Owner of dog shot by police rejects settlement, calls for policy change

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SALT LAKE CITY --  The man whose dog was shot to death by a Salt Lake City police officer said he has rejected a generous settlement offer and instead wants the department to issue a public apology and adopt "non lethal policy change."

"SLCPD has offered a generous settlement as compensation for the loss of Geist. However, there has been no disciplinary action taken against Brett Olson (sic) or action regarding policy change and training. I believe this is an attempt to placate me and buy me off. I would rather a public apology and non lethal policy change than any amount of money," Sean Kendall said in a post on his "Justice for Geist" Facebook page.

Mayor Ralph Becker was asked how he thinks Burbank handled the situation.

"You know i think it's a tough situation. He's had a police officer who's obviously been involved in a tragic situation and as all of us do, respect that police officer and his history and it's a tough situation in terms of the dog being killed and I think he's trying to work through the process to come to a good resolution and I support him in that and I'm confident we'll come up with a good approach as a city," Becker said.

Kendall's 2-year-old Weimeraner "Geist" was killed on June 18 as officers were looking for a missing toddler.

Officer Brett Olsen entered Kendall's yard that day in an attempt to locate the child. Olsen said he shot Geist because the dog was charging at him and he felt threatened.

Kendall told FOX 13 he would have accepted the settlement offer if there had been something in writing indicating that SLCPD would change their policies and training procedures regarding police encounters with dogs.

Kendall also said he was offended with the way Chief Chris Burbank handled the aftermath of the shooting, calling a subsequent press conference Burbank held "demeaning and aggressive."

The exact amount of the settlement offer was not disclosed.

Burbank released the following statement:

“As a public agency negotiating in good faith through proper channels, we were disappointed in today’s outcome. Due to Mr. Kendall’s premature Facebook posts and desire to negotiate through the press, the police department has ended our attempts to meet his financial demands. To clarify, this was his request for a settlement, not our offer. We continue to press ahead with our internal process and expect to conclude our investigation this week. The department reserves further comment until that time.”

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  • Rob Myles

    Wow! What a silly stance! I am a complete dog lover, but trying to force the policies of the police department into a non-lethal view is completely ridiculous. If the dog attacks and they feel their life is in danger, they should do what’s necessary to protect their life because they are trying to serve and protect us. Did he have any signs up saying that there might be a dog in the yard?? Probably not.

    • ratbastardshanahandjob

      Did Olsen look over the fence from front or sides?? NO. Why wasn’t animal control there if yards were going to be searched?? Was the plan kill every pet?? They managed to call Sean after the murder. Why not before?? There was no probable cause to enter the yard. 3 year old wasn’t see on or around property. No evidence of being in the yard. Couldn’t open then close gate. Why didn’t Olsen make noise at the fence?? Dogs have good hearing…..Olsen didn’t care if a dog was in the yard. I bet a sign wouldn’t have mattered. He was going in no matter what and didn’t care how many dogs he had to murder……Bottom line. Geist belonged in the yard. Olsen didn’t…..

      • Jessie Raines

        Better yet, why didn’t they just thoroughly search the house? or call off the search once the kid had been found? From all the news reports, the kid was found 30 minutes before Geist was shot.

      • Mercy

        I agrree, the cop didn’t belong in the backyard, Geist did. They tell us to keep our dogs contained in the yard and we do and still that is not enough. The policies have to change in the police department and I am so glad this guy is taking a stand. Many voices are being heard over this and this is when policies do change. I have seen it over and over and finally there are states that have implemented training for dog encounters. Cops lie, not all, but many. Dash cams, phone videos and survelliance cameras and witnesses have proven that a dog that was shot was shot for no reason. There are such bully cops out there and it’s getting to the point where the communities will not trust them.

    • Dave Jensen

      I know a cop who was assaulted by a person with a knife. He had the presence of mind (and professionalism) to subdue the assailant with pepper spray. The situation could have gone bad very quickly but this cop was in control of himself and the situation. There was no good reason for Olsen to use lethal force (firearm) in a residential neighborhood. I have been confronted by dogs on more than one occasion, as many people have, and did not feel the need to open fire. I expect no less from a public servant.

    • Michaelb

      The problem is they tend to use deadly force for the slightess risk ( assuming there was any at all ) Officers are trained today to consider their safety to trump everything. Search the web for several police chiefs saying this.

