Stacy Fields and Ed Augustine filed a lawsuit late last month against the state of Maryland, Baltimore City Police Officer H781, unknown Baltimore City Police Officer, the mayor and Baltimore City Council for a sum of $450,000 plus attorney fees, Huffington Post reported September 4.
Stacy and Ed are the owners of Kincaid, the 3-year-old pit bull killed January 1 when Baltimore City Police Department officers chased a domestic disturbance suspect into the fenced in back yard where Kincaid was staying. Stacy owned Kincaid, who was a birthday gift from her brother, but her dog had been staying at her stepfather Ed's place.
The family thought they were doing everything right in protecting their family dog. Kincaid had a way to push through the back door to go into the fenced in yard for potty breaks. On the night of his death, Kincaid had gone onto the back porch and began barking when he heard the suspect hiding in the stairwell. Unfortunately, being a responsible dog owner didn't save Kincaid.
According to Huffington Post
"Court papers filed in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City at the end of August, Augustine said that he followed his dog onto the back porch and found that in "spite of the unusual stimuli around him, Kincaid's hair remained unruffled and his teeth concealed by his relaxed face." As one officer was arresting the suspect, the suit alleges, Augustine was in the process of securing Kincaid's harness and asking the second officer not to shoot."
The officers fired six rounds at Kincaid, striking his twice in the head and once in the body.
Police say the shooting was justified. That Kincaid lunged at the officers.
Ed Augustine tells a different story. Officer H781 was approaching Kincaid while the other officer was apprehending the suspect, demanding that Ed restrain his dog. Ed told the officer he was going to secure his dog, but as he was reaching towards Kincaid, the officer fired his weapon six times.
The unknown officer in the case then threatened arrest if Ed touched, petted or covered his slain dog. The unknown officer then congratulated Officer H781's marksmanship and on how quickly he got control over the dog.
Court papers filed say the two officers joked about Kincaid, while one of his owners (Ed) stood by and wasn't allowed near his dog during Kincaids last moments. The officers also told Ed his dog needed to be buried outside city limits, as per city ordinance.
Kincaid's family also wants Baltimore to enact legislation so no other innocent family dogs are killed by police. They want to stop officers from "routinely shooting and killing family pets without cause or provocation."
A paragraph in the court papers sum up not only this case, but the majority of cases where police kill the family dog
"Deliberately acted with an evil and rancorous motive influenced by hate, the purpose being to deliberately and willfully injure the Plantiffs, and at all times relevant hereto, acted deliberately with ill will, improper motive and actual malice."
It is my sincerely wish that this family gets every penny of the amount they're asking for in damages. Because all the training in the world won't stop bad officers from shooting the family dog just because they can get away with it.
The owner's of ever dog shot on its own property under similar conditions need to sue their respective cities for every penny they can. Because money is the only language that can end this madness.
Rest in peace, dear Kincaid. You were murdered in your own fenced-in yard for barking as your owner attempted to restrain you and get you back to safety. Then you were denied the simple act of being held by those who loved you as you died a painful death.
Kincaid has a Facebook page for those who wish to keep up with his story.