Protesters seek justice for dog killed by Salt Lake City officer


SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of people from all over the state gathered in front of the Salt Lake City Police Department Saturday, demanding justice for “Geist.”

Geist was the dog shot to death by a Salt Lake City police officer last week during a search for a missing child.

Protesters at the rally said all they want is accountability from the officer who shot the dog.

“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again, we just want it to be fixed,” said Sara Bair, who attended the rally.

Sean Kendall, Geist’s owner,  isn’t happy with the way things are being handled.

“I believe this officer made a terrible judgment call. In my profession if I make a terrible judgment call I’m fired. I believe that he is unfit for duty and a hero from Trolley Square should have been able to deescalate this situation or at least use non-lethal means before he killed my best friend,” said Kendall.

Police didn’t speak at the rally, but protesters had a lot to say about comments made Friday by Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank.

“In this particular circumstance, evidence shows that the dog was extremely close, in fact within feet of the officer. After 23 years in law enforcement I haven’t seen this type of public outcry when certain human beings have lost their lives,” Burbank said in the news conference.

Officer Olsen, who shot and killed Geist, remains on duty and two investigations into the incident are underway.

Internal affairs and an independent civilian review board are both looking into the case.



80 comments

  • Spiral Binding

    If a private citizen were engaged in looking for that missing child, and did exactly the same thing that cop did, he would be in jail and charged with several crimes.

    Any of us who do something that stupid, at work, is fired. And we would expect to be.

    It’s reasonable to expect that cops, if they don’t meet a higher standard, at least meet the SAME standard as the rest of us.

    They say he is a “decorated officer.” Decorated for what? Marksmanship?

    • Susan Dickson

      yeah, apparently he probably takes his pistol to bed with him because he has no other defense, C-O-W-A-R-D. I fought off a Rottweiler, no taser, no baton, no pepper spray, I survived a few bites, and the dog survived, if you can’t take a bite when you are trespassing on a dog’s tuff, then you have no business trying to serve the public. The mailmen aren’t shooting dogs, so obviously it is the officer that is trigger happy.

  • Jan Jones

    “After 23 years in law enforcement I haven’t seen this type of public outcry when certain human beings have lost their lives,” Burbank said in the news conference.”
    How many times, in the last 23 years, has Burbank known of a police officer entering someone’s backyard – and NOT because someone at that address is suspected of a crime – and then shooting to kill when an innocent occupant of that property comes running to see why a stranger has entered uninvited? Postal workers use mace when they feel threatened by a dog, and I’m pretty sure police officers carry mace? Why IMMEDIATELY resort to a fatal gunshot?? Were there REALLY no other options?

    • DaFish

      If only life was as easy as all of you like to make it sound. Know the laws and policies, spend some time doing what they do and then have valid questions and issues. The investigation isn’t complete, you don’t know what happened so don’t pass pre-judgment. Or are we skipping the process everyone wants him held accountable for? You can make all the nasty comments you want, I don’t care. I just care that things are done right and people aren’t hypocritical about what they want. Just to clarify, mail delivery people do not have to enter a property where they can’t safely get to the mailbox. Police Officers still have to enter and deal with all dangers. Don’t compare something that isn’t comparable.

      • Spiral Binding

        We DO know the law, thank you very much. There is already case law establishing a fenced back yard as a place where a home owner has a “reasonable expectation of privacy”, and therefore the Fourth Amendment applies. The cop obviously had no probable cause to suspect that the child was in THAT specific back yard. The entry was illegal. Therefore the shooting was not justified.

        There was also no claim that the dog attacked the cop. Merely that it was within “feet” of him, and barking. It’s hard NOT to be “within feet”, in the back yard, unless their back yard includes a wormhole into another dimension. And dogs are SUPPOSED to bark at strangers violating their territory. They all do it. But this dog was exactly where he ws legally supposed to be, and legally restricted to that area.

      • dillonprobinson

        Are you slow in the head, Dafish? Think before you type. Apply yourself. Get a hobby. You’re unfit for posting rational thought processes on the internet, dummy.