    • Barbara West

      A “silly stance”???This officer was TRESPASSING and I DOUBT that the dog EVER attacked.You don’t NEED a sign up to keep people from trespassing on your FENCED yard..as a police officer..even HE should have been able to GRASP that.He NEVER even gave a THOUGHT to whether this child COULD have reached the latch AND relatched it???If the child WAS in the yard..did this idiot HEAR anything that would make him believe he NEEDED to enter the yard…..WITHOUT permission?This whole episode makes this police department look like a group of idiot teenagers who haven’t even the sense to APOLOGIZE and try to make amends.

    • Debbie

      no it is not you fool, And I hope he ask for this change nationwide!!! The dog did not attack and most do not, 95% of dogs shot and killed are innocent and doing nothing and if someone comes in my back yard and my dog attacks, guess what he is doing his job to protect his territory…people like you should stay off this post and others similar,

    • Debbie

      And the cop had no right entering this yard! Do you know the story? Probably not. The officer was looking for a missing girl who later was found in her bed at her house……….I hope you know how ridiculous you sound.

      • Keith

        The Supreme Court has ruled that no government representative (police) can enter a fenced yard where the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The police officer violated the dog owners Constitutional rights when he opened the gate and went inside without a warrant. The SCOTUS has ruled that, entering such an area is the same as entering a hone without a warrant. The officers actions were both illegal and unconstitutional. If the police had done their job correctly, they should have searched the child’s home completely before descending on the neighborhood.

      • Sterling

        Geist was MURDERED by Officer Brett Olsen, period.
        MR. (because I won’t even give him the honor of being called Officer) Olsen needs to step down and get another non power trip job like being a Librarian… unless now by the DHS is considered a government “open carry” position so Olsen can still blast away at will with his issued .40 cal pistol with HOLLOW POINT bullets as standard carry “self defense” ammo paid for by US AMERICAN CITIZENS…. I’m sure It’d be a job step up from where he’s at and he can STILL kill things backed by Obama and DHS “authority” ………

    • Keith

      the SLCPD screwed up in every way possible on this. First, they did not search the child’s home thoroughly first. Second, it’s illegal (as determined by the US Supreme Court) for any representative of the government to enter a fenced in yard, where the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy without a warrant. This was not a rookie officer but a veteran officer. if a veteran office makes these kind of mistakes without reprimand of any sort, the police department has serious issues.

    • Debbie Stinnett

      The officer was in the wrong. Dog wasn’t aggresive. Point is he invaded private property without just cause then killed an animal who had every right to be there. Sorry, you can’t justfy this killing. The officer used beyond poor judgement. No one needs an officer of this caliber. If he is that big of a coward he needs to find another job.

    • Desert Pete

      Rob Myles obviously doesn’t know that when he opens his mouth his brain is on parade. The owner had no expectation that anyone would go into his fenced backyard without an invitation and so why would anyone, exept a fool, think he’d need to warn a trespasser that he had dog?

    • nonmormon

      Rob why are you asking questions before you’re answer them? And if not by the people who have paid to be protected with their tax then who is in a better postion to demand change? Your argument is flat……

    • Suzanne

      Doesn’t anybody get it?! It’s NOT about money, it’s about justice! His beloved dog was killed. Contrary to popular belief, money doesn’t make everything better. If you’ve ever had and loved a dog, you would understand that.

    • Desert Pete

      This is a moral issue Jeffrey. Decent people question the right of police to enter your fenced back yard without a warrant and thereafter shoot your dog. It just doesn’t smell good, and a jury is likely to agree.

    • ratbastardshanahandjob

      Did Olsen look over the fence from front or sides?? NO. Why wasn’t animal control there if yards were going to be searched?? Was the plan kill every pet?? They managed to call Sean after the murder. Why not before?? There was no probable cause to enter the yard. 3 year old wasn’t see on or around property. No evidence of being in the yard. Couldn’t open then close gate. Why didn’t Olsen make noise at the fence?? Dogs have good hearing…..Olsen didn’t care if a dog was in the yard. I bet a sign wouldn’t have mattered. He was going in no matter what and didn’t care how many dogs he had to murder……Bottom line. Geist belonged in the yard. Olsen didn’t…..

