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Paws up, don’t shoot

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The ongoing saga of the Aug. 10 shooting of pit bull Maximus by Cleburne police officer Kevin Dupre spilled into city hall during Tuesday night’s council meetings.

Paws up

Controversy swirled after video of Dupre shooting Maximus surfaced on social media in October. Dupre responded to reports of loose, aggressive pit bulls on Aug. 10. According to reports, three dogs trapped two women and a girl in a car with one of the dogs apparently snapping at the girl. Video, shot from Dupre’s body cam, shows him locating two of the dogs and shooting one.

The 22-second clip caused Facebook to erupt with some calling the shooting unwarranted and others supporting Dupre’s actions. Dupre, in his report of the incident, said Maximus growled, bared his teeth and exhibited aggressive behavior as he approached. Cleburne police said the short video clip fails to accurately portray the entire incident.

CPD and city officials called for an investigation into the matter and placed Dupre on paid leave pending the outcome.

Several called for Dupre’s termination and demanded he be charged with animal cruelty. City officials said Dupre and his family received death threats, which remain under investigation.

An Oct. 25 protest across the street from CPD drew about 100 area and out-of-town residents and proved peaceful. The protest, for reasons not entirely clear, also attracted members of several area open/carry groups who circulated through the crowd openly displaying guns. Among the group was Kory Watkins, a member of Open Carry Tarrant County. Also among the group, however, were residents of Cleburne and other Johnson County cities who said they were upset over the shooting of Maximus while at the same time puzzled as to how open/carry activities figured in to the event.

A second protest, held Nov. 8, proved less peaceful. Video on Watkins’ Facebook page shows he and several other protestors entering the lobby of CPD chanting “Paws up, don’t shoot” and calling Cleburne police officers cowards, among other things, for not coming out to meet them.

The Cleburne Police Officer’s Association responded to the incident later the same day on Facebook.

“The CPOA sees the actions of “activists” today in Cleburne completely reprehensible,” The post reads. “Marching into an active police station armed with high caliber rifles, blocking Cleburne citizens from approaching the police station possibly depriving Cleburne citizens of police assistance, surrounding parked squad cars, standing and blocking traffic on W. Henderson, and screaming in public buildings all in an effort to intimidate public servants and citizens . The Cleburne citizens are good people and deserve better. THE CPOA LIVES TO PROTECT AND SERVE ITS CITIZENS. The Cleburne citizens need to know we stand in front of you, protecting you with dignity and will never be swayed from that duty.”

Rumors that Watkins and/or members of his group planned to attend Tuesday’s council meeting inspired a healthy police presence but ultimately proved false.

“We wanted a police presence because we heard some of the out-of-town protestors planned to show up,” Cain said. “The same people who stormed the police department lobby and walked right up to the police department’s door with AK-47s. We just wanted people to feel safe, to ensure there were no outbursts and to make sure we could conduct city business.”

Cain said he reached out to Watkins and other members of his group, inviting them to participate in Operation Cleburne Pride — a neighborhood clean up event, which also staged Saturday — but received no response.

However, Maximus’ owner, Amanda Henderson, attended Tuesday’s meeting. Henderson said her frustration in not being able to get answers from CPD led her to request the videos that later surfaced on Facebook. Henderson called the shooting heartbreaking and hard to explain to her four children.

Police should be role models, Henderson said, adding that her 6-year-old son wanted to grow up to be a police officer before the shooting occurred.

“I do understand the responsibility of keeping [pets] locked up, but also don’t know a pet owner whose dogs haven’t gotten out. It happens,” Henderson said.

Henderson said the incident has “opened her eyes” and inspired her to become involved in city activities.

“I understand everybody make mistakes,” Henderson said. “But what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I just want to know that this will be investigated thoroughly and want to be able to trust the people we should trust.”

Cain told Henderson he’s sorry for the loss of Maximus and said extra steps are being taken to ensure the investigation is thorough, fair and unbiased and that she will be notified as soon as the findings are presented.

“I appreciate that,” Henderson told Cain. “That’s the beginning of change.”

Jessica Proctor, wife of CPD Cpl. Bryan Proctor, also spoke decrying “people from out of town coming in degrading our husbands and police officers who protect us.”

Proctor chastised those who have posted the addresses and phone numbers of police officers and their family members on social media, a situation Proctor said has left family members feeling fearful and threatened.

Proctor also asked what would have happened had the dog in question attacked the child instead of simply snapping at her.

“Officers are trained to know when and when not to shoot,” Proctor said.

Cain and other city officials accused Watkins and members of his group of bandwagon jumping to call attention to themselves and causes unrelated to the Maximus situation.

“Anyone who thinks they are not going to follow the law and process of the law, that’s un-American and we’re not going to put up with vigilantism in Cleburne,” Cain said. “I want to make it clear to these people capitalizing on this family’s tragedy that we stand behind our officers and firefighters who put themselves in harms way.”

Cain on Wednesday said the investigation has been turned over to a retired police officer who investigates police shooting incidents. The officer is not connected with Cleburne, Cain said. The officer has taken over the investigation originally started by CPD’s Professional Standards Unit.

“Everything and everyone related to the shooting has been made available to him,” Cain said. “And we’re hoping to get his findings sometime in December.”

Officials originally hoped to have the Texas Rangers and possibly an outside police department investigate the matter in addition to CPD’s Professional Standards Unit’s internal investigation. The Rangers declined as did other departments approached.

Cain told Henderson, Proctor and others that the chips will fall where they may as per the findings of the investigation.

Source: http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/council-ponders-vets-dogs-and-fire-trucks/article_42361502-6b42-11e4-9a4e-3339c1acb810.html?mode=jqm

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The dog Obama would have had.

Seeing it is a Pit Bull my sympathy is low.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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