Support Richard Cook & Buddy! – a Portland cop killed his dog & then arrested him

From Portland Animal Defense League. Dec 9:

Support is still needed for Richard Cook to successfully challenge Multnomah County’s criminal mismanagement of his tragic case. Not only did Portland Police Officer, Aaron Dauchy, murder his loveable and well-known dog, Buddy, but Richard was subsequently arrested and charged with “Reckless Endangering, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Menacing and Disorderly Conduct in the second degree” while buddy lay dying on the ground. And while the Portland Police defend Officer Dauchy’s actions, scores of civilian witnesses that were on the scene that tragic day tell a much different story: Buddy was unnecessarily murdered and Richard Cook was the victim of egregious police misconduct.

Richard has decided to defend himself and the memory of Buddy by taking his case to trial. A trial date is expected to be announced in the coming days. Please stay tuned and continue to support Richard through this difficult time.

For more information on the Support Richard Cook & Buddy Campaign for Justice & Accountability, please visit www.supportrichardandbuddy.wordpress.com or contact solidaritywithrichardandbuddy@gmail.com.

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From Support Richard Cook & Buddy. Sept 10, 2011:

What the Oregonian Got Wrong: Racism, Richard Cook and Buddy – A Public Records Review

The Portland Police falsely reported that Buddy, Richard Cook’s companion Labrador Retriever Pit bull mix, bit a 2 year old child on November 02, 2011. Although that event never happened and was retracted in public records, the Portland police claimed it as “fact” and proof of his alleged aggressive nature in recent media reports to justify shooting and killing Buddy. This initial false claim was deployed to justify all subsequent excessive enforcement actions. It was only the beginning of everything that went wrong.

A review of the public records makes it clear that the Oregonian, without any attempt at factual corroboration or independent review, has joined with the Portland Police Bureau in a hasty effort to excuse a careless and excessive use of force against a harmless and beloved black Labrador retriever pit bull mix, Buddy, and his homeless guardian, Richard Cook. Both Buddy and Richard were welcome members of their community. Neither was dangerous. Buddy’s shooting and death on 8/24/2011 was unnecessary and tragic. This was not an incident that had to escalate. It was escalated by the Portland police officer’s own actions and his rejection of non-lethal alternatives.

Many people living and working in the area knew and interacted with both Buddy and Richard every day. There were no problems. Buddy was very well socialized living on the streets and got hundreds of pats and met many people every day. Neither Buddy nor Richard posed any threat to the community. That is why the incident has generated so much outrage. That is why attempts to place the blame on the defendants in this incident is so outrageous.

Summary based upon public records:

The false factual statements made by the Oregonian reflect prejudice, intolerance, and groundless fears: Fear on the part of the initial complainant; Fear on the part of the responding police; Intolerance of our homeless and their needs and finally blind animal breed prejudice. And, combining all of these faults, is a press that simply doesn’t care about independent fact checking and actual investigation before generating a report that continues to contribute to a tragedy, a miscarriage of justice in which a dog lost his life and an eccentric homeless African American is in jail on charges, held subject to an excessive and unaffordable $9000 bond. All this aggressive theater serves is to distract the public from another episode of police irresponsibility and excessive force.

Sources: The first 5 pages of the MCAS electronic records, MCAS electronic records part 1, relating to the December 20, 2010 incident are attached. I also have other records: all of the Notices of Infraction, Complaint 77662 and a later animal status report ordered January 10, 2011 that I will be happy to provide.

Facts:

There are only two complaints related to alleged bites that are listed related to Buddy in his entire life time (not just six months), despite years spent living rough/outside in uncertain circumstances on the streets.

Complaint 77662,the alleged bite to a 2 year old child: This reported incident on November 2, 2010 never happened. Critter Getter misreported and MCAS corrected its own records after receiving a report from Portland Police that no bite had occurred. If this incident was the source of the statement that “the dog had bitten in the past,” and that appears to be the case, the records provide clear documentation that the statement was false. The statement by the child’s parents that their child was “attacked by the dog” is belied by the absence of injury but does fit well with parental fear and upset about the “transient who habitually hangs out at that location.” The December 16, 2010 note recorded below was written by a citizen who works in the area and knew both Richard and Buddy. It confirms the facts of parental fear and over-reaction: “Apparently a complaint was made by a concerned parent, but according to a witness, and supported by a Bank of America security guard and the Portland Police officer called, Buddy had not broken the skin of the child…Buddy has never lived in a house, but he is a sweet and gentle dog who deserves to live. I work on Hawthorne (at Powells) and have given Buddy food and bones from time to time. I have never been the least bit concerned that his temperament was anything but nice. “

On December 16, six weeks after the incident, Richard Cook was cited by the county with Notice of Infraction 81138, Level 1, a nuisance infraction, issued usually because someone became scared.