  • MLS

    Apparently non-animal lovers are missing the point. It’s not about the money! I would think that a MILD taser could be used on aggressive dogs…why do they have to kill them?
    By the way…which is actually a correct account of the event at hand: the first statement of the dog DID NOT attack or later that the dog DID attack?

  • Gail Capson


    • Nancy Farlow

      Gail, firstly, if you truly did love animals, you wouldn’t suggest that “an animal can be replaced.” That is not only untrue, it’s extremely insensitive and offensive. Granted, you did say “like,” not “love.” Nevertheless, it’s offensive to those of us who do love our pets. Secondly, cops lie. If this is news to you, please pull your head out of the sand. Geist did not attack the officer. He barked. That’s what dogs do. If a cop is so terrified by a dog’s bark that his first response is to start shooting in a residential neighborhood without any thought to whom he might injure (which could have been the child he was searching for, ironically!), he needs to find another line of work. No cop has EVER been killed by a dog in the US, EVER! Have you ever heard of a dog “tearing apart a cop’s limbs?” I didn’t think so. However, cops in the US shoot a dog EVERY 90 MINUTES, EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY! That is OUTRAGEOUS abuse of the fourth amendment, not to mention animal abuse, which is now a felony in all 50 states. Unless you’re a cop, in which case you can get away with killing innocent dogs with no repercussions. THIS MUST CHANGE!!!

      • Upanddown

        Nancy. You seem to be an expert. Tell me, how exactly do you “know” the officer wasn’t being attacked? Were you there? Can you tell us more? Since the department hasn’t released the investigation and report, perhaps you can enlighten us further.

    • Gabi

      So, Gail… you think yelling at us is going to make us come around to your point of view? Ah, HELL NO! You just make yourself look uneducated and irrational when you make angry emotional rants.

    • Wolfe

      Gail, what exactly makes the life of a human more valuable then the life of any other animal on this earth? Your subjective opinion that you are important? In my opinion a few less self-centered humans and a few more so called “animals” might benefit the world a little.

    • Colin

      Uh I am pretty sure human beings can be replaced the same way animals can. Do you understand where babies come from?

    • Debbie Stinnett

      Animals can be replaced you say. So can humans. I value my dogs life just as I would my child’s. I would rather be shot than him. You don’t understand this emotion. I hope that at some point in your life you are awakened to this knowledge. You have much to learn.

    • Suzanne

      Animals can be replaced but a human being can’t? Your logic is lost on me. You like animals but value human life more? Well that’s fine, but you do know that some of us value and love our pets just like our children. If this is offensive to you, too bad. And for the record, there are plenty of worthless, evil people in this world, but I guess just being “human” makes them more valuable than animals.

  • Desert Pete

    No need to shout Gail we can hear you. The police would never have offered a generous settlement if they thought they could defend their actions in front of a jury. The police entered this man’s fenced yard and then shot his dog which had every right to defend his master’s property.

    • Suzanne

      You are 100% correct Pete. The very fact that they’re offering a “generous” settlement speaks volumes.

      • Upanddown

        Didn’t the statement say that it was his request for a settlement and not their offer? Seems to me that they don’t think he’s entitled to anything.

  • Mosquito

    Federal case law has established that a back yard with a privacy fence creates a “reasonable expectation of privacy”, and is therefore covered by the Fifth Amendment the same as the inside of your home. The officer had to have a warrant, or else probable cause to suspect that the child was in that specific yard AND was in immediate danger. He could legally look THROUGH the fence from a public area and verify that the child was not present.

    The officer never claimed that the dog “attacked.” Merely that it was barking, as a dog is expected to do under such circumstances. His life was not in danger. Having illegally entered the yard, he illegally discharged his firearm.

    The Chief’s condescending, elitist response has been to publicly ridicule the dog’s owner and those who support him, and to refer to peaceful protesters as “dangerous.”

    By offering a settlement the Department has admitted wrongdoing. But this is a larger issue than one dog. The Chief and his attitude toward his employers is the real problem here. The man thinks he is the Gestapo. Nothing will change in the SLCPD until the Chief is replaced with someone who respects the Constitution and the citizens who write the checks.

    • Upanddown

      Mosquito, please tell me where you are finding this information. As far as I know they haven’t released the report yet and all we have is what people are guessing. Are we really to assume that he shot a dog for barking? Really? I would love to read this for myself but haven’t been able to find the official report anywhere.

