Cop shoots dog at wrong address

| November 25, 2020

Oops.

Fyrfighter sent us this story and thought it worth discussion. We tend to agree.

Investigator James Freeman, the portly, casually dressed fellow in the unmarked vehicle, is with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas. It seems he was out on 9 November looking to check on a registered sex offender. During the course of that check, he was at Chris Coiner’s home. Coiner says that the family dog was barking at the deputy when the deputy shot it, killing the dog.

Because this is 2020, Coiner recorded the moments immediately after the shooting and put them on social media. The New York Post picked up the story;

Coiner claims Freeman then shot his dog in his yard because the animal barked at him.

“I was livid, I was livid with feelings and he didn’t care one bit,” Coiner told FOX 16 News.

Coiner added, “He did not make any attempt to get away from it, he didn’t make any attempt to get back in his vehicle, all he did was shoot the dog because he was barking at him.”

The distraught dad said Clide was his 3-year-old son’s “buddy” and described the pooch as a “family member.”

There’s two sides to the story of course. I did some digging and found a wee more info. Admittedly, it’s from the sheriff himself. A week after the incident, he released this message;

Since taking office in 2017, I have been an advocate of integrity, professionalism, and transparency. I hold my deputies and investigators to the highest of standards to protect and serve the residents of our community.

On Tuesday I was notified of a use of force incident that occurred on November 9, 2020, involving Investigator James Freeman. The incident occurred at 76 Autumn Hills Road where Investigator Freeman fired his service weapon at an animal. Investigator Freeman was doing a compliance check on a registered sex offender, and went to the property listed as the subject’s address. There are several mobile homes at the 76 Autumn Hills Road address that are not distinguishable by letter or number. Upon arrival, a juvenile female informed Investigator Freeman that the sex offender lived next door to her. Investigator Freeman approached the mobile home, and a dog came from under the building and started barking and growling. Investigator Freeman told the dog to get back. The dog then went back under the mobile home after being called by his owner from behind the mobile home. Investigator Freeman began to walk towards the back of the mobile home. However, after taking a few steps, the dog approached him more aggressively. Investigator Freeman was placed in an unfortunate situation with his back against the mobile home and no way to escape the dog. He again told the dog to get back and the dog lunged at him. As a result, Investigator Freeman deployed his weapon on the animal.

At my request, Faulkner County Investigators have been working diligently over the last week to determine whether or not Investigator Freeman violated any state law and/or our agency’s policies and procedures. During that time, Investigators spoke with multiple witnesses who stated the dog had a history of acting aggressively towards humans.

After a thorough investigation, we have concluded that no policies or laws were violated. We, in law enforcement, answer calls every day that require split-second, life and death decisions. We strive to be right 100 percent of the time. Our Department is saddened by this unfortunate incident and sincerely apologize for any distress it may have caused.

So it seems that there is a bit more to the story than the guy whose first reaction to his family dog being shot is to whip out his phone. So to say he was at the “wrong” address is not entirely truthful. Hindsight being 20/20, he was at the wrong unit. In the moment? He’s just following the trail of breadcrumbs.

So how trustworthy is the shire reeve, who investigated his own man? Interestingly enough this exact scenario played itself out last year to a far different conclusion.

On 4 January 2019, Faulkner County Deputy Keenan Wallace shot in the head a Chihuahua. Luckily the dog survived, but the incident was caught on camera. The dog can be seen in the video barking and wagging its tail at the deputy when he shoots. Wallace, ironically a K-9 handler, was fired the next day.

The same sheriff looked into that shooting and said;

Deputy Wallace fired his service weapon that injured an animal while in close proximity to a citizen. I believe there were numerous opportunities to de-escalate the incident.

Wallace was charged and plead no contest to animal cruelty charges. He received community service and a psych eval.

