“Hells Angels get $990 K for dead dogs”

Rottweilers can be expensive dept.: “A California county will pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club after police shot and killed three guard dogs during raids of the group’s headquarters and suspected members’ homes.” Santa Clara County supervisors okayed the $990,000 settlement “two months after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the county’s arguments that sheriff’s deputies should be immune from liability in the case.” The city of San Jose has refused to settle and may go to trial as a defendant. “Lower court judges ruled that actions of the deputies and San Jose police officers during the January 1998 were unreasonable, most of the evidence obtained was unnecessary and the officers did nothing to avoid killing the animals. A lawyer for club members says a lot of property was destroyed in the raids and some evidence was kept for more than a year.” (AP/CNN, Feb. 7). “Although they had a week to plan for the raids and knew of the existence of guard dogs, including a Rottweiler, the San Jose police officers failed to do anything to find a non-lethal way of incapacitating the animals, the courts said.” (Barry Witt, “Hells Angels win nearly $1 million from Santa Clara County”, San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 6). More than half the settlement, $530,000, will go to the lawyers representing the club, with the remaining $460,000 to be divided up among victims of the raid.

11 Comments

  • In this instance I’m on the side of the Angels. (No pun intended.) The killing of the dogs was unnecessary and unecessarily cruel. You can say that they were guard dogs, but let’s not forget that they were also someone’s PETS.

    The real question here is just how necessary the raids – with their attendant purile Boys-Own-Adventure “Dynamic Entry” SWAT procedures – really were. Might not been better to show up in less dramatic fashion, warrant in hand, and simply knock politely at the front door, ala in a fashion one might expect in a 1950’s era visit? Perhaps yes is the answer, although I suspect the law ‘n order types among the readership might accuse me of living in the past.

    I maintain here that the police forces have become far too militarized for both their and their employer’s – meaning us the citizens and ratepayers – own good. This court settlement is a more than tacit admission of that notion, althought I wouldn’t hold my breath with regards to any true department policy changes or an elimination of a SWAT/Thin-Blue-Line mindset.

    Where’s Sheriff Andy when we need him?

  • something wrong with a society that cares more about animals than people..

  • Who said this is a society that cares more about animals than people?

    There’s something wrong with a society that doesn’t care about animals!

    Why didn’t the SWAT team use sniper-tranquilizer guns? I support the Angels here too. I don’t like the common lottery lawsuits but this wasn’t someone getting offended, superficially wounded, or wronged. This was about a police agency breaking the law and committing animal cruelty on pets!

    Aren’t people prosecuted as police officers when they kill police dogs? I hope there are no K9 officers out there who don’t look at this story and favor the Angels.

  • In an emergency situation, shooting the dogs is what you do. That is understandable.

    Planning a raid for a week (or even a few hours) is NOT an “emergency situation”.

    10 years ago, I would have given the police the benefit of the doubt, no question. Not anymore, and I’m not alone. The police should think about why that is.

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    The Hells Angels won $990,000 in a settlement with a California county after police officers shot and killed three guard dogs in a raid on the group’s headquarters. (Via Overlawyered)….

  • I am a 50 year old white female. Yesterday I had an encounter with a local police officer regarding speeding in my vehicle, I was going 45 in a 30 mph zone. My encounter lasted almost 1 hour over this incident. The officer was demanding, condescending, and obnoxious. He had a blonde trainee in the front seat of his cruiser and I can only guess his objective must