      • Keith

        google SCOTUS and CURTILAGE for information on the police entering a fence in yard and you will have your answer. It’s considered unoconstitutional by the Supreme Court and a veteran officer should know this.

      • Keith

        no Amber Alert was issued and no judge gave permission for the search. a police officer cannot make that decision on his own. The Supreme court has made the decision that entering curtilage is the same as entering a home without the owners permission. Unless Salt Lake CIty has moved to Russia, the 4th amendment stands and cannot be violated on the personal judgement of the officer.

  • Christy

    Based on what I read the officer just walked into the mans yard when he could have asked first and the guy could have put the dog up …. I know he was looking for a missing child but when you walk into someones yard and not knowing whats in there the dog was doing his job just like the cop was doing his but you dont just walk into someone yard without asking first and put yourself in a situation like this one.

    • Paul

      Christy, Sean was actually at work, But it should never be okay to go into someone’s yard and shoot their dog. Not only is it dangerous to other neighbors, ( Just a few weeks ago an Officer shot at a dog in another City and missed the dog, but hit a 10 year old child.. By the way, he never shot the dog and the dog never attacked him) but these dogs are very precious to us. They mean the World to most of us that truly love animals. It is also a violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. You cannot deprive someone of their property, without due process.

  • Larry

    Chief Burbank should be fired or at least put up for some type of review. How can we trust police officers and the Chief when they do not want to even address the facts or even have the common decency to tell the general public what is going on. Chief Burbank please help the public understand why you are silent. You Chief Burbank are making the public not want to trust your officers.Again Chief Burbank can you address any of these issues.Thank you. law abiding tax paying Utah citizen.

  • thom nielsen

    I hear a lot of people defending the cop. Why is it that you are so willing to accept the constitutional violations by those who have sworn an oath to enforce and defend our laws.

    • Upanddown

      Maybe because he was willing to step up and try to find a missing kid. I’m thinking it’s more than you or I did that day. and I still can’t find where any constitutional right was violated. Heck, they’ve had attorneys on TV saying there was exigency circumstances.

      • Keith

        Look up (google) Supreme Court rulings on CURTILAGE. The SCOTUS has ruled that a government representative (police) cannot enter without a warrant. The police department or an individual officer cannot make that determination without permission of the owner or the court. Otherwise, it’s a Constitutional violation.

      • Blooper

        The kid was sitting in his own house , which was not searched first. A missing child someplace does not mean automatically the first thing to do is kick in all the doors in the neighborhood and start shooting whatever you find. How is mail men or meter readers manages to visit probably a million. Plus yards a year without tragedy and this guy can’t canvas a a block without shooting a pet ? How can you defend this ?

      • tim

        keith do some more research into exigent circumstances and protocol for missing children. If there was truly a constitutional violation as you termed it thom Sean would not be as frustrated as he is. However it appears that things are not going civally in his favor as he is having to vent on social media. I applaud Chief Burbank for standing up for his officer.

        Its a terrible situation for all, but there was NO violation of Seans civil rights plain and simple. He should have taken the $10,000. His demeanor is obviously inflammatory. Same as you so called constitutional experts on these message boards.

      • RC

        Wow. So by your logic, the police should be able to go door-to-door, enter private property, and shoot all the dogs that bark, right? That makes sense because most police are cowards, not heroes. It’s so sad that people like you live in our country. Unfortunately, I think you are part of the majority. Idiocracy is upon us.

  • Janis

    I stand by Sean Kendall. He has lost his best friend. Police should look first and rattle the gate in case a dog is in the backyard. And, if necessary, use a taser instead of lethal firearms.

    • LB

      I hate to break it to you but the end result would have been the same….a taser is not designed for an animal and the voltage would likely stop a dogs heart.

  • Paul Rasmussen

    Burbank is more interested protecting the “civil” rights of illegal parasites rather than the constitutional rights of the tax paying public who pays his ridiculous wage

  • Terry Reeder-Pessefall

    In looking at original photos when this incident first happened, I noticed that Geist’s body lay in the yard several yards from the entry gate where this officer supposedly entered the yard. With this photo it is my opinion that Geist couldn’t possibly have posed a lethal threat warranting being shot. As his owner asked, why couldn’t the officer have simply backed up out the gate he entered and shut it?. There definitely needs to be policy changes with regard to how officer’s handle citizen’s pets across the U.S.. Although I rent, I keep my dog crated when I leave my property. If for any reason an officer entered my home while I was gone, he definitely would have no grounds to shoot my baby.

