Murder of a People's Park dog, Saturday, 12:45 a.m., has deeply wounded People's Park regulars, for whom the dog was a beloved figure. The regulars are calling it murder by many names, but homicide is the main category.
According to a teaching-assistant philosopher in the park Monday, the work of animal rights philosophers led by Peter Singer has established that dogs are sentient beings with many of the rights we have. Singer is a professor of Utilitarian Ethics And Animal Rights at the European Graduate School.
"Killing a dog," says the TA "is as serious as killing a human being, perhaps more serious since our animals depend on us to safeguard their rights."
Now we can say we have a murder case, but can we make the case?
The officer who shot and killed the dog, Kenneth Doughty was back in the park the next day, making an arrest, possibly related to the dog-killing.
That the dog was killed is clear, although only the officer involved was a witness. According to a phone message from Capt. Margot Bennett, acting UCPD spokesperson, the dog died in the act of assaulting officer Doughty.
The information officer added that the dog was untethered, a park requirement observed by most park users, who have been warned about this. "We have not had an of-leash dog citation in two years," Bennett said.
The (murder?) case in the park is not clear-cut, because, according to within-ear-shot witnesses, the dog was killed "mid-bark." UCPD says the dog was in the air coming at the officer "with his teeth bared). On-line sources agree that to justify killing a dog, the dog must be attacking.
Grieving park regulars Monday were praising the victim, Dude, six-months old (or five non-dog years old), and a Shepard Mix with an attractive tan coat. And condemning the officer, who killed him.
"He was the sweetest dog in the park, a real peace maker. Dude would never do anything like this [attack the officer}.
Still Dude is dead. His owner told people on the scene, "the cop just came up and killed my dog." said Papa John a nearby witnesses who rushed to the scene. John described the owner as sobbing, "hardly able to get the words out."
Police say the owner had failed to respond to the officer, who approached, and that he was drunk and slow to comprehend what had happened. The officer made "numerous attempts" to arouse Dude's owner, according to the police.
Officer Doughty shot twice, killing the animal, Capt. Bennett stated sorrowfully. Witnesses at the scene afterwards said Dude had been shot in the shoulder and back.
She would not comment on whether Doughty was a dog owner, nor would she comment on his state of mind at the present, citing privacy concerns.
Park regulars are saying which dog is next, Aquarius or Silver? They explain that street people can get quite attached to their dogs because they constantly are with their owners and sleep with them for companionship and protection.
Some believe Dude died in defense of its owner, but all believe Dude didn't have to die. Others say it was folly to have shined a flashlight in Dude's eyes, or for the officer to even have approached at all.
A "witness" from half a block away followed the policeman's flashlight to the shots, and arrived shortly on the scene. The ear-witness heard, 'bark bark, bang bang." The witness maintains that Dude was tied to its owner's wrist.Officer Doughty, who shot dude, was back in the park early Monday arresting Papa John's wife, John said, on an open-container beef that became obstructing justice. She has been jailed. John believes Daughty is retaliating for he and his wife's version of Dude's death.
This our South side reporters first "murder" story.