http://cops.igpa.uillinois.edu/resources/police-dog-encounters

Source K9 Partners of Monroe County - Eddie Cintron, https://www.facebook.com/groups/K9partners/ 

serf wrote on November 09, 2013 at 1:11 pm

classic first world problem.

Danno wrote on November 09, 2013 at 4:11 pm

"Puppycide"? Really? Really?

auntsonyas wrote on November 09, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I'm a little more worried about the stray bullet that went into a nearby apartment. They might want to encourage cops not to do that!

DaPaign217 wrote on November 09, 2013 at 8:11 pm

 Da police n Champaign is crooked mane...... Dey gets away wit errythan' n dey b dead wrong... Sumthan' needs ta b done 'bout all dez crooked cops n da Paign... Ya knows da streets messed up if dey steady lettin' all dez people off gun cases, murdas, & dope cases. Even da people who cause harm ta children gets off wit a slap ons da wrist.. Champaign has went down hill 'cause a dez crooked cops. Now dey justified ta fire 7 shots at a dog dat ain't even attack nawbody. How is dis rite?

spangwurfelt wrote on November 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm

And so ends today's episode of "White Man Does Bad Minstrelsy."

LocalTownie wrote on November 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

I have two comments to add here. First and foremost, I am a dog lover and would be devastated if a police officer shot one of my dogs like that. My sympathy goes out to all the families who have had their pet wrongly shot to death by a police officer simply because "it looked threatening." Police officers take on deadly criminals on a daily basis who also "look threatening" an they don't shoot every dangerous person they deal with. So why shoot a pet?

Second, my husband is a UPS driver. Early in his career he was bitten by a dog while on his route and he has since learned how to deal with future situations that arise, without using a lethal weapon.  An aggressive dog can be handled in many ways, a foot to the neck, a whack on the head with a heavy clipboard or heavy electronic device like those used by UPS drivers. Heck, don't police have night sticks anymore? The officer could have handled this without killing the innocent victim and sending stray bullets into a residence. I'd like to know why he didn't knock the attacking dog out with his night stick and call animal control? He could have given the kids time to get Dog home that night. 

AltoonaSue wrote on November 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

It's a sad commentary on the City of Champaign's philosphy for dealing with citizen complaints.  It sounds like this could have been avoided by simply talking to the family and working through the problem.  Sorry, Mr. Krause, but it's a little difficult to believe that it's taken you a year to figure out compensation for this. Where is the Mayor? City Manager? Can they not pick up a phone and say "I'm sorry, let's work through this?".

My sympathies go out to the Saathoffs.  They should not have to go through this after witnessing their beloved pet shot for no reason.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm

It's Tues., 11/20/2012, all over again.  Refer to the initial article, and comments.

How the two dogs should have been handled in the fight has been discussed.  Whether the missed shots fired were due to poor marksmanship, or rapidly moving dogs has been discussed.  Everything except the amount sought in the lawsuit has been discussed.  Please give suggested amounts that would compensate the family for emotional distress, and teach the Champaign Police Dept. a lesson.  How much?

Local Yocal wrote on November 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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$40,000 should do it. The City's insurance policy will make it so it won't even be a blip on the budgetary screen.

What the Saathoff's are dealing with is the lack of oversight of police. No where in the use of force policy was Officer Andre Davis allowed to use lethal force at "threatening dogs" on the day of the incident. It was an irresponsible shoot to take, given he did miss and could have hit a bystander. It's not just a "militarization" of the police, which it is, (go look at what the PTI puts out as its publicity photos) it's also a "push button" mentality that thinks a pull of a trigger on a taser, cannister of pepper spray and/or gun instantly solves problems. "Officer safety" becomes a catch-all excuse for harmful, aggressive behavior that is unnecessary caused by angry officers in a hurry for "instant compliance."

The Saathoff's are probably insulted by falsified police reports that most assuredly differ with their daughter's version of events. They should stick it to the city as another reminder that the police are not a private, secret paramilitary group of soldiers who we must provide all our personal information and snitch on command when they demand it; and all uses of force are they "just doing their job."

They are public servants who we have paid for, to enforce our laws according to our Constitution; and more ideally, to serve and protect. If anything else, this is horrible community policing, not just for the act, but for the follow-up to a family's grief. The "uh-oh, we could get sued," "circle the wagons" approach hides truth, and is lousy public relations. Chief Cobb should have been over there at the Saathoff living room that week, working something out. Most of these officers have family pets too, and you can bet they would be hollering holy hell if the mailman just blasted their pet dead at the first feeling of a threat.

