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The dog that didn’t bark?

June 5, 2015

News from the Riverfront Times.

St. Louis County SWAT Team Killed Family Dog Over Code Violation, Suit Says

A St. Louis County woman claims a police tactical unit killed her dog while investigating whether her home had natural gas.

On Tuesday, a South County woman filed a federal lawsuit that dog lovers should read with caution — the allegations are pretty disturbing.

In the lawsuit, Angela Zorich claims that St. Louis County Police tactical officers — aka the department’s SWAT team — raided her house in April 2014 and killed Kiya, her four-year-old pit bull.

The reason for the raid: to check if her home had electricity and natural gas service.

“This is an example of police overreaching and using excessive force to get a family out of their house,” said Kenneth Chackes, the attorney who represents Zorich.

Online court records suggest that Zorich and relatives have had various landlord actions and complaints filed against them since 2005 at two separate addresses in south St. Louis County.

Chackes preferred not to elaborate on the complaint, which is already 24 pages long. The St. Louis County Police Department declined to comment since the lawsuit is pending. […]

I don’t know the merits of this woman’s suit so I have no opinion about whether she deserves to win it. She might be a lowlife just trying to cash in.

The County police aren’t commenting so I suppose we’ll have to wait until it goes to trial to hear their side.

On the other hand, if the county police really did send ‘tactical officers’ on a visit about code compliance then What The Hell?

When did that become operating procedure? It takes a person armed with a gun to tell me that not all of my electrical outlets are grounded, that my house needs painting, or that my yard needs mowing?

And if those officers really did shoot her dog in the course of that compliance-checking visit then I hope she wins her suit and cleans the county’s clock – even though I’d be helping to pay whatever damages she’s awarded.

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