    • Upanddown

      How exactly do we know where the officer was? Are we assuming he was outside the yard? You seem to be another expert as to what happened. I say we review the full account when Burbank releases it before we guess.

      • Blooper

        The police do not have the right to enter our property with no cause or reasonable belief ( unless small disabled children can leap offer fences that can contain large dogs ) and shoot our pets. This is America , not Russia under Stalin. A shooting by a cop under a situation any normal person could have avoided does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

      • Desert Pete

        Go back and read the article UPANDDOWN. It clearly says the dog owner rejected the offer made by the police department. There is only one reason why the police would have made that offer. Police just can’t enter someone’s fenced yard and shoot a dog who was not hurting anybody.

      • tim

        Desert your assuming just like everyone else in this case. Ill make an assumption as well, maybe the chief tried to settle with Sean in good faith since the dog being shot was a tragedy, maybe a settlement was offered because it would cost that much to fight the lawsuit so why not just offer the money to Sean and see if it would make him happy.

        Blooper, your narrow minded to think that a child walking away is the only possible way a child can go missing. Do you not think it possible that maybe a adult could have taken a kid into a yard.

  • charles

    No matter what P.D says …they killed a pet a dog without his own way to protect himself after the “missing child” was located thru ERROR of P.D communication to give the child found safe alert!! the cop and any other cop SHOULD spray pepper spray into the animals eyes rather than execute an animal a childs pet perhaps for protecting itself from a scared cop!

  • LJ

    Only a fool would accept a $10,000 settlement for wrongful shooting of a pet. Cases are cropping up all over the country with owners being awarded much higher sums. Drag them into court and really make them pay. There will be no changes in policy unless you make their pocketbook really hurt.

  • Scott

    Chief Burbank is the most arrogant of all the police chiefs I’ve seen in situations like this one. He acts like the whole thing is not his problem and that he’s doing Kendall a favor. Keep it up, Chief. You’re just making regular, law-abiding folks dislike and distrust your officers even more. Is that what you want?

    How hard would it be to say, “I’m determined to make sure this sort of thing never happens again, and we’ll be evaluating our training and procedures with regard to family dogs.” Is that so hard? No, he’d rather be snotty and defensive and deflect any notion that his department might be less than perfect. He’s an embarrassment.

  • Jodir

    Rob and Upanddown. What a pair of dicks you really are. Would usually be more diplomatic, but your words speak for my actions. Human life pahhhh I think 50% of us are worthy of a trash can. Give me a dog anyday!

  • LB

    So sick of this justice for Geist and all you hypocrites saying that Officer Olsen was not justified. I think every single one of you would be whistling a different tune if that child had been found in that yard. What if the homeowner was the one that took the child and put him in the yard? What if someone who took the child threw them over the fence scared to now get caught? It has all happened before and not one person would be calling for the Officer’s job or sending him death threats. This type of dog is aggressive especially when it comes to its owners and territory, I have not doubt he felt threatened. This is a veteran officer people, he is not going to pull his gun and shoot over nothing! Give it a rest! Police policies are not going to change nor should they

    • Keith

      LB. if homeowner was the one, it would have been thrown out in court because Olsen entered without a warrant. he made a rookie mistake. he also made a rookie mistake by not thoroughly searching the home of the child first too. THe SCOTUS has ruled that a fenced yard is considered curtilage and it’s illegal for the police to enter without a warrant unless they witness a crime being committed. What if a child had been in the back yard with a cap pistol and rounded the corner (since you insist on playing the “what if” game) and Olsen shot the child?

      • tim

        actually in exigent circumstances a yard can be entered without a warrant so it would not be thrown out under the exclusionary rule per SCOTUS.

    • RC

      What if? What if? What if? Please… the cop is a coward, plain and simple. You, yes YOU, are part of the problem which allows police to abuse their powers.

  • Dawn Murphy

    The point is if you Keep taking up for cops they will keep killing a life is a life that dog should not of been killed don’t take the money make sure your voice is heard

  • Janea

    I believe that the SLCPD needs to issue a gag order on Chief Chris Burbank. He obviously has a way of offending with the way he is verbally addressing this issue.

