15 May 2008

They Shoot Dogs Don't They?

Last week, the NYPD gave the City Council nine years' worth of previously confidential detailed reports on the department's shooting incidents.

I know people were up in arms (read: disappointed due to ulterior intentions) that these long-sought-after Firearms Discharge Reports failed to reveal anything about the racial makeup of the people shot by New York's cops. There were, however, among all the statistics and analyses, detailed breakdowns of the breeds of dogs shot by cops! What the fuck?! We're shooting dogs now?

Standing on his fresh new 10 x 12 sopabox The Village Voice's Sean Gardiner conveniently highlights the fact that we now have detailed records of canine shooting victims but not the racial make up of the human targets and OF COURSE I understand his, albeit shamelessly pregnant, point but should we just glaze over the fact that cops shoot dogs like its nothing?! Is there not a story there too?! This is a total case of two people seeing a glass half empty or a glass half full.

The NYPD has always been very guarded with, and over last few years has clearly drawn a line in the sand when it comes to, divulging confidential information. Naturally some will argue what is confidential and what is not. NYPD Deputy Chief John Gerrish says that providing the stats on the age, race, and gender of each officer involved in a shooting as well as for the people who were shot is a waste of the NYPD's time and resources, because "no meaningful conclusions may be drawn from such information, since every firearms discharge must be judged in light of the unique circumstances in which it occurs, and any conclusion drawn from the purely demographic data involved is fatally flawed" and I agree with that 100% because it simply sounds like more of the same; people champing at the bit to manipulate OBJECTIVE statistics to bolster their own SUBJECTIVE fight.

That being said, and naturally for the sake of full blog disclosure!, I am an animal lover and more specifically a dog lover and even more precisely a pit bull fanatic and so maybe I am not as socially dismayed as I should be at this finding or lack thereof. It is very likely I'd step right over a guy dying from a gunshot wound to help a dog dying from a gunshot wound.

I'm not horrified we don't have the records of race for the cops and those they shot at; I'm fucking horrified that cops have apparently been shooting dogs like fish in a fucking oil drum!

No comments: