A beloved family dog, named Duke, was doing what good dogs do best: he was investigating visitors that had come onto his property by sticking his head out of his doggy door. What should have been a meet and greet, turned into a tragedy.
Police officers in the lake community of Ocoee, Florida, came to the Brooks’ neighborhood to investigate a boat that had nothing to do with the Brooks family or Duke. They too owned a boat and it’s assumed that since their boat was covered, they had come to ask some questions.
The Brooks’ property was fenced in. They were perfectly good people. Duke had never had a run-in with another dog or with another person. In fact, at 11-years-old, he was just an old gentle dog that loved hanging out with his family, especially their one-year-old son.
The entire event unfolded in front of an eyewitness. It was posted on Facebook by Lisa Brooks. She wrote: “Hearing a noise, our sweet 11-year-old dog, Duke ran out of his doggy door to greet his new ‘friend.’ The police officer pulled out his gun and shot him (Duke) in the head.”
What is most startling is that there was no apparent reason for this to have happened! Duke did not approach the officer in a threatening manner. He did not growl or show his teeth. He was only saying “hello” and checking out who had come to visit. While officers do need to carry firearms for their protection, should they be allowed to use them in situations where they’re irrationally afraid? AND then not have to be held accountable for it?
Lisa Brooks goes on to explain what she had told animal control officers once they arrived on the scene two hours later: ” ‘Did it (Duke) bite anybody?’ No…HE was just at HIS home in HIS fenced yard where he was supposed to be safe.”
She added: “We are scared and we are worried. We are scared that a police man walked through the gate of our home and inflicted this violence at our front door for no good reason. We are scared that pulling his gun and using deadly force was his first course of action when many others could have and should have been used. We are scared because he showed no remorse. We are worried because this officer was back at work right after the incident. We are worried because it doesn’t appear that he will receive any repercussions from his actions or additional/corrective training. We are worried because the next time this officer feels ‘threatened’ he may very well take the same action and it may not be a dog that suffers.”
— Cierra Putman WFTV (@CPutman_WFTV) July 31, 2017