  • Sarah

    Exigent circumstance: allows law enforcement to enter a structure or property without a search warrant when there is a situation where people may be in imminent danger or evidence faces imminent destruction. You people who are so stuck on the constitutional right issue need to stop using that as an excuse. In hindsight, yes, the child was just fine. But we all know what they say about hindsight. I love my dog like a child, and I’ve lost dogs animals in horrific accidents, but I KNOW that I got over them better than a mother and father get over the loss of a child. If we were all being completely honest, all the people who say they love their animal like a child, would have to admit that it is different. If it comes down to someone’s else’s child being found by a crazy person who could have taken that child into a yard to do who-knows-what, there isn’t anything that shouldn’t be done. I have no problem with an officer entering my backyard without asking me if they are looking for a missing child. Children are the most sacred of all the things we are responsible for in this world. Should he have shot the dog? I have absolutely no idea. I don’t have the facts or the figures or the diagrams or the thoughts in his head as to how much danger he thought he was in. And anyone that does… please share with us where you got your FACTS.

  • Jerry Liberal

    Kendall did the right thing by turning down the police money. It’s about time someone took a stand against the vile corruption of the SLCPD. Someone needs to point out to the cops and their legion of Mormanic supporters in this city that LEO’s need to be held to the same laws that they get paid to enforce.

  • Joe

    Let’s play this out in a reverse. Let’s say for argument sake, I’m a concealed Firearm Permit holder and I’m setting in my own back yard BBQing with my family, when a “Dog” runs at me or my family. I draw my firearm and kill the dog just to find out the dog was a police service K9. If I’m found guilty, I am charged with a “Third degree felony” under Utah code “ANN. §§ 76-9-306 & 76-9-307” for harming a service animal. I lose my right to bear arms and I go to prison. I pay lawyer fees, court costs, and fines as well.. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it!! It’s a class B misdemeanor to even approach a police service bog without the handler’s permission. These laws and policies are way out of balance! I am a dog owner. I have a “gobarion” half Golden retriever and half Siberian husky. He is one year old and about 105 pounds and wouldn’t hurt a flee!! After reading this story I worry some officer would take one look at my dog’s size and husky colors and be intimidated by him. I fully understand this dog owner’s frustration! There needs to be a policy chance “right now”! I would be as devastated and as mad as this dog owner if my dog were shot by a cop in my own back yard too!! As for Chief Chris Burbanks snarky statement. Heartless… All I see when I read this is a police chief that has no idea what “public servants” is!!

    • Tim

      For arguments sake reference a incident where a legal firearm owner has been charged for killing a police k-9 in his own back yard while bbq’ing in Salt Lake City, or county, or utah. Straw man arguments…….

  • Mosquito

    Tim, you need to do a little research. You obviously believe that the “exigent circumstances” exclusion automatically gets rid of that pesky Fourth Amendment, but the exclusion still requires “probable cause.” The officer would have to be acting on a reasonable belief that the child was in THAT specific yard, and in immediate danger. Clearly he had no such reasonable belief. None has been claimed. And the fact that the child was IN HIS OWN HOME the whole time, which the police didn’t bother to search, would tend to put the lie to such a claim. A fenced back yard is covered under the Constitution the same as the interior of a private home. The police cannot simply kick down every door whenever there is a missing child. There are ALWAYS missing children.

    The police have never even claimed that the dog attacked the officer. They have invoked the magic words, “the officer felt threatened”, which is the standard legal excuse whenever deadly force is exercised. It’s mere boilerplate.

    By offering a settlement they’ve admitted wrongdoing. Any tort attorney will tell you that. They tried to buy their way out of it, and did so with YOUR money. It’s not as if the Chief was writing a personal check.

    • Tim

      Actually your wrong again just as you were in one of your previous posts when you related unlawful searches to the fifth amendment. If you would have done your homework in your constitution class that you didn’t take you would know that exigent circumstances are based on reasonable suspicion not probable cause. It is perfectly reasonable to look into a yard in the same neighborhood as a child that goes missing as in many cases children have gone missing and ended up found harmed in a neighbors yard. You would also know that the SCOTUS has intentionally steered clear of creating case law that would give strict rules regarding exigent circumstances.

