By Davy V.
For the second time in just over three weeks, an innocent family pet has been shot by police in Upstate, New York.
This time it was at the hands of Gates, N.Y. Police department and officer James Coughlin.
Around 10:00 a.m. on Monday June 25, 2012, Jerome Johnson was in his home on Crestwood Blvd. in the Town of Gates, a suburb just outside Rochester, N.Y. when he heard “Chino”, his 3 year old American Bull Mastiff barking.
As Jerome’s son Jerome Jr., went out to check on the family’s dog, who was in the yard, Jerome Johnson and his wife heard what he described as a loud “Pow!” sound.
Jerome Johnson and his wife ran outside to find Gates N.Y Police officer James Coughlin with his gun in his hand and their beautiful dog “Chino” laying in a pool of his own blood with a gunshot wound to his left side.
When Jerome Johnson asked Gates, N.Y. police officer James Coughlin why he had just shot their dog, Coughlin replied “We don’t pepper spray, we shoot if we feel threatened.”
At this time Gates, N.Y. Police Sgt. Anthony S. Perry arrived at the scene. As Jerome Johnson and his wife who were consoling their son after he had just witnessed “Chino” being shot in front of him, Sgt. Perry told the family “I’ve shot 12 dogs before, it is what it is.” and smirked.
The family then rushed their pet to a local emergency animal hospital where Chino was put down as a result of his injuries. Jerome Johnson said “It was very hard to be there with him when they gave him the first shot and my son and all of us were crying.”
Jerome Johnson told me that a neighbor who recently moved on his street and doesn’t like the family, called 911 and falsely reported that “Chino” was running lose, when the truth was that he was on his own property, in his yard.
I called the Gates, N.Y. Police department, and a Gates Police officer that answered the phone refused to speak about the incident. I was transferred to a Lieutenant’s voicemail.
This is the second time in just over three weeks that Monroe County, N.Y. law enforcement has shot an innocent family dog on their own property.
On June 1, 2012, “Diablo”, a beautiful 7 year old blue pitbull was executed on his own property by Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff’s deputies Sean LeClair and Matt Clancy in Penfield, N.Y. another suburb of Rochester. Both deputies shot at least 4 rounds with at least one of those shots going through the home’s garage door, ricocheting off the cement floor, going through a window and nearly missing a home next door.
Perhaps, one of the most disturbing things is that it appears that “Diablo” was shot in the back of his head, which would indicate that he was retreating, and not “charging” at deputies as Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn stated.
At first, Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn said that his deputies were
responding to a call of a house party at the Whitney Rd. home of Gary Brockler, “Diablo’s” owner. Less than 48 hours later, O’Flynn changed his story, saying that deputies Sean LeClair and Matt Clancy were responding to the residence for a vehicle that was parked illegally in front of the home.
Less than 2 weeks later, Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn announced that his deputies were justified in their execution of an innocent dog.
After speaking with Jerome Johnson, “Chino’s” owner, who had called me Tuesday night to tell me that a neighbor who lives across the street from him told him that he witnessed the entire incident, I went out to meet with “Tony”, the neighbor, and just got back.
Out of fear of retaliation by the Gates, N.Y. Police, Tony asked me not to use his last name.
Tony was on his way to work around 9:00 a.m. Monday morning and as he was backing his car out of his driveway, he saw Gates, N.Y. Police officer James Coughlin pull his cruiser up to the Johnson residence at the corner of Colwick Rd. and Crestwood Blvd.
When Tony came to the stop sign, he saw officer Coughlin, step out of his police cruiser, then Tony says he saw officer Coughlin look around as if to see if anyone was looking, then he drew his gun from his holster.
As we stood in what Tony said was the exact same spot where Gates, N.Y. Police officer James Coughlin stood, Tony did a re-creation for me of officer Coughlin’s steps.
“Before he did it, I knew what was gonna happen.” said Tony, in describing the way that officer Coughlin got out of his vehicle, quickly looked around, then shot “Chino.” As Tony repeatedly traced officer Coughlin’s steps for me he said “He committed a criminal act, that’s what he did, he used the law in an unlawful way, he was no better because he had a uniform on, what I saw was a criminal.”
Tony, who told me respects police, and members of law enforcement, told me that specifically because he respects police is why what he saw still haunts him. “This was not random, this officer had intent, he had bad intentions.”
As we walked back to Tony’s house, again referring to Gates Police officer James Coughlin, he said “I don’t want that man around my kids.”
Almost a week after Gates, N.Y. Police officer James Coughlin shot “Chino” and Gates, N.Y. Police Sergeant Anthony S. Perry bragged: “I’ve shot 12 dogs, it is what it is.”, Rochester’s local news media finally covered the story, and, as expected, put their corporate-run media spin on this injustice, and actually helped the Gates, N.Y. Police department continue their cover up into officer Coughlin’s shooting of an innocent dog.
Rochester’s Time Warner Cable YNN news reporter Seth Voorhees, who has a history of being unethical in having a clear bias in support of law enforcement, made sure to help the Gates. N.Y. Police justify the shooting of an innocent dog by saying that Chino was “aggressive”, and “charged at the officer.”
After 5 days of the Gates, N.Y. Police department having been flooded with calls from all of you who have been reading my blog, the Gates, N.Y. Police department decided to hold a news conference.
In calling the shooting of an innocent dog “Justified”, neither the Gates, N.Y. Police department, or YNN news channel’s Seth Voorhees, or any other news media outlets, made any mention whatsoever of “Tony” the eyewitness to the shooting, who clearly saw Gates, N.Y. Police officer James Coughlin get out of his car, look around, then shoot “Chino.”
The Gates, N.Y. Police department, and the Rochester news media also made no mention of Gates, N.Y. Police Sergeant’s comment “I’ve shot 12 dogs, it is what it is.”
Gates, N.Y. Police said there is video of the shooting but would not release the video. They only released a still photo which I have posted above. The still photo shows that Gates, N.Y. Police officer James Coughlin, pointing his gun at “Chino”, who does not appear to be “aggressive” or “charging at the officer” like Gates, N.Y. Police claim.
In fact, look at the photo above, look closely at “Chino’s” front legs, he actually appears to be sitting. “Chino’s” legs appear to be crossed, or at least at and angle, the way that dogs legs are when they are sitting!
Call Gates, N.Y. Police Chief David R.DiCaro and Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini and let them know how you feel about this injustice!
Gates, N.Y. Police Chief David R. DiCaro (585) 247-2262
Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini (585) 247-6100