Last fall, a Champaign girl was out walking the family dog, when another dog approached and attacked her dog. Efforts to separate the two animals were unsuccessful; police were called.

The CPD officer dispatched to break up the dogfight elected to do so with his sidearm, and fired seven shots. The attacking dog suffered a graze to one leg, and ran away; the girl’s dog was killed.

Way to go, Deadeye Dick.

Officer Dick was given a one-day suspension – not for killing the dog, but because one round of his fusillade went through a nearby apartment building. (Turns out that’s against CPD policy.) The family is understandably disappointed, and thinks further punishment is warranted.

The Champaign city government, on the other hand, is trying to come up with a cash payment to make the problem go away. In a news item from today’s paper (which is really a web site; reality changes faster than language), the girl’s father said:

The city thinks they’re trying to put a price on a dog. It’s more that these are civil rights violations. The killing of a dog is a violation of the Fourth Amendment because it is a seizure. The fact that the city deems all animals to be dangerous and allows police officers to shoot them is a violation of due process. It takes a court of law to deem a domestic dog dangerous. There was nothing in that report that said our dog was vicious or dangerous or that anyone was at risk.

Reading that, I thought: that’s your lawyer talking. People don’t use words like ‘deem’ in conversation any more, or┬ádrop references to the Bill of Rights. Only a lawyer would do that.

Sure enough, the family has retained the services of a specialist in “legal services relating to animals”. He has apparently coached them very well.