      • Barbara West

        You seem to keep ignoring that the child could NOT have reached that latch on the gate..let alone reach up and re latch it.I don’t know WHY you are SO determined to find some way to justify the killing of this dog when there was NEVER any kind of justifiable reason for it.The officer was NOT attacked..he was unhurt..his clothes not disturbed so he was in NO immediate danger.Had he NOT killed this man’s dog..I suspect the owner wouldn’t have even said BOO about him entering the yard..even though…all he HAD to do was look over the fence and listen for anything that MIGHT suggest a child in trouble.Dogs tend to make a great deal of noise when they are “after” someone or something so the “quiet” should have allowed him to make a phone call and ask for assistance with the dog instead of simply SHOOTING it.This wasn’t a guy that kept his dog on a chain and SOMETIMES remembered to give it food and water..this dog was LOVED and cared for and they BOTH deserved to be allowed to enjoy their lives together.This KILLING was neither necessary or justified and on top of that..it WAS illegal.

      • Barbara West

        What a LUDICROUS example to use!In YOUR example..a child was HEARD crying and then observed over the fence.I don’t thing ANYONE would expect ANY person..cop or not..to ignore that.If the child HAD been hurt by the dog…AGAIN..a VERY different situation.But in THIS case…none of those factors existed.No child was heard or seen anywhere near this house.No child was heard inside the fence and the dog was sound asleep…quite unlikely had ANYONE entered or THROWN a child over the fence since the dog WAS alert to the cop entering.Face it…digging for examples ISN’T going to make this suddenly become RIGHT…..it can’t be done..because it was WRONG.

  • Tim

    And you obviously don’t know what probable cause is because you claim it is required then you say officers have to act on reasonable belief… Sheesh

    • Mosquito

      You merely aped what I said, but thanks for backing me up. “Reasonable belief” and “Probable cause” are the same thing. Even if we ignore the fact that the child was home the whole time, it’s still not reasonable to believe that the child is in EVERY back yard, or EVERY basement, or the trunk of EVERY car. The officer had no reasonable belief that the child was in that yard. And he could have easily verified that the yard had no child in it by simply looking through the fence.

      What “reasonable belief” are you claiming the officer had? You haven’t specified that. What did he “reasonably believe” was in THAT specific yard? Reasonable enough to eliminate the Fourth Amendment from consideration?

      The belief that the child was “somewhere” doesn’t give the police the right to enter EVERYWHERE. Fenced back yards are no different from the interior of homes. The Supreme Court actually HAS said that, counselor. Invoking “missing child” doesn’t give the police godlike powers to do whatever they please, and that’s a good thing becuause right now, as we speak, thousands of children are missing in this country. By your standard the police ALWAYS have the right to go anywhere they wish, whenever they wish, and shoot anything that gets in their way.

  • tim

    arguing with idiots i swear.. Reasonable belief and probable cause are not the same thing at all. I love how you guys just make things up to try to prove your point. Never mind the several legal experts who have publicly agreed that a missing child is a exigent circumstance. Oh well no sense in arguing, nothing will come of this because SLCPD did nothing illegal.

    • Scott

      Tim, you are quick to dismiss anyone who disagrees with you. But I think Mosquito is more correct than not. Here are two definitions of “exigent circumstances” from actual case law.

      An emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect, or destruction of evidence. There is no ready litmus test for determining whether such circumstances exist, and in each case the extraordinary situation must be measured by the facts known by officials. [People v. Ramey]
      Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts. [United States v. McConney]

      It’s a huge stretch to say that a yard-by-yard search of a child who could’ve been anywhere (including his own house) meets either of the definitions above. I’m not a lawyer. But I am capable of critical reasoning, which is all you need in this case. SLCPD overreached when it entered Kendall’s yard, and its settlement offer is a pretty good signal that it realizes as much.

      • tim

        Scott from your own defiition which is case law from the SCOTUS ” (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons.” This is why yard to yard searches are part of nationally accepted protocols when searching for missing children. One officer responds to the home while the rest start searching the nearby surrounding areas.

        It is accepted in juridstictions across the country that it is reasonable to search the curtilage of homes nearby the residence of a missing child. The SCOTUS has been very reluctant to make strict guidelines on exigent circumstances. Who knows maybe we will see a Geist Vs SLC in the supreme court docket, but I doubt it.

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