      • Chubby Kid From South Park

        Yes, they are valid….in the sense that they are points. And they would be valid in the sense YOU mean, if we happened to live in North Korea.

      • Teri King

        Meter readers do & they don’t carry guns. Why wasn’t the child’s home searched first? He was there which is very upsetting on many levels. Who just assumes a 3 yr old can open a gate & shut it behind him without the so called aggressive dog alerting anyone? I think the public is outraged because this is just the topping on so many officer involved shootings that were uncalled for.

      • DaFish

        Parking Enforcement aka “Meter Readers” are also not required to go anywhere there is danger. If there is a dangerous situation they call for Police Officers. So again don’t compare something that isn’t comparable. I’m sure the child’s home was searched and the child was missed. None of us were there so I wouldn’t be so bold to assume what happened or did not happen. I will say it is possible that the gate was open and was knocked by the child and shut behind him (just one of MANY possibilities). Again We were not there we do not know. No where does it say that anyone knew the dog was there before they went back there. You say there were so many uncalled shootings, I will ask again, what evidence do you have for that? Just because the media portrays something doesn’t mean it’s true. I am not saying there isn’t uncalled for things happening by the police. I challenge you to come up with a occupation that doesn’t have bad people in it. One bad person (and I am NOT saying that the Officer in this issue is) does not make everyone bad. If people really have an issue with how things are then they have a responsibility to address it with their legislators (vote, run for a position or communicate with your legislators). IF you think you are better at handling those situations then you get out there and become a Police Officer. I do not believe claiming you know better people on a news site without having the facts makes you better than anyone else. I know insulting and threatening someone when you don’t have the facts makes you worse. If people feel so strongly about it then educate yourselves on the laws and the case. Don’t just have an opinion, make an educated push for change. It bothers me on this that so many people are upset about the Officer going into the yard looking for a “missing child.” The claim is no warrant no access. Well even if possible exigent circumstances didn’t apply, even with a warrant, the owner was not home and would not need to be for the warrant to be used. Same situation either way. The only different would be if the Officer knew the dog was back there. Which NO ONE knows or has evidence stating otherwise (that I’ve seen). My comments on this are purely for discussion, I will not respond to people who are just trying to insult or use information with no bases.

      • guest

        You don’t know what a meter reader is do you? If you’re ignorant on a subject, do us all a favor and don’t post about it. Meter readers are put in dangerous situations almost every day.

      • DaFish

        “Guest” please do enlighten me. How is a “meter reader” more dangerous? So you think “meter reader” has one definition… I accept your opinion of me as just that, an opinion. If you can have a conversation then we can have it. If you want to give up and insult, then you will be just talking to yourself.

      • Tim Stout

        DAFISH R-U-A cop?
        (1)If one were intent on searching multiple back yards wouldn’t it be reasonable and foreseeable
        to expect that people would have dogs in there back yards? And thus that the police department has a “duty” to have a plan or policy in place on how to deal with a dog without the use of a gun (See doctrines of Negligence) Ask any delivery person how its done.
        (2) People aren’t mad because the cop was in the back yard. People are mad because the cop shot the dog. Now since you are a cop or perhaps just plain weird, I find that it would be fruitless to waste my time trying to explain to you, why it is wrong to have shot the dog, everyone else knows the answer, but you will never get it! Why is that?

      • DaFish

        I wouldn’t give personal information if I was. Because of that I won’t answer one way or another. It would be like me asking every person who tries to argue with me what their occupation is.

        It would be reasonable to assume a lot of dangers could be in the yard, including someone protecting a meth lab (it’s an unknown and they would always have to assume the worse possible). That doesn’t relieve the Officer of his obligation to attempt to locate the child either. Although I cannot understand how you could compare the two I will address it again. Most if not all delivery people have policies denying those employees from carrying a gun. All delivery people are not required to go into a dangerous situation and if they need to be there for one reason or another they will call someone else to handle the situation. Not comparable. If you want to talk other methods, just as with humans, Mace/Pepper Spray DOES NOT always work. Tazers have difficulty hitting dogs because the spread is meant to spread across a human, different angle. Reaction time to get to an off hand weapons (pepper spray and tazer) takes much longer than a pistol. At the point you attempt to deploy any other means the dog would already be attacking and other methods pointless. So at the end of the day this becomes a question of who is more important, the Police Officer attempting to look for a child who is missing or possibly worse, or is it the dog? That sounds like a harsh question and I know the debate is the dog was defending it’s property. Argue that it’s not about the property and you are arguing one of the main points everyone is making.

