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Last week, a tragic death occurred just south of us, in Lancaster, PA. On Wednesday, August 6th, a dog hopped out of the back of a truck in a parking lot to say hello to a man and his dog. His friendliness ultimately led to his death due to violent actions taken by the Lancaster Police Department, particularly Officer Hagen.
The following are accounts by two separate witnesses:
The dog’s owner unfortunately left him and another dog unattended in the back of a partially covered truck, which is not condoned, but this does not justify the police shooting him. After approximately 30 minutes, the dog jumped from the truck and ran towards a man, a local resident, and his dog who had just gotten out of a nearby SUV, but did not attack him or his dog. When the man put his dog back in his vehicle, the pit bull jumped in the back of the SUV as well.
Witnesses state the dog went back and forth between his owner’s truck, looking as though he was trying to get back into the truck, and the white SUV, before jumping back into the SUV. The owner of the SUV and other bystanders were using treats to try to coax the dog out of the vehicle when police arrived, and subsequently threatened to shoot the dog.
The resident refused to move to allow the officers to open fire until the police placed him in handcuffs. Rather than acting calmly, these officers were screaming and created more chaos, scaring the dog further, and attempted to put a snare pole around his neck before tazing him, twice. The innocent dog, still not charging or attempting to attack anyone, jumped out of the SUV and an officer shot him twice with a shotgun, killing him.
I was at work, Aussie and the Fox, and the dog was across the road in the Central Market parking lot. We have big windows so when I saw police and a crowd gathering it caught everyone in the restaurants eye. I saw a beautiful white pit bull jumping from one truck to another SUV. The truck that he jumped out of was too high for him to get into so he jumped into the back of an SUV to be safe. He was obviously trying to go back where he belonged.
The dog was smiling with his tongue out and tail wagging. There was no aggressive behavior. One policeman had a large pole with a hoop on it to try to catch the dog, but he did not even try to use it. There was no attempt to peacefully capture the dog. After the dog walked around the lot a few times we see a police officer point a large gun at the dog. We all figured it was a tranquilizer. I was so upset that they were going to tranquilize the dog. He shot the dog twice because the dog was in a lot of pain jumping around after the first shot.
It was across an open parking lot, if it had ricocheted or if he missed who knows what he would have hit. After the dog was down nobody went anywhere near the dog, they just let him lay there in the middle of the lot. That’s when I knew it wasn’t a tranquilizer, the dog was killed. The whole time the owner with the SUV was handcuffed for trying to stop the policeman from shooting the dog, they were trying to shoot the dog while he was in the gentleman a SUV with his dog. The man was obviously worried about his dog getting shot as well. This policeman was ready to shoot anywhere not caring what or who was hit.
Several articles on Lancaster Online share similar accounts, and report on a small rally that already occurred last week:
I have not found confirmation, but some individuals have mentioned that Officer Hagen, who pulled the trigger, was also responsible for shooting a German Shepherd Dog named Rocky previously.
Please meet at the Lancaster City Police Station 39 W. Chestnut St., Lancaster, PA 17603, by 10:00am tomorrow, August 16th, to take part in the rally. The location is near the corner of Prince and Chestnut.
Alternately, meet at Penn Square at 9:30am, and march to join with the other rally at 10:00am.