If I feel threatened by the drug dog, are they going to be okay if I "stand my ground" and shoot their dog dead in the brave new world of revealing what I have been carrying?

Whatever chaos couldn't be figured out the day of the shooting, should have been dealt with after the shooting. The City brought this suit on themselves with their usual arrogance. For there to be forgiveness, there first must be acknowledgement. The City has refused that first step.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Why would you "feel threatened by the drug dog"?  I would think that you "have been carrying" a gun if you shoot a "drug dog".  What is wrong with "revealing" what one is carrying if approached by a law enforcement officer?  If one has nothing to hide, and it assists the officer; what is wrong with doing what is requested? 

Your making this an "us against them" scenario with "them" being the police.  An individual officer accidently shot a family's pet trying to protect the pet.  The whole police department are not in on a conspiracy to shoot residents' dogs. 

Other communities have invested in Animal Response, or another named, programs to train officers the best lethal, and non-lethal methods of animal control.  Champaign, and surrounding communities need to do the same.  With the continuance of PTI, a training program requiring annual certification could be created.  No officer wants to shoot a dog.  They would not oppose the training if it were offerred.

Katon L wrote on November 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

One might feel threatened by a drug dog due to disturbing stories like this:

"Second NM Lawsuit Filed Over Body Cavity Search," 9 Nov 13, ABC News

Local Yocal wrote on November 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm
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Aside from the fact officers do not need probable cause to use a drug dog, here are the local numbers regarding drug dog searches:

For the year 2012, local drug dogs racked up these numbers:

189 searches
173 alerts
57 alerts were accurate and found drugs.
The dogs were wrong 116 times out of 173 alerts, or
the dogs were wrong 67% of the time.

freechampaign wrote on November 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm

The math with these numbers may sound correct to a person that has no clue how a trained narcotics detection dog works. If you would take time and follow up on how a K9 works you would learn that a trained detector dog alerts to the odor of the narcotic, not the presence. An odor that can remain in a vehicle, residence or container well after the narcotic is removed. Just because at the time of the alert no narcotics are located does not mean the K9 was wrong. This is why a well trained K9 officer will interview the occupants of a vehicle or residence to determine the reason for the alert. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Thank you for speaking up.  It may help someone who may shoot a "drug dog".

Local Yocal wrote on November 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm
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So police arrest people for having "trace" odors? If the dog is never wrong afterall,....then why no arrests for impaired driving to accompany the tickets?

freechampaign wrote on November 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Hmmm let me see. Did I say anywhere in my post that people were getting arrested for “trace” odors? Nope! Did I say the dogs were never wrong? Nope! Yocal please re-read my post and point out to me where I made those statements. Thank you

Katon L wrote on November 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm

The intention of my response was to answer the question: "Why would you "feel threatened by the drug dog"? "  Never to insinuate, in any manner, drug dogs should be shot.  The cited article was beyond disturbing, as I never  imagined any law enforcement agency (local, city, federal, etc) had the legal right to perform such an invasive body search.  Adding insult to injury, sticking them with the hospital bills when nothing was found.  The canine was an innocent simply doing his job.  In these instances... there is something seriously wrong with the officers involved. 

 

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 11, 2013 at 7:11 am

I thought it sadly ironic last night watching the news that two dog stories were presented.

The Saathoff's were interviewed regarding the accidental shooting of their dog, and their lawsuit though the amount being sought was unknown at the time.  More will be announced when the city receives the papers on Tuesday evidently.

The second dog story was regarding the law enforcement officer, and his canine partner who were both killed recently.  The officer's little sister hoped to find a dog that resembled her brother's canine partner.   One was located, and provided to the little girl.

The difference between the two stories is the need, or want, to teach the Champaign Police Dept. a lesson by suing the City of Champaign.  The Saathoff's have another dog now so another dog would not be the answer to their lawsuit.  The little girl who lost her brother, and canine friend was at peace with the new dog given her.  No anger was visible regarding the person who killed her brother, and canine friend. 

Two different news stories about two dogs, and the families attitudes dealing with the grief of losing their canine friend. 

 

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 8:11 am
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@IncarcerateChampaign: Where did you say the dog was never wrong? Here:

"... a trained detector dog alerts to the odor of the narcotic, not the presence. An odor that can remain in a vehicle, residence or container well after the narcotic is removed. Just because at the time of the alert no narcotics are located does not mean the K9 was wrong."