        “TIM STOUT” I am more then willing to discuss this, but if you can’t have a civil conversation without the insults, then I won’t waste my time. Of course if you stick by what you said then you won’t respond at all.

      • Tim Stout

        DaFish Your telling me that when the police are going through yards that they assume someone is in there protecting a meth lab? Yes there can be unknown elements but the probability of that happening is extremely unlikely. and to charge in with that attitude like that would be catastrophic. Has anyone told you yet that we are not in a war?
        There is nothing wrong with trying to locate a child, but that mission must be balanced against offending the rights and property of others. And in this case its clear that the cop didn’t think about what he was going to do before hand if he encountered a domestic dog. Or, was it his plan in advance to do what he did. I’ve had chilling encounters with dogs protecting there territory and never had to kill or injure. Does SLC-Police have a policy on how to deal with domestic pets without hurting them? Or do you go in blasting and try to justify it later? DaFish what you have to understand is that dog/pet people have strong bonds and personal relationships with there four legged friends they are like children to us. How would you feel if someone came into your private back yard when you are not home and popped a 9mm into your child’s head then called you with whatever excuse as to why your kid was laying in a pool of blood right now. CAN YOU GRASP IT DaFish? How would you feel?
        Would it make you want to kill? Would it make you mad? Would you cry?

      • DaFish

        Tim Stout, did you find “fruit” in trying to explain everything to me?

        Tim Stout, you are telling me a baker assumes the oven could cause serious injury? And the point behind that statement is no a baker is no constantly thinking serious injury by the heat of the oven each time he is cooking. He is thinking about placing the item into the oven just right and not burning himself (not serious bodily injury). But the baker would be aware of the possibility. I am telling you that anything is possible and just coming up with one idea doesn’t mean it’s true. There are more dangers in this world then just a dog.

        Try to see the points of the statements and don’t try to make them literal statements that you can skew into something else. There is ALWAYS a war on drugs, or do you not pay attention to what is going on with that… But let’s not dig into another subject.

        I guarantee you a child’s life is more important then your privacy of a fenced in yard. Was privacy invaded, yes. Was it justified, absolutely (unless some evidence arises that states otherwise). But then again you just made it about the property didn’t you? I guess your original statement doesn’t match.

        As for the next part, I do not believe I know so much better than everyone else that I can say I know what happened. So I won’t say I know the Officer was prepared for the dog or not. I will not pretend to know the whole situation and accuse someone of something I don’t know. I will say in life I have encountered dogs where they where supposed to be and where they weren’t supposed to be. Doesn’t mean I had weapons ready for it. If given the opportunity and it meant my life or a dogs, I would choose my own. As I am sure most people would. Without going to deep into repeating myself about the weapons. If the Officer had come around the corner caring Pepper Spray, how would he be prepared for let’s say a man holding a knife with the child in his hands? You simply cannot be holding onto all the appropriate tools all the time. (Reference my previous statement on effectiveness).

        I do not know Salt Lake City Police’s policy regarding dealing with domestic animals. If I had access to their policies I would answer that question. But to really go into a discussion regarding animals and policies, we would have to know what happened to really comment on that. In no part or any point did I say I would go in “go in blasting and try to justify later.” Have a bases to your comment, at no point did I say anything that suggested going in and shooting everything I saw.

        I have a dog and I care for it deeply. I know plenty of people deeply attached to their animals. And as for the rest of your question not only is it not comparable but it’s disgusting that you would make that comparison. If you can’t have a discussion without throwing your personal vendetta into it, then maybe you shouldn’t have one. That Officer IS a person, and most likely is a father/child/friend and so on. The impacts on multiple lives of the family of that Officer had he been hurt outweighs that of a dog. I’m a realist, I don’t see the dog as not important. I know the dog is to the owner. I am not taking that away and I feel bad for the owner. But I am not directly involved as most people on here. I do not scream, freak out on people and make accusations without proof just because I’m emotional about something. I DO NOT know the whole situation, I DO NOT know what happened when the dog was shot and I DO NOT know the dog to say if it was an aggressive dog or was acting aggressive.