Complaint 77672 (the skate boarder incident); this incident allegedly occurred on December 15, 2010 (although the Notice of Infraction 81139 incident date shows 11/15/10). Animal Control officers investigated on December 16. Neither the victim nor the owner was present when they arrived. Richard Cook had been arrested and the victim of the alleged bite had left. The animal control officer impounded Buddy based upon the claim that “the dog had bitten in the past.” That report is contradicted by the agency’s own records and a faxed police report. Even if a very minor bite occurred on December 15, the circumstances remain unknown/uncertain and there was no legal basis for impound. The follow up report, Complaint Number 77662/77672, dated December 18, 2010, notes incident Level 1 Behavior listing on its cover page only Richard Cook, and Karleigh Kelly as persons of interest. It references as evidence photos of injury to Karleigh Kelly. I was not provided the remaining pages of the 4 page report. The injury could reference a simple bite, a skateboard falI, or both a bite and skate board injury. The county issued a level 4 Notice of Infraction without an evaluation of the evidence in a hearing.

The claim by the Portland Police reported and echoed by the Oregonian that during a telephone call to county animal services “they learned that the pit bull had been trained as a fighting dog” is nowhere to be found in MCAS records. If it were fact it would be there. Nothing about Buddy’s demeanor, behavior or his management suggests he was a “fighting” pit bull. This is not fact, just part of a cynical exploitation of breed prejudice.

The June 02 incident when Mr. Cook was reminded that Buddy had to wear a muzzle at all times because of the previous two incidents is reported as evidence of Mr. Cook’s non-law abiding nature. But requiring a muzzle 24 hours a day is inhumane treatment.

These are the only recorded incidents of alleged misconduct by Buddy. They offer no factual support for the Oregonian headline that the “Dog shot has a history of aggression.” They do, however, clearly indicate that investigative journalism is a lost art. Buddy was not the dog The Oregonian described.

After the poorly handled bus incident that cost Buddy his life, and landed Richard Cook in jail as a scofflaw, the Portland Police immediately began an aggressive and familiar public relations campaign, their signature reaction to use of excessive force – smear the victims, look for any excuse that can be created, lobby a compliant media into falsely reporting that the police were “forced” to kill, Richard was an “undesirable” and Buddy – trained to fight – had bitten twice in a period of months. Worse still, The Oregonian has blindly bought into that mission.

In fact Buddy, despite living in the rough and always in public without a muzzle, had excelled in uncertain circumstances day after day. Buddy’s stable temperament was proven by his history; by the many people in the neighborhood who loved him and came forward with help and money to pay the unjustified impound fees.

Nowhere is there any interest evidenced in investigating Officer Aaron Dauchy’s background, record or conduct.

The Oregonian owes Buddy, Richard, and their neighbors a correction – not one that again simply echoes the police report of its “excessive force” review, — which so often is self justification masquerading as investigation — and not one that appears hidden in the 6 point “corrections box.” What are owed are a fair and actual report and a clear denunciation of the prejudices that drove the original article. Will the Oregonian provide that? The poor get short shrift from the media. They are most commonly treated and regarded as nuisances, pests, and liabilities.

It was once a sin to kill a mocking bird. It still is.

Author Information Available Upon Request at solidaritywithrichardandbuddy@gmail.com

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VIDEO:

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From Support Richard Cook & Buddy. Sept 10, 2011:

The Violent History of PDX Police Officer Aaron Dauchy

Aaaron Dauchy murdered Richard Cook’s dog, Buddy, on August 24th, 2011.  Aaron Dauchy was also the cop who pulled the hair of a 12-year-old girl at a MAX stop, prompting her to then resist. According to a March 4, 2010 article in the Portland Mercury (“DA Prosecutes 13-Year-Old Girl over Beanbag Shooting”), “use of force expert Stephen Yurger said he had watched the video, and saw no reason for Officer Dauchy to reach out to grab the defendant’s hair.”

It was only after being pulled by the hair, by a full grown male police officer, that she allegedly punched Officer Dauchy in the mouth. While cops routinely tell lies and it should not be assumed that the girl actually did hit Officer Dauchy, if she did she was probably justified. Nonetheless, the girl was convicted and sentenced to one year probation and 24 hours community service.

Officer Aaron Dauchy made the news again (“Jury awards $82,000 after woman is arrested when asking police for a business card,” The Oregonian, 4/14/2011) after he roughed up a passenger on a MAX train. But his role in this story is overshadowed by that of his partner, Officer Jim Sandvik, who struck a woman who had observed Officer Dauchy’s use of force and asked the officers to identify themselves. Officer Sandvik then twisted her arm and cuffed her. She was arrested and taken to jail, charged with interfering with an police officer, and, like many who go through the same thing, she was released early the next morning with no money, no phone, and no shoelaces.

The charges against her were dropped when Officer Sandvik failed to appear at her court date. She filed suit.

At the hearing for the lawsuit, Officer Sandvik testified that the woman was “screaming, angry and demanding — and had approached him from behind as he was trying to deal with four drunken men” (The Oregonian). Office Sandvik’s testimony, however, was contradicted by TriMet video and the testimony of Officer Paul Valdez, who testified that the woman “was polite and didn’t do anything that could be considered interfering with an officer” (The Oregonian).

At this point, it would probably be considered unprofessional journalism if I were to say that Officer Sandvik was obviously making up lies to protect himself and incriminate an innocent woman. It would probably also be uncouth at this point to compare Officer Sandvik to a sack of excrement. Instead, I’ll just mention that a jury found that the police had committed battery against the woman, that she was falsely arrested, and that she was maliciously prosecuted.
She was awarded $82,000 due to the actions of Portland Police officers Dauchy and Sandvik.

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