Where did you say police arrest people for trace odors? You didn't. I asked the question to show that police DIDN'T arrest anyone for trace odors according to the traffic tickets from the IDOT study, indicating the driver wasn't impaired.

Therefore, doggie was wrongy. You're welcome.

Your new clue is what now? Dog sometimes wrong, sometimes not? (Uh oh, here comes the "officer discretion" excuse......)

By the way, the point of shooting a drug dog was merely to ask, how would police react to the shooting of their favorite animal, as a way of understanding what the big deal is for the Saathoff's.

freechampaign wrote on November 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

@localfelon. Again where did i say the dogs were never wrong? I did not. I explained why there are times that dogs alert yet there are no drugs found. And to answer your other question about dui. If the driver admitted to the recent use of narcotics then yes the officer could take the next step with dui drugs. Because he or she does not go that route does not mean the dog was incorrect. Again are dogs perfect? Nope. Can they be wrong? Yep. Just like stats can be if they are not correctly obtained or collected. I know you will respond in some manner but I can rest easy knowing that the Illinois Courts and the Federal Courts have used my testimony in these types of cases and regard me as an expert. 

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm
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@IncarcerateChampaignWithAnAttitude: While you can rest easy 'cause you are called to testify regarding the dog's 40X smell-abilities in court (yay, you have an endless job!), we the public cannot rest easy at officers like yourself with an attitude, using tools that are unwarranted, intrusive searches without probable cause that are not reliable at detecting anything. Again, the fact, according to your own tickets, is the dogs did not alert to the presence of drugs 67% of the time. Therefore, search should be considered unnwarranted. You can claim Fido is so darn good he can smell odor of drugs if you want to claim that, but the traffic tickets and IDOT study also includes course of action- and that indicates NO ARRESTS for impaired driving. Guess the "highly trained" interview skills doesn't yield any confessions, huh?

And while we are extolling the super abilities of the drug dog, the nine dufuses in Washington D.C. equated a drug dog search with a cursory search done by a human. Cursory searches are visual inspections that allow peering into the windows of cars only. Hardly a fair equivalency, eh Officer Expert?

If I had a camera that could look through brick walls, would you be okay if I aim it at your house just to see if a crime might be happening?

And thus,... this exchange illustrates yet another problem of the drug war: intrusive surveillance, searches without probable cause that do not uncover drugs, and in the drug dog's case, racial bias when the arbitrary choice is made to use it. And to none good effect other than to further deteriorate police and public relations.

Were this a freechampaign, with good intent in mind, the K-9 would alert, the driver would tell the officer he didn't have drugs (or did have drugs, wouldn't matter), the officer would ask is there a chance he smoked recently, the driver would confess yes, and the officer would impound the car, and drive the impaired driver home. No harm, no foul, penalty is bonding the car out. Problem taken care of. (If the initial stop was for erratic driving- but erratic driving is not what always prompts a drug dog to be brought to the scene, ain't that right Ofc. Expert?)

Instead, we have all this nonsense where it's Us v. Them, with Officer Little Attitude above getting off at putting people in jail, thinking they are smart, when his own dog rarely gets the job done and possibly impaired drivers can lie on down the road. Tell the Chief to take you off public relations. You're no help.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Er.....Local, don't let the heat of the moment divert you to uncalled for negative personal comments.  Remember? 

You make good points as does the other commenter in the discussion.  People are learning more about "drug dogs" from both of you.  Don't let your negative comments turn off those who may basically agree with you.  I say this to you in a friendly manner, not in an adversarial manner.  Please remind me when I do it too.

freechampaign wrote on November 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Sid i will resond to you.Did i take a shot at LY sure did. But he feels it is ok to take the first shot by changing my screename. I just followed his lead. My post was to inform others how drug dogs work. Nothing more nothing less. Nowhere did i say it was us against them. You and i have read many of LY posts and it feels like he is right there when it comes to promoting us against them  

Drug dogs are used in the manner the laws allow. Laws that are put in place by our elected officials, not the police. If there is an isuue with these laws its should be the fault of the officials and the court system that repeatedly says the laws are just. Not the officers that are following such laws.  