        My suggestion is you relax until you know what really happened. There is a lot more that goes on in the world then the media broadcasts in 2-5 minutes. And the only thing the media broadcasts is what they believe will sell and that is drama. Make the worst spin possible and sell it to anyone unwilling to actually research and know what is going on.

      • Tim Stout

        DAFISH
        You keep saying child’s life is more important than privacy. What about Geist, he was Sean Kendall’s child, do you think Sean is suffering from the loss of his child? More than 50,000 Plus people suffer from just hearing about it and imagining it.
        Why do you think that it’s disgusting when I compare popping a 9mm into a child’s head verses a dog. People think of there dogs/pets as children . Why do you think there loss would be any different?
        You misstate what I wrote I said: Searches must be balanced against offending the rights and property of others. Do you understand what that means?
        You attempt to avoid the issues through rationalizations used in the form of excuses. Can you stop beating around the bush?
        Are you Brett Olson?

      • DaFish

        TIM STOUT, since you have been unable to follow my rather detailed statements, I will make some simple ones to end my conversation with you. I’ve already addressed Sean’s loss. It’s sad and I do not take the hardship away from it. No I do not think Geist was as important as the human child.

        I do not believe 50,000 people suffered from anything. I believe a lot of people felt for the situation and connected with the thought of the loss. The only people suffering are those involved. The owner, the Officer and both side’s families.

        I am really not going to explain something that is self explanatory. To simply put the end to that discussion, ask yourself (and answer to yourself). A child was being attacked by your dog (imagine if you don’t have one), the dog has the child by the throat. Your choices are to let the child be killed by your dog or stop your dog. The dog is out of control and you would have to beat it off, which could lead to it’s death. Do you hold the dog to the same level at that point?

        Your statement either means the dog is property and not a child or the invasion of the property. You can go wherever you want from there.

        And finally since you can’t have a civil conversation, I will not waste any more time with your comments. Feel free to continue with your accusations or insults. They mean nothing to me. I will respond to actual conversation, not to emotional outbursts.

    • Stormin

      This is an assault on our Constitutional rights and Burbank and his minion could care less because they are ready, willing and able to trash citizen’s rights to privacy or anything else. Fire Burbank and reduce the officer in rank and pay!

  • Crissy

    I am very angry with this. This cop should not have shot this animal. Dogs are always protecting there property. That is what Geist was doing.

      • titus@cre-florida.com

        instead of DAISH you should change it to DAFOOL. all your comments are not germane to the situation and all they are doing is inciting people . This tells me you are Afro-amercian (note the small ‘a’.) and have less than a high school education. First grow up. Secondly get some sense. Quit degrading your race and bringing insult to them.

  • Randy Hayner

    A “hero” cop shoots a dog in the same circumstances postmen, delivery drivers, utility workers resolve peacefully all the time. And the chief says the public have lost perspective. SLC deserves better.

  • joan roberts

    the police will drag out this investigation until everyone has calmed down….that is how they manipulate the public

      • Chubby Kid From South Park

        A real investigation would be conducted by the public, not by the police themselves. We pay the bills. If you own a store, and you suspect your employees are pilfering money from the register, you don’t ask the employees to investigate themselves. You do it yourself.

  • G Dog

    Such a double standard. Police dogs have the same legal status as a police officer. If I were to pat one too hard, I could be charged with assaulting an officer. Everyone else’s dogs are the same thing as a piece of lawn furniture according the the police chief’s attitude. There has to be some place in between where animals–particularly innocent pets on their own property doing nothing wrong–receive greater compassion and respect. From what I am seeing the police just don’t see any reason not to shoot a dog they think might become a problem. I have a big problem with them intentionally killing dogs like that. I have an even bigger problem with them shooting their guns in a neighborhood with children in it. They are not the best shots; they usually hit their targets less than one third of the time.

