Starting November 1st of this year it will be a felony in the state of NY to kill a police dog. This gives New York similar laws to Florida and Texas, which already have similar penalties in place for harming or killing a police animal.
We already have a class system in our society which places politicians, crony capitalists, and police officers above common folk; do we want to curse animals with a similar system? If we examine the topic of animals killed when a police officer is present, we will quickly realize the critical issue, is not protecting animals owned by the State. The animals that need protected are those owned by private citizens, which have increasingly become the victims of the police mantra, shoot first and ask questions later. Unfortunately, this growing problem is of no concern to those that draft and enforce laws.
The NY Daily News provides coverage on the new law.
Gov. Cuomo has signed “Ape’s Law,” making it a felony to kill police animals, especially dogs and horses. The crime is currently a misdemeanor.
The Legislature adopted the bill after the March death of an FBI police dog named Ape, who was killed by a gunman in upstate Herkimer.
“This new law will hold the guilty parties accountable and offer better protections for these highly trained animals who are important members of our law enforcement community,” Cuomo said.
The subject of animal rights can be a confusing subject for libertarians to tackle. It becomes even more confusing when certain animals, police dogs, are placed on a pedestal because their owner carries a badge.
In a past installment of our weekly feature, Mondays With Murray, our editor-in-chief Marc Clair attempted to shed some light upon Rothbard’s views on animal rights.
Rothbard bases his views on the concept of natural rights - the idea that humans, by their nature,have the capacity to make conscious decisions in order to pursue their preferred means. The concept of human action is the basis from which we can logically deduce that man is a rational and social being.
This same concept does not apply to animals, because they do not possess this ability which, as far as we know, only applies to the species of humans. We don’t think that a lion is “evil” because it goes out and kills other animals in order to feed itself. The lion is not acting using reason in this case, but rather instinct. If a human were to go on a similar killing spree of humans, even if it were in order to eat those humans as food, we would rightly be appalled and decry that person as “evil”. This is what makes humans unique; humans utilize not just instinct, but reason.
To my knowledge, police dogs do not have the capacity to reason, just like privately owned dogs cannot reason. Sure police dogs have traits and instincts, which make them attractive assets for police work, but this shouldn’t place them on a tier above other animals. The punishment for killing a police dog should equal the punishment of killing a privately owned dog.
We regularly use the Felony Friday feature to highlight instances where police officers are not held accountable for their actions when abusing the rights of common folk. This week we are going to highlight five instances of police violence against privately owned dogs. After reading these articles you’ll wonder why police officers are allowed to own dogs in the first place.
This is the video that went viral at the beginning of the month. The title basically sums up the horrific event. If you are queasy please do not watch the video, it is as bad as it sounds.
A woman’s dog is gunned down while standing in her front yard. According to the police report, the reason for the shooting was a result of the dog “aggressively barking” at the police chief.
This incident involved a dog that allegedly bit a police officer. Apparently, after the officer was bit, the dog was joined by three other dogs that proceeded to “surround” a fire truck. The firemen sprayed the dogs with fire extinguishers, and then a police officer shot one of the dogs, claiming it was the culprit responsible for biting the cop.
Cops investigating mail-theft gain access to a residence they believe houses the perpetrators. A woman not implicated in the crime allows the cops access inside the home. Once in the house, they confront one suspect, which has a pit bull standing next to them. The pit bull allegedly charges the officers and latches on to the officer’s arm. Both cops unload on the dog, killing it.
File this one under, do not call the cops. Cops responding to a home alarm come across three dogs in a garage and shoot one. They charge the owner with violating the leash law. The article raises some excellent questions. Among them, did the officers release the dogs by opening the garage? If so, then the officers actually violated the leash law.
Even an ardent supporter of current police practices would have to admit that the practice of treating every threat from a dog with lethal force must be examined. If we did not allow police to enjoy a monopoly in police protection the incentive would exist for private police companies to treat privately owned animals with care. Customers of the privately owned police company would probably not renew their contract, if employees of the company killed their dog. The market would quickly develop the most humane way to deal with dangers associated with out of control animals. A free market in police protection would do a better job of ensuring that animals owned by common folk are treated with the same care as animals involved in the police work.