Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water [read more]
In all of our visits, we’ve never seen any cops. It’s just a small little bar and a campground way out in the middle of nowhere. I’d hazard a guess that they showed up this time to look in on events. While it was a “biker” camp out, these bikers were mostly 20 and 30 something creatives living and working in Los Angeles, Ventura or surrounding areas. The weekend is a chance for them to let their hair down and wear their leather jackets, but it’s not exactly what anyone would consider a rough crowd. The event is advertised online.
The deputies must have seen us leave and followed us back to our tents. No sooner had we sat down and cracked a beer (totally legal), we saw flashlights approaching and, when they were 20 or 30 feet out, heard a man shout, “Who’s dogs are these? Get them under control or I’ll shoot them!”
Both Wiley (85lbs) and Sansho (75lbs) are big dogs and they do sometimes growl, bark or generally act like dogs do when a stranger approaches us in the middle of the night. Neither one is remotely aggressive or dangerous in appearance. Just a couple of fluffy house pets who are good with kids and other dogs and people in general. They did not act in an aggressive manner as the police approached and were not rough housing either; they were exhausted from being the centers of attention in a crowd all night.
Two cops, in uniform, were standing in the center of the campground’s drive, one had his weapon out of its holster, pointed at the dogs. Two other men, who we assumed to be cops were also present. They wore black jackets and were clearly with the police, but did not identify themselves as such. One remained behind the two uniformed deputies, hovering back in the shadows, while the other circled around our little campsite to approach it from the other side. The dogs were taking turns sniffing each other’s butts and peeing on a bush.
Ty and I stood up, hustled to cover the 20 or 30 foot gap between us and the cops and dogs. Ty was immediately able to grab Sansho, but Wiley heard the commotion and scooted around behind the cops before I was able to get my hands on him.
During the 10 or 15 seconds it took for me to grab Wiley’s collar and clip on his leash, the cop who hadn’t drawn his gun remarked loudly, “You do not appear to have control of your animals.” To me, that sounded like he was saying that as a precursor to shooting them or as a suggestion towards further action.
“He’s just a little puppy!” I responded.Wiley is 21 months old and, while a big dog, is still just a goofy, floppy little baby that cries in my arms when he gets scared.
The cop with the gun then approached me and explained in great detail how he was authorized to shoot any dogs he felt were a threat. “I can shoot any dog that approaches me,” he said holding his gun, in a gloating manner. “All I have to say is that I feel they’re a threat.”
I’ve explained this before. If law enforcement officers cannot handle animals – dogs, horses and other ranch and farm animals – they are pussies. If they are scared of dogs, they have absolutely no business going after violent criminals or pretending that they are there to “protect and serve,” as the lie goes.
They need to spend their weekends for several years working at a ranch, farm, or dog breeder to learn to handle animals. This is simple boyhood stuff that their daddies should have done with them when they were young. If they didn’t, then the officers can blame their worthless daddies and settle the issue with them. They have no business taking their frustrations, failures and inadequacies out on peaceable folk.
In the mean time, before extensive retraining, the Sheriff should pull his officers back from duties where they may be exposed to animals since they are frightened of them.