      • titus@cre-florida.com

        Once aragin your AFRO is showing through you are making comment you know nothing about as a former Canine officer G Dog is correct and I know of people still doing time, 20 years later, for shooting a police Canine. As it was not “Premeditated i.e. it happened on the spur of the moment, the perp got life instead of the death penalty. So again get an eductation. Grow up.

      • Spiral Binding

        Suspects who harm police dogs are routinely treated by the courts as if they assaulted a human officer. Where have you been? And that leads to two questions:

        1. If police dogs are “officers”, are not civilian dogs “people”? Logically?

        2. If a dog barking justifies the use of deadly force, does that not mean that a barking police dog, and its handler, are USING deadly force? And shouldn’t they be dealt with the same way as an officer who uses a gun?

        Just following THEIR logic here.

        Perhaps next time they should search the child’s home FIRST. (Because that’s where the kid was.)

      • Chubby Kid From South Park

        Perhaps from reading dozens of news articles about suspects being charged with assaulting a police officer when they harm police dogs? This is not unusual.

        Are YOU doing to address the use of deadly force? If a barking dog requires deadly force, then isn’t a barking dog itself using deadly force? And therefore, allowing a police dog to bark at a suspect is the same as shooting that suspect?

        Do they have logic where you’re from?

      • DaFish

        Your bases is biased news articles… not wasting my time with you. I will respond to actual discussion not insults and opinions with no bases.

      • Donald Brasner

        Utah Code Title 76 Chapter 9 Section 306 states that intentionally causing death or bodily injury to a police service animal (dog, horse) is a third degree felony. Note that it is a felony to injure the police dog period. It is a class A misdemeanor to threaten, taunt, or otherwise harass a police dog.

        Utah Code Title 76 Chapter 9 Section 301 states that it is misdemeanor (class depends on intentional/reckless/negligence determination) to kill another person’s dog. It is a class A for knowingly and intentionally killing another person’s dog. It is a class B/C misdemeanor to intentionally cause injury to another person’s dog.

        Comparison:
        Kill a dog – Police Dog is a third degree felony, Citizen Dog is a class A/B/C misdemeanor (depending on severity)
        Injure a dog – Police Dog is a class A misdemeanor, Citizen Dog is a class B/C misdemeanor (depending on severity)

      • DaFish

        The problem with your reference Donald is this. Police dogs are around $20,000. Damaging public property at that amount equals a higher charge…

  • Tim Stout

    Dog murderer Brett Olsen has a month of hiding under Burbanks skirt so that they can try to get his story straight.
    Next, they will be breaking into houses just to make Shure there aren’t any children in there!

  • Allen Grota

    I can’t believe what I heard the Police Chief say in his press conference…”officers are held accountable for their actions…not for this rediculousness” . Did I get that wrong? If I’m right, and I listened 3 times, that word needs to get out.

  • m. g.

    the chief said “ridiculousness”?. did he call the people of the community ridiculous? people has changed over the 23 years. the chief showed no empathy with the people. he scuks.

  • George

    Unwarranted use of deadly force. What if the child was in that yard and this bozo cop is firing off rounds in a residential neighborhood and creating a situation where lives are threatened from stray bullets. This is grounds for immediate termination and this idiot should be banned from owning any firearm.

    • Chubby Kid From South Park

      Not just that kid, but every kid for a half mile in every direction. There is a reason why you’re not supposed to fire guns in a city.

  • Robert Kelley

    Chief Burbank and Officer Olsen should both lose their Jobs – The Chief of Police said in an interview this was “Ridiculousness” yes he called the people of that community ridiculous, and he showed No remorse or empathy what so ever in his speech!.

  • Rp

    Do the cops in Salt Lake City not carry mace? This guy could have stayed safe and not injured the dog with a squirt of mace….as a mail deliverer would do.

  • Sonia

    Burbank saying “this ridiculousness” is saying our furry family members are not important! Come into my back yard and my 5lb min pin will also try to defend our home. She is my baby. I understand he was looking for a child but, I think the dog could have been subdued in some other way. Not shot!

