We had an episode back in September in the state (Hessen).....in Russelsheim....where cops got called. The best that can be said is that two dogs were noted on a local street.....running freely, and 'nipping' at people who walked by. Most everyone is agreeable on that part of the story. Once the cops arrived.....they judged the situation to be somewhat threatening. One of the cops ended up shooting the dogs.
What followed over the next month was massive public interest in this....negative talk about the cops....and dog-lovers getting hyped up over the results.
A prosecution team has ended the review and concluded everything was done by the rules in the book. Cops didn't overreact or make up any false story. No charges against the cops.
The forty-seven dog-lovers who made up a internet battle against the cops? Well....the prosecution has launched onto them and evaluating if they violated the law, and it might be another month or two before those forty-seven individuals are deemed innocent or bound for court-action.
What can be said here is that threats and insults were made via social media. Had the individuals simply stood on the side of the street and made the same comments verbally....just in front of forty people....there's not much that you can say or charge with, unless all of the action resulted in a riot or illegal action. With internet comments? Well....it's fresh new territory with various laws created over the past decade.....some untested....and you could incite some cause....thus getting court action.
In the US....people get hyped up when the cops come and shoot a family dog. It happens virtually every week or two now, and I'd generally say that a quarter of the public is pretty negative about this trend.
But I went back to this original episode of the call for cops to come out in Russelsheim....for dogs running on the street. The press accurately reported the type of dog....American Staffordshire Terrier. If you note the breed, and look up the images of the dog.....the first thing you'd say is that it's a Pitbull and it generally is a minimum of sixty pounds.....going up to eighty pounds. If you came up upon a situation where you think it's a pitbull.....most people (including cops) are going to have a defensive nature and likely shoot-first/ask-questions-later mentality.
I should note at this point.....there's this one slight difference between a American Stafforshire Terrier and a Pitbull. On the violent-tendency scale.....where you just can't trust what the dog might do....the Pitbull is a definite nine. The Terrier? Well....it's an odd thing.....they are usually family dogs and people-dogs....being fairly playful and not usually trained for 'battle'. I might put them on the violent-tendency scale at around a two. On this Russelsheim street....in the heat of the moment.....people reacted like you'd think. They readily identified the dogs as Pitbulls....noted a threat....called the cops....and the cops reacted as they'd been trained to do. A cop with vast knowledge of dogs and rightly identifying the breed as a Stafforshire Terrier would have likely walked up....taken the dog by the collar.....and tied them to the bumper of the police van until the dog owners showed up. Out of a hundred cops.....maybe one would have had that knowledge and identified the dogs correctly.
I can look at public reaction and see some hyped up people. I can also understand the cops and regimented training working as it's supposed to work. I'd hope for the best for the forty-seven folks being checked out.