Now let’s keep the discussion civil. 🙂

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Crime, Guest Link, Police

Comments (20)

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  1. Fyrfighter says:

    Thanks for putting this up Mason. As you say, there’s always two sides to the story. Based on the second part, it does seem that the sheriff takes such things seriously, and if the investigation was done fairly, it seems this was a sad situation, but not a criminal one. Obviously the owner of the dog would see it from his own perspective, and you have to feel for the kid that lost his pet. The video is obviously after the fact, and does look damning, as the officer is next to his vehicle, but if as stated by the sheriff, he was backed up against the mobile home and unable to retreat…that changes things. Still sad all around.

  2. Ret_25X says:

    Dealing with an aggressive dog is a real problem and the dog just doesn’t understand. Many years ago I delivered newspapers…got chased by dogs every day.

    This is why we have ordinances about leashing or restraining dogs.

    It is ALWAYS the owner’s responsibility to control the dog and just because your dog is cute and cuddly around the kids does not mean it socializes with other people well.

    Do your dog a big favor and keep it penned, tied, or in the house…

    • MI Ranger says:

      Yeah, I’m with you Ret_25X. We here in South Carolina generally live by the rule: Do what you want to as long as it doesn’t effect others.
      We get a lot of grief because of our Motorcycle law that says ” Sure, go ahead and take your helmet off, the only person you are going to kill is you”. However, we do have leash laws…because the only person your dog is going to hurt is someone else!

      Maybe it is time Faulkner County update its leash laws.

  3. Thunderstixx says:

    I delivered papers in a small Iowa town when I was a kid.
    There was always one or two dogs that would bark and chase me when I rode past their houses, they never got a paper, it was always one of their neighbors…..
    It was just something you get used to and if you just be verbally aggressive with the dog, they usually back away.
    I’m just surprised the Deputy didn’t tell the owner to either come get the dog or he might shoot it.
    Most dog owners would come get the animal, I know I would.
    Tragic end to the entire situation. Nobody likes to see a pet meet their end at the hands of a cruel situation brought on by the dog doing what fdogs are supposed to do.
    That is why we have them, after all.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Dog Lives Matter. Maybe the deputies should have shot the irresponsible owners. I know I would have. Dogs are like young’uns, they have to be raised right and trained from an early age. And people that have not been fortunate enough to be raised right and alongside/with K9 companions don’t have a clue how to act around them. They will either show or have fear of the dog, dog senses that, dog is defending his turf (as he should…good doggie, here’s bisket) dumbass punishes/kills dog because of human shortcomings.

      And yes, if you cannot/will not train your kritters/kids properly, then they should be contained in such a way as to not cause a danger to themselves or others. My sympathies to the dead dog and the little guy for losing his pet.

      When I FIRST started to work for Mother Bell back in ’99 I was in utility operations a a machine operator. I ran vibratory plows, trenchers, and a directional drilling rig. The jobs would entail placing service drops and cables into people’s yards or across their properties, many of them having dogs as pets or for security purposes. As the “token white boy” and only dog owner in the crews, I was the one detailed to inform the folks who had dogs that we would be in the yard/on the property and would they please contain their pets. The boys would be amazed when I could convince a snarling aggressive, Rottweiler, Pit Bull, Doberman, or Shepard to calm down and let me in to take care of business. The ones to REALLY watch out for are the poodles and Chihuahuas. Those little yapping bastards will bite heel out of you.

      Spew alert…went on one job to follow up the other crew’s inability to get past the Rotties in the yard. There were contained by the invisible fence shock collars. Black crew member made mention he had thrown rocks at the Rotties the day before to try and keep them back. You got out of the truck saying “they got a collar, I’m not worried.” They saw him and hit that perimeter, took the shock and kept coming. He ended up on the top of the cab of the truck, white as a sheet and squealing like a little girl. I had to get their collars off, get them back inside the wire, and replace the collars. Turned the juice up slightly on the fence control, got dumbass the hell off the job site and went back to finish by myself.

      • timactual says:

        “…, we have concluded that no policies or laws were violated.”

        Not much of a defense, actually. Perhaps the juvenile female could have helped him. She seems to have been able to cope in that environment.

