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The fatal shooting of a dog during a February SWAT team raid in Columbia, Missouri, has prompted the police department to change its policies, Chief Ken Burton said at a news conference Thursday.


You might guess he was talking about the department's dog-shooting policy, which, judging from this video, seems to be shoot first, shoot some more, and ask questions later.

But no. After killing a family's pit bull, wounding their Welsh corgi, and terrorizing the suspect's wife and child - in a bust that netted a mere palmful of marijuana - the police department has revamped department policy so that there won't be lags between the time they obtain a search warrant and the time they, stormtrooper style, bust into homes.
Burton said the department moved slowly in Whitworth's case because the SWAT team is made up of part-time members who hold other jobs within the department.

The fact that officer killed one of the suspect's dogs, intentionally, and wounded another, accidentally - while the incident is still being investigated internally - seems, to him, of little import.
Burton said the pit bull was acting aggressively, and he defended the actions of the officers involved, according to The Missourian.
The suspect, Jonathan Whitworth, pleaded guilty on April 20 to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was fined $300.

Subsequently, the police video was released and found its way onto YouTube, prompting a surge of protests from animal activists.
"We're getting death threats from literally all over the world," Burton said.
 
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