When cops shoot dogs, human injuries can be collateral damage.
According to a Palm Bay Police Department spokeswoman, a pit bull "aggressively came at" Officer Bob Rama, who was assisting an investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The bullet struck a house, knocking off debris, and injuring a visitor. The dog was taken away by Animal Services and Officer Rama was placed on leave pending an investigation.
In addition, on Sunday, two police officers in Pekin, Illinois were called to a scene where two humans were trapped by three large dogs who had escaped from a garage. An officer's bullet grazed one dog's paw, ricocheted off a parks SUV, splintered, and hit his partner in the face. The officer was able to return to work the next day and the dogs have been returned to their guardians, who were away on vacation. In the future, the dogs may be require dot be tethered and muzzled when their guardians are gone.
Of course, officer have a right to defend themselves if they are really attacked, but these stories highlight the dangers of introducing gunfire into a situation. Was there really no less violent response available?