        Way back in the dark ages when I was employed by a large southron municipality I was sent to investigate a possible air pollution violation. All by myself (mistake number one) I went out to the isolated house and got out of my truck to go knock on the door. About halfway there (long driveway) three dogs, two shepherds and a doberman, came out from behind the house and came towards me. No barking, no tail wagging, nothing. I stopped and they proceeded to silently circle me as I stood there. Ever been to an aquarium and watched the sharks swim about? That’s what it felt like. Then one of the dogs just tilted its head and took a chunk out of my trousers. No barking, no growling, completely silently they continued circling around me.

        At that point I concluded that my mission was effectively concluded. Slowly I turned. Inch by inch, step by step I returned to my truck, closely surrounded by the three circling dogs.

        I sat there in my truck for several minutes before I left, shaking and examining the hole in my trousers and giving thanks (no atheists when it’s just you vs. a hostile mother nature, either).

        I think that was life 5, maybe 6, out of my nine. Definitely a learning experience. Still like dogs, though.

  4. Roh-Dog says:

    If you can’t tell a pet vs feral dog you shouldn’t have a gun. And if a pet and a low risk situation I’d probably calmly back up out of his area of responsibility until someone familiar with the animal could control the doggo.
    From my experience most dawgs are all bark, if they are bitey how long does it take to pull a duty weapon and ‘defend yourself’ ffs.
    Stop taking it out on the furréd members of our families, LEOs.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Anyone who doesn’t give their dog basic obedience training (i.e., heel, sit, down, stay, stop-sit) is not a good dog owner. There are places that offer obedience classes, and I do NOT mean those scams that take your dog away from you and charge you an arm and a leg for something you can do yourself.

    Some breeds are very territorial and will chase anyone on the other side of the fence, even if they’re perfectly nice otherwise.

    But let your pooch run around loose and hide under the steps or whatever and come out of there snarling when a visitor arrives and knocks on the door?

    Well, you are the responsible party for whatever happens with the dog, whether it’s the deputy sheriff or the kid next door. If the dog bites someone, it’s YOUR dog and YOUR fault it happened. Period.

  6. David says:

    Just because a dog is wagging its tail dors not mean it isn’t nervous or upset. Depends on the dog.

  7. The Other Whitey says:

    Hard to call this one either way, with video only showing after the fact and no other witnesses corroborating anything.

    I’ve encountered plenty of aggressive dogs. More often than not, they’re posturing. They’re maintaining security of their home and owners, as good dogs do, and not just letting anybody in. If you remain calm and give them a minute to feel (and sniff) you out, they’re fine. Don’t run, and of course don’t provoke the dog, just hold still and give them time to assess you and determine that you’re not a threat. Pit bulls certainly skew the average, as unpredictable as they are (I hate pit bulls and wouldn’t be sad if the breed was eradicated), but even they are not automatically dangerous.

    Chihuahuas are a whole different category. I generally refuse to acknowledge the yappy, annoying little bastards as dogs (I love dogs; I absolutely hate chihuahuas). The upside is that, annoying as they are, they’re too small to do much, and they can’t bite through long pants and boots. My best “attacking chihuahua” story comes from a medical aid I ran as a Firefighter-1 back in 2004. I was scribing patient info while the family’s chihuahua did its best to convince us that it was a pissed-off mastiff. It singled me out for some reason, yapping and growling incessantly. I’m standing next to the couch, clipboard in my left hand and pen in my right. The little asswipe climbs its way to the top of the couch, leaps at me, latches onto my right jacket sleeve (not my arm, just the sleeve), and proceeds to hang there by its teeth, growling the whole time. I shake my arm a few times, failing to dislodge the tiny fucker, then decide to ignore it since it barely weighs two pounds and go back to scribing. It took ten minutes for the patient’s family to notice and remove the damn thing.

  8. Skyjumper says:

    Don’t know if the truth will ever come out on this one unless there are other witnesses. Appears to be a “he said, he said” situation.

    However, being a former postal letter carrier, we ALWAYS had dog spray on our satchel or person. It was mandatory. If an inspector/supervisor came out to the route, one of the first things they asked to see was the canister of repellent. If it was not on your person, you were written up with a letter of warning and that was attached to your personnel file.