  • lee77

    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, when a child goes missing, the first three (3) hours are the most critical because if a child isn’t found within the first few hours, it usually isn’t found at all – at least not alive. During a search for a missing child, it is necessary that officers focus on their mission, search everywhere and during such searches, they must enter “backyards,” etc. In this case, the dog was very close to the officer when it was shot, indicating the dog was threatening the officer and hindering him in his mission. People who are protesting the shooting of this dog are, in effect, saying the life of a dog is more important than the life of a human being, in this case, an innocent child. They are saying the officer should have avoided going into yards where there were dogs, or wasted precious time attempting to subdue a threatening dog, either of which would have hindered the search.

    Police officers place their lives on the line every day and when they enter a residence, backyard, or whatever, they never know what they’re going to encounter. This particular officer, Brett Olsen, was one of the heroes who helped take down the man who killed five people at Trolley Square in 2007, so he isn’t a rookie who didn’t know what he was doing. What he was doing was searching for a missing child and there is no comparing the life of a dog to that of a child. The people protesting the shooting of the dog have seriously misplaced priorities. They should all ask themselves how they would feel if their child was missing and ended up dead because a police officer who could have saved the child stopped what he was doing to deal with a threatening dog.

    • George

      And what if the child was in that yard and was killed by the stray bullet that this officer fired? The fact that he was looking for a child which he believed was close by is reason enough not to discharge a lethal weapon. This trigger-happy officer has extremely poor judgement and should be relieved of his duties. Such poor judgement puts everyone at risk in a tense situation. We do not need people like this on the force.

    • Allen Grota

      If they knew what they were doing, they would have found the child when they searched his home, because that’s where he was, all along.

    • Spiral Binding

      LEE77: Answer one simple question for me. Since there are ALWAYS children missing, including RIGHT THIS MINUTE, are the police justified in entering your home without a warrant at any time, day or night, and shooting any dog that barks?

      A fenced back yard is part of your home, according to the courts, and creates a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. The Fourth Amendment applies. The cop had no probable cause to suspect that the child was in THAT specific back yard, and therefore had no legal right to enter it. The fence was approximately 6 feet high, and the gate latch was clearly out of the reach of a 3 year old.

      What frightened parents want and what the Constitution says are not necessarily the same things. There are ALWAYS children missing. Can cops kick down your door and search under your bathroom sink while you’re in the shower? And shoot your dog if it barks? If you say “no”, then please explain why YOU get to invoke the Constitution and we don’t.

      • lee77

        First, you knew I was referring to a child missing in the immediate area, not one on the other side of the country. When there are exigent circumstances, law enforcement officers may enter a yard or even a home. “Exigent” means “emergency.” Small children have been known to crawl under fences or otherwise enter areas others cannot enter. Additionally, if you will read the 4th Amendment, you will see it prohibits UNREASONABLE search and seizure, the operative word being “unreasonable,” and there is nothing unreasonable about searching for a missing child. Furthermore, there is no guarantee of privacy in the US Constitution. There are no Constitutional issues involved in this incident. If you don’t believe me, check with an attorney.

    • Spiral Binding

      LEE77: The off-duty officer who actually stopped the Trolley Square shooter later lost his job and faced prosecution because he’s a pervert. So by your logic it’s OK if cops sexually abuse people. Right?

      And does your “hero exemption” apply to CIVILIANS who help foil bad guys? Do THEY get to illegally enter private property and shoot dogs, too, or does that only apply to heroes with badges?

    • William Kennedy

      The kid was sleeping in his own house. How about looking there before you run around the neighborhood shooting people’s pets up. They should be fired for a complete lack of competence

    • Tim Stout

      Stupid gun-ho cop, was careless, and to ignorant to be able to foresee and consider in advance, that people keep dogs in there back yards. And, if your going to do random searches, one should assume that there is a dog in the yard, and take precautions and have a plan to avoid hurting pets. What Olson did was reckless, unreasonable, and negligent.

  • skip amy

    I wish the press spent this much time on real stories like troops killed each day or VA hospitial and a lieing government.

