In the War on Dogs, trigger-happy officers have one boon companion, one stalwart friend, one ally who will never give them up, never let them down: the media.
Just ask Chelsea Kay of KRCRTV.
Chelsea reported on a story about cops shooting dogs. In this case, Redding police were looking for a fugitive, who visited a room in a motel. Police nabbed their man and were arresting him when a dog described as a "boxer puppy" "charged" the officers. The officers, apparently in fear of their lives from the puppy, opened fire, killing the puppy and a pregnant Chihuahua who was "caught in the line of fire."
There are many different angles that a journalist could take in a story about police shooting a charging puppy and gunning down a Chihuahua in the process. A journalist might write a hard-hitting story on whether the officers' fear for their safety is rational. A journalist might ask whether, if officers are shooting puppies in a manner that leaves other dogs "in the line of fire," the officers need retraining in firearms safety and use of force, whether that Chihuahua could just as easily have been a child, whether the officers' assessment of the relative danger of puppies vs. gunplay reflects rational thought.
Chelsea took a different angle:
After Redding Police were forced to kill two dogs Friday night, a Northstate family is now offering two puppies to console the family.
Awwwww ….. what an adorable gift-of-a-puppy human interest story! And since Chelsea has dispatched those nasty, uncomfortable, unpatriotic questions by the fifth word of the story — stating, as a given, that officers were "forced" to shoot a puppy — we can rush headlong into nice thoughts about how puppies are swell.
The press acting as the placid lapdogs of law enforcement is not new and is certainly not limited to cops who kill puppies. What can we do about it? We can seek out multiple news sources and multiple types of news sources. We can view journalists with skepticism. We can write about the issues ourselves. We can call them on their bullshit.
What we shouldn't do is be passive viewers. Doing so is asking to be duped, in a world in which nominally dog-loving journalists write docile, canine stories in support of police shooting puppies.
Chelsea joined the KRCR News Channel Seven News Team in November of 2011.
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In her free time, Chelsea enjoys traveling, watching movies, yoga, and the beach. You'll find her spending time with her friends and family and snuggling with her dog, Rocco.
Watch your back, Rocco.
Hat Tip to Radley Balko, who owns the cops-vs.-dogs topic.