All charges against Baltimore, Maryland police officer Thomas Schmidt, who was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after pinning the dog to the ground while Officer Jeffrey Bolger slit its throat, have been dropped.
Schmidt, who was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty stemming from the incident, was fortunate to find that all charges against him have been dropped. Bolger is expected to go to trial in August, but the defense is ready for it.
A medical examiner hired by the defense is expected to testify that the dog had strangled itself with the pole Schmidt was holding, and was already dead when Bolger chose to slit the animal’s throat.
The dog, Nala, was a 7-year-old shar-pei who had escaped from her yard earlier that morning. Sandra Gossard, the dog’s owner, was frantically searching for her pet when nearby Sandy Fleischer found Nala.
Nala nipped Fleischer, who accepted blame for the bite. “The dog was more scared of not knowing where it was and being thirsty and disoriented. The dog bit me out of fear because I tried to touch it, which was my fault,” she told 11 News.
Officers responded to a call about the bite, but Fleischer says their cruelty was readily apparent as Schmidt and Bolger roughly used sticks to try to contain the docile dog.
“You could hear the dog screaming and crying in pain,” Fleischer said. “I did see one officer that had been extremely aggressive that did have his knee into her chest that was tightening the noose. It seemed (they were doing it) relentlessly and unnecessarily.”
But Fleischer did not see the rest, as she had been placed in an ambulance. According to police, the dog was contained with the pole — but Bolger went above and beyond the call of duty by slicing the poor animal’s throat.
This act was so reprehensible, it became an extremely rare instance in which Bolger was publicly condemned by his superiors.
“Unfortunately, at some point after the dog was contained, one of our officers used a knife and cut the dog’s throat. This is outrageous and an unacceptable breach of our protocol,” Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere remarked on the incident.
Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said:
We have no words to describe this. To say that we are appalled at the allegations, I think, is an understatement.
“She was just the sweetest dog and would never hurt anyone. She was just scared that day, and through all of those events — being scared and lost, thirsty, hungry — yes I’m very sure that she bit someone, but the actions after that were not OK,” Gossard said of the day her dog was executed.
This dog had a collar around its neck with tags, with my phone number. It’s not OK.
“I don’t want him to have his job, I don’t want him to be able to go out on calls and react like that to a person, to a dog, to anything. That’s not OK, that’s not OK,” Gossard said.
Schmidt retired in September, and will not be returning to duty. Bolger’s attorneys expect that charges will be dropped against him, as well.
h/t: Free Thought Project