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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That's why I think we need to enforce the 3 week suspension against Local Yocal. This could be a good forum if people like me didn't snap at the first smart-alecky remark. Everyone usually does a good job here of adding additional points and references to the topics, (I know I learn much from others) and we should try our best not to poop in the pool with the personal stuff. Questions in comment #20 was an honest inquiry, and I wasn't trying to insult freechampaign by asking those questions.... until their response. Even so, no excuses. Time for more reading, rather than ranting,....if for nothing else, personal embarrassment. I may be passionate about improving law enforcement, but it's no help either to hurl insults. That's not who I am, though few would believe that anymore. LY is on the bench for awhile. 

freechampaign wrote on November 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

LY thanks for the responce and i do appologize for my changing of your screename in anger. I just took a shot for a shot.  I think we could learn a lot from each other over a cup of coffee. 

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm
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Apologies all around, no excuse for the personal crap I wrote. Maybe someday for that coffee. I would be very interested in your perspective and knowledge. Honestly, I don't understand the margin of error and discrepencies with the stats.

Hey, what website is this, anyway? What's with all the mush? What happened to the hostility? (just kidding) LY, taking a break,.......

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Thanks guys (since I do not know your genders).  I learned more about "drug dogs" from both of you.  Please don't take any timeouts.  Please call me on negative personal comments when I do it in the heat of the moment also. 

I am still learning about the Internet Age inspite of my old age.  I don't Facebook, or Twitter; and I cannot stand most of the Yahoo comments I read on articles.  You two should have a virtual reality cup of coffee together sometime.  You both have expertise on subjects that others do not even if you disagree with each other. 

Now, I am going to have a virtual reality beer since I do not drink beer in reality.  I may even have a gorgeous virtual reality barmaid get it for me. ;)

Local Yocal wrote on November 15, 2013 at 12:11 am
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Seriously, no offense intended when I ask you this, Sid, and I ask based on your Internet Age comment because I too am a technoboob: Do you know the blue words that people post with their comments are links to articles, documents, and films? 

I have to ask, because you don't ever seem to respond to other people's links. It's fine that you disregard them, but I just want to check that you know what they are. Had you clicked on Nice Davis' link, you would have seen the firefighter salaries.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 15, 2013 at 3:11 am

Local;  I used a link for Champaign firefighters salaries; but it was not an accurate link.  Nice Davis used the city's stats which I did not see.  His was the more accurate link.  I do look at links posted; but links are written due to all kinds of author motivations.  Yes, I know that the "blue words" are links.

Links are provided for all sorts of reasons.  Medical links like the ones I was just reading prior to reading your comment are generally accurate based on the references shown in the articles.  I say "generally" due to the age of the article, and the references shown.  However, links to articles regarding social issues "generally" are used to support one's cause.  One commenter can show links to support their view, or cause; and an opposing commenter can do the same.  That results in a propaganda war. 

I am not as impressed with links as I am with the commenter's experience in a matter such as yours, and freechampaign's regarding the "drug dogs".  You both revealed your experience in your back and forth comments.  I value that more than a link to an article written by an author with an ax to grind. 

We live in the Propaganda Age.  Corporations selling their brand, politicians pushing their views, etc. have influenced the public's descisions rapidly overly the last few years.  I watch the PBS News Hour, for example, to understand differing views in an impartial arena as opposed to watching commercial news presented for propaganda.  Civic groups, foundations, and institutes hire professional talking heads to push their agendas; and it dribbles down to the local level when an issue arises in the local newspaper.  I could use more links in my views; but personally I find that insulting to an intelligent reader.  I am from a different age that went to war because of propaganda instead of individual to individual reasonable discussion.  I realize that age is over; and will never come back.

Thank you for concern.  I took no offense from it.   Namaste as Davis says.  (It is a respectful Hindi term, and gesture for greeting, and parting.)  

freechampaign wrote on November 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Local,

to give you a very fast answer about stats. I have done a demonstration for the courts where I have 5 unused shipping boxes brought into court. I have a court officer place a bag of cannabis in one of the boxes for 5 minutes. I am not told what box. i have the cannabis removed after 5 minutes so the box is again empty. I then bring in a trained and CERTIFIED k9 and perform a open air sweep of the boxes. The k9 will alert on the box that once held the cannabis but is now empty. The k9 alerted on the odor left behind not the actual presence of the cannabis. Based on the IDOT stats this is a no find or negative stat for the dog because there was no longer cannabis in the box. Just the odor. When this IDOT collection came out of the Chicago area it was known how the k9s worked but ignored to achieve the goal they were lookking for. It is nothing more than the goverment doing what the goverment wants to obtain the needed results. We know this is done in all areas of the goverment not just k9. does that make sense?