    • lee77

      I agree. Unfortunately, many people today value the life of a dog over that of a human being, even that of a person who placed his/her life on the line to serve this country (as I did). Had the officer shot a child in that backyard instead of a dog, you wouldn’t hear a peep out of any of these protesters.

  • Rich T

    I am a dog lover and prior owner of two dogs who recently died. In the future I will have more. Geist’s death was tragic, and I feel for the owner. I also feel for the officer who felt he had to shoot the dog. We know nothing about the circumstances, and maybe there was no choice. The photos of Geist tell us nothing about how he might behave if someone came into his yard.

    The police were searching for a missing child. We can all imagine the story if the officer had bypassed searching a yard because he thought there might be a dog on the premises. Should society require a warrant before a fireman can break down your front door to put out a fire? If a police officer sees you bleeding in your front room should he/she be required to get a warrant before entering? I think not. The law says “reasonable” expectation of privacy, and a missing child overrides that.

    No winners here. Sometimes bad things happen.

    • Cartman Whenever I Feel Like It

      “Reasonable expectation of privacy” is a legal term, and it means that the Fourth Amendment applies. The cop did not have probable cause to believe that the child was in THAT specific yard, and therefore had no legal justification to burglarize it. (Which is what it’s called when you illegally enter private property.)

      Your “fireman” analogy doesn’t hold water: Firemen obviously have probable cause to believe that lives may be in danger when a house is burning. They do NOT have probable cause to enter NON-burning houses and search them for fire hazards….and shoot any dogs that bark at them in the process.

    • Chubby Kid From South Park

      “Reasonable expectation of privacy” is a legal term, and it means that the Fourth Amendment applies. The cop did not have probable cause to believe that the child was in THAT specific yard, and therefore had no legal justification to burglarize it. (Which is what it’s called when you illegally enter private property.)

      Your “fireman” analogy doesn’t hold water: Firemen obviously have probable cause to believe that lives may be in danger when a house is burning. They do NOT have probable cause to enter NON-burning houses and search them for fire hazards….and shoot any dogs that bark at them in the process.

      • lee77

        The operative term in “reasonable expectation of privacy” is “reasonable” and to date, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to provide a single test to determine what makes an expectation of privacy “reasonable.”

  • StacyL.

    I don’t think any of us “animal lovers” in any way mean to imply that the life of our pets is more important than the life of another human being. Especially a child. I really hate it that if we try and point out the obvious, that this certainly seems like a case of very bad judgement and a huge mistake, we are painted as crazy animal rights advocates. Anyone who thinks that is the intent here isn’t paying attention. No, the ends do not always justify the means. I’d love to say to the officer that stated he hasn’t seen this type of outrage when another human being was shot, was that human being in his own back yard and not in anyway involved in any crime? Because I assure you most of us would be yelling just as loud.

    • Chubby Kid From South Park

      I’m not sentimental about dogs. But the dog was private property, and so was the yard he was in. What really worries me is not even that the cops abuse their authority. Cops have done that throughout history, and doing so in this case is not surprising.

      What worries me is that so many citizens don’t have a problem with it. Who is going to stand up for the Constitution if its owners won’t do it? The government? They’re the ones the document is written to LIMIT. You don’t put the wolves in charge of the sheep.

      There was no probable cause to suspect the kid was in that yard. And the officer was entirely capable of verifying it anyway, by simply looking through the fence. Burglarizing the place was not necessary or justified.

  • Chubby Kid From South Park

    Is anyone else wondering why the dog was shot a half hour after the “missing child” was found?

    That strikes me as odd. They have radios, after all. Was this guy’s battery dead? Why was he still breaking into people’s homes a half hour after the fact?

    Anybody check HIS house for stolen property?

  • MIckie

    Cop shooting a dog? Makes zero sense.
    The dog doesn’t know the man was a cop, and certainly doesnt know the cop was looking for a child.
    So the irony is that the Cop approaches the dog in the dogs territory, and the dog feels threatened and approaches, the cop ( who has a weapon) , shoots the dog for approaching because the cop feels threatened.
    Fire the cop!