    Seems like this officer or other officers could also have a container available when making house checks or at least use their mace to possibly avoid a situation like this. But, it is also the dog owners’ responsibility to control their critters.

    No matter what, it’s a sad day for the dog and his 3 year old buddy.

    • David says:

      When bicycle commuting I tried to keep a spare water bottle loaded with ammonia. May not be nice but is effective on rogue dogs. Sometimes you just can’t pedal fast enough.

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Hard to tell if this was a “junkyard dog” or not.

  10. USAFRetired says:

    I own ( or maybe am owned by) a large intimidating 96 pound German Shepherd. He is obedience trained. For the most part he no longer barks everytime a doorbell rings on television he has learned over time the difference between them and the sound of the front door and the garage.

    If anyone comes to the door and knocks or rings the bell he announces his presence with authority. As I nudge him out of the way to answer the door I am very amused by the dissimilar reaction between him and the visitor. They tend to be somewhere between apprehensive and scared crapless as he pokes his nose around the edge of the door and speaks. What they can’t see is his tail is wagging up a storm. So much so that my wife has had to relocate one of her dust collectors for fear he will knock it over with his tail.

    If he is answering the connecting door to the garage it often sounds like gunfire as his tail pounds into either the side of the pantry or the door to the laundary room.

  11. RCAF-CHAIRBORNE says:

    Dog Lives Matter

  12. Steve1371 says:

    Back in the late 70’s I did farm pick-up. We had several routes in N. E. New York that included hundreds of farms. One day I went to a new to me farm and was met by the farmer when I backed in. He pointed to a massive dog and said if that dog is not on the end of that chain, don’t get out of your truck. He hates the milk man. One day I backed in and looked over at the huge dog and I thought I saw the chain. I got out to do my thing and was shocked when I turned around and saw he was right behind me! Not sure what to do I slowly moved towards the milk house talking softly to this beast. When I got inside I found a bowl and poured it full of milk and gave it to him. What a relief when he started to lap it up! I am not sure who was more surprised , me or the farmer when he found out.

  13. Slow Joe says:

    There is a fine line.

    My fear is that a society that treats animals like humans, will end treating humans like animals.

    The Left certainly does that with unborn children.

    I only see animals as property, and nothing else. Personal attachments do not raise animals to the level of being like a human.

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. OAE CPO USN Ret says:

    Back in my youth I lived in the countryside of Northern Illinois. My friend and I would ride our bikes to go fishing at this flooded quarry that had been stocked with fish. One of the farmhouses we would ride by had a German Shep that would bark as we rode by. Each time we went by (we went fishing a lot) the shep would get closer to us. One day he got too close almost causing us to wipe out. On the return leg we had our fishing poles at the ready. These were the type that you could separate into 2 sections. The pup got a good whack across the nose when he tried his antics again. After that we could ride by and he’d sit on the porch and bark at us.

  15. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    If you go, uninvited, on someone else’s property, you can’t bitch about their dog saying GTFO.

    Was the dog in the article in his yard? Or off the property. If off, bad owner. If the dog wasn’t trained to obey the family, again, bad owner.

    “cop” doesn’t mean you get to go where you will, because gun and badge.

    And most cops are trained to go for the stick, spray, or zorch, before firing a round. So why did Deputy Dude go straight to gunfire in a neighborhood? Why didn’t he pull the OC or baton or zapgun the moment the dog got aggressive? Easy-peasy to hold it in the off hand. If you are not at least functionally adept in wielding a “sidearm” weapon in the non-dominant hand, you have no business carrying that weapon. Assuming the hand works normally, of course.

    (Yes, I can.)

    And “homeowner” (or “tenant”) doesnt mean you get to leave untrained mutts running loose to bite folks who “whoops” the address with no hostile action or intent. That is just begging for a dramatic childhood lesson of “don’t be a neglectful dog person”.

    This story can be a “both were dumbasses”, easily. I am very much persuaded “both”.