“On June 18, Katti Putnam answered her door to find her home surrounded by police and a tactical team,” the antimedia.org reports. “She was told they were looking for a fugitive, but as she was talking to them, an officer pointed out that they were at the wrong house. They had actually meant to raid the home next door. As Putnam walked to get her ID, she says she heard a loud popping noise.” You guessed it . . .
“I went inside to get my identification and I heard a pop…I looked out the door to the back yard and there was an officer with his arm raised and a gun in his hand. I immediately realized Clohe had gone outside.”
According to Putnam, [Department of Corrections officer Michael] Hughes fired another shot, which missed, at which point Putnam ran outside to put herself between the officer and her dog. Putnam recalls:
“I was yelling at him,…I said, ‘Why are you shooting my dog? What are you doing? You’re at the wrong house.”
Clohe, the elderly mutt who was already shot in the face, started to walk back inside, trailing blood behind her. Putnam’s partner, Erica Moreno, saw and cradled her.
Putnam’s neighbor, Jimmy Armstrong, who witnessed the entire event, stated in an affadavit that he saw Clohe enter the backyard. Armstrong stated the dog was not attacking or threatening any officer at any time.
He said: “[Hughes] shot Clohe for no reason at all.”
The most likely explanation: Officer Hughes was geared-up for battle, ready to rock and roll, hyped-up on adrenalin. Or worse. Of course, we’ll never know. Officer Hughes’ colleagues did not treat the shooting as a criminal offense. They didn’t interview the officer or administer a breathalyzer or drug test. Instead, the “tactical team” performed a strategic withdrawal: a simple RTB (Return To Base) to prepare for the raid on the right house.
Putnam also stated that they did not return to raid the “correct” house until a few hours later, which led her to question the urgency of the raid that left her dog missing part of her tongue and a canine tooth. Clohe had to have a bullet and fragments removed from her head and neck.
What’s it going to take to get judges to refuse to sign off on SWAT raids? OK, maybe the cops were looking for a dangerous felon. Still, it seems like they should’ve looked closer to home. [h/t SS]