UPDATE 11/1/11: More than a year ago, a dog named Parrot, in the care of Lucky Dog Rescue, was shot and killed by a police officer at the Adams Morgan festival in Washington, D.C. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department "investigated" the incident, as did the Office of Police Complaints. Both recommended that the U.S. Attorney prosecute Office Fike criminally. Unbelievably, the U.S. Attorney declined. Soon thereafter, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department dismissed Lucky Dog's complaint against Officer Fike. No action was taken against him. They need to re-open the complaint and remove Officer Fike from the police force. They also need to take steps to prevent future tragic canine-police encounters by establishing non-lethal force continuums for handling animals and mandatory canine behavior training.
On September 12, 2010, at the Adams Morgan festival in Washington, D.C., a dog named Parrot got into an altercation with a poodle. The caretakers had broken up the fight when D.C. police arrived on the scene. According to witnesses and photographs, the officer pinned Parrot to the ground with his knee, then hurled him down a concrete stairwell, and finally pulled out his weapon and shot him.
There is no evidence that Parrot was a threat, especially since photographs showed that he was contained. Stories of police shooting dogs are in the news all too often. It is not only a cruel death for the dogs, but it is devastating for their families and dangerous for people in the vicinity of the gunshots.
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department needs to investigate Parrot's shooting and take appropriate action against the officer. They also need to prevent future tragic canine-police encounters by establishing non-lethal force continuums for handling animals and mandatory canine behavior training.
Demand Justice for Parrot.
I understand that the Department first recommended prosecuting Officer Fike criminally for his actions, but, after the investigation leader left the Office of Police Complaints, the Department inexplicably changed its tune. Officer Fike was not punished despite an innocent dog was killed when he posed no threat to any person or animal. Moreover, a firearm was unnecessarily discharged in a crowded area, putting hundreds of lives at risk. Parrot and the people who witnessed his tragic death deserve justice.
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue's complaint should be reopened, and Officer Fike should be discharged.
In addition, I urge the Metropolitan P.D. to immediately adopt a clear force continuum for canines and mandate more training for all officers in canine behavior.
Because a year has gone by without adequately addressing this incident, the community has lost trust in your agency. I hope you will change your policies to prevent future tragedies like Parrot's death and once again instill trust in the police department.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.