  • Matt

    It’s a dog. Get over it. How many people were shot/killed in Chicago last weekend? Where is the outcry there?

    • Alaric

      Who Cares, we need population reduction of these crime neighborhoods and if the punks want to kill each other let them, just try to leave the innocent unharmed and allow the innocent to arm themselves.

  • Michael

    Cops need training from Postal Carriers who encounter loose dogs all of the time. They are not so scared that they kill them. They do carry pepper spray, and rarely use that.

  • Alaric Matthews

    As the police chief said he has evidence that the dog was within feet of the officer, what was the evidence and at what point did the officer pull his weapon that he couldn’t have pulled his mace instead or was his weapon already in hand? Have you ever noticed when police commit pet murder, the animals are always coming at them aggressively – just like Jimbo on South Park when he and Ned were out poaching, they could only shoot the animals if they felt threatened “Hey it’s coming right at me”.

  • Camden, Ph.D.

    I have had enough of the cop’s murdering of innocent people, killing homeless people, murdering dogs/pets, forcibly removing clothes from females who’ve been arrested over questionable conditions. I’ve had enough. The cops ALWAYS make the same, the precise same excuses. ” I WAS IN FEAR FOR MY LIFE”—————WHIMP COPS.

    Then the Police Chief, again, makes the same sick pitiful excuses. “I STAND BEHIND MY MEN”.

    Cops are dressed, armed, and act like they are in Iraq fighting terrorists when the serve warrants. The little 18 month old boy who had a flash grenade blow open it’s tiny chest. The little boy might not live.

    How do these monster cops sleep at night? PTSD?

    America is NOT a war zone. Send these monster titty baby cops to patrol the border and STOP illegals from coming here if they feel the need to shoot their guns. I am sick and tired of the aggressive, hostile, cursing, raging, out of control, abusive, murdering cops.

    Next up we’ll see residents/Americans, rigging their doors, their gates, their properties to put a stop to these illegal entries by the whimp cops. How does one have respect for cops when cops are abusing Americans in the most questionable/illegal ways?

    What if these were cop’s dogs?wives?children?mothers?sisters?brothers?

    • Allen Grota

      I agree…not all cops (there are some good ones) but certainly, too many are out of control…Look at the BLM wannabees, for example.

  • Jerry Lee Coleman Jr.

    Officer Olsen, who shot and killed Geist, should hold the door for Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank on their way out. If either of them had a clue as to what the rally was all about, I see no evidence of it. In fact I see quite the opposite. Chief Burbank’s comment “… After 23 years in law enforcement I haven’t seen this type of public outcry when certain human beings have lost their lives,” is indicative of a concrete mindset that our dog’s are of little to no value in the eyes of the Salt Lake City Police Department (or at least this particular head).

    Both Chief Burbank, and Officer Olsen should save themselves the humiliation of being fired, and resign as a final show of respect to the voice, and opinion of the community they are sworn to serve!

    I don’t think this is going to just go away Chief Burbank. If the outcry of your local community falls on deaf ears, perhaps your eyes will widen with belief when the National and International protesters arrive upon your doorstep. Again save your department the trouble and humiliation of standing behind your wrong-mindedness. Step down, and offer the same advice to your Officer Olsen.

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  • Dick Hendricks

    if a civilian kicks a K-9 service animal its assult of a police officer, if he kills said K-9 he can be sentenced to death, My two Dogs are service animals also they are my companions does that give them less rights then law inforcement K-9’s? I have met and owned more then just a few wiemeraners, and have never met one yet that posed a threat unless he felt his human or humans property was being threatened. Yes I have no doubt that my two wiems would attach or kill to protect me. and I would honestly do the same to protect them. they are more then pets they are my family, they are my life. I hold them and their lives in just as high of regard as I do a humans. just as they hold my life and well being in as high of a regard as their own. what the officer did was out of line and he should be charged with the same laws that we would be filed on if we had pulled a stupid stunt as that. I have absolutely no respect for officers of his caliber. I will bear arms against anybody who violates my property or my families rights and yes once again my wiemeraners are my family.

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