Local Yocal wrote on November 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm
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That does make sense, in fact, it was surprising the numbers were so bad, since most of us would have thought a dog's sniffer is downright amazing. I have a few more questions to ask you, but out of respect for the Saathoff's, we should probably do that under a more related topic.

Though one question jumps off immediately: given how expensive these dogs are to train and maintain, why would the government need results that make the dog look so ineffective and inaccurate?

freechampaign wrote on November 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm

The issue was brought to the table by a member of the House of Reps who's area was many the hispanic community in Chicago. She was fielding multiple complaints from her community that the hispanics were being targeted by the police and that k9's were being used more on them than any other race. That more than not during these stops no narcotics were located. So she and spearheaded the IDOT stat collection. it's just the method of gathering these stats has some flaws. A real good thing that did come out of this is that starting july 1 ,2012 all k9 used for narcotics in Illinois are required to certify to standards set by the training board. If the k9 fails it cannot be used. I was very much in favor of this law to weed out the k9 that were not properly trained and maintained. Prior to this law k9 were not required to certify. A department that was concerned about their program would however send the k9 to a organization such as the United States Police Canine Association (accepted by the courts) to certify. 

Lostinspace wrote on November 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Just wait until an officer shoots a vicious chicken in somebody's backyard.

Local Yocal wrote on November 15, 2013 at 9:11 am
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@freechampaign: Thanks for the background info. It raises more questions for me, but I'll ask at a more appropriate time.

@Sid: Agreed, propaganda is everywhere. (Look where we are now.) There seems to be no limit to the amount of junk and clutter in the cyberworld. At the same time, there is also legitimate information out there, like government documents, laws, official meetings, quality interviews, exerpts to books,  "good" research (if you can believe such a thing still exists,) and good documentary films like the ones you might enjoy on PBS's Frontline. A wise shopper we must be, because you are completely right, there is a lot of snake oil out there.

Likewise, there are pundits and ignorant fools out here, like yours truly, who claim to have "experience," spout wise(ass) opinions; but are actually mere peddlers of a faulty ideology or can be outright manipulators for whatever gain they are after. You have volunteered to police such on this site, and your endurance and ambition against same is admirable. Sincerity is a rare commodity nowadays.

As you can see from the exchange between freechampaign and I, I may have been aware of the "what", but freechampaign has a better understanding of the "why," given their level of involvement. The genius of online journalism is the give and take possible, and no longer do newspaper articles become the last word on the subject. (Can you imagine a world fashioned after what John Foreman thinks?)

Unfortunately, the technoboobs at The News-Gazette have zero-organizing capability and their search engine loses these articles to the cyber netherworld after it leaves the webfrontpage, contributing to the world's collective forgetfulness. In Local Yocal's tin foil opinion, Orwell's pneumatic tube has become a reality. (The Discussion Forum here, and Gordy Hulten's Illini Pundit the two prime examples.)

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

Oh, No.  I am NOT volunteering to police this site !   I am only willing to feebly attempt to defend myself from personal attacks that have nothing to do with the article at hand.  I may try to have my attackers take the "high road"; and I need to "police" myself as much as possible to do the same.

We share the same opinion on the one, and only newspaper in the area.  I am surprised that it even allows my negative comments toward it's ultra conservative opinions.  As everyone knows, I am a retired state employee.  My original purpose in commenting was to stand up like a mouse against an eagle calling out their propaganda against state, and university employees, and retirees.  I wish other public service employees, and retirees would do the same statewide.  Did you know that newspapers get a tax credit for

Local Yocal wrote on November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm
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....tax credit for....?

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

www.revenue.state.il.us/businesses/taxinformation/sales/rot.htm

(see Exemptions  Sales)

www.afscme31.org/news.../corporate-tax-loopholes-talking-points.pdf

Newspaper sales along with machinery, ink, and paper are given a big break.

Imagine a newspaper getting tax breaks constantly beating the drum for the money that the workers paid into their earned pensions, when their employer did not make it's payments, be stolen so the deadbeat employer can use it for tax breaks?

 

Local Yocal wrote on November 16, 2013 at 4:11 am
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Wow. Did not know that. That sure informs us why The News-Gazette supports an anti-tax platform. What does The N-G want government to do: Just police The News-Gazette parking lot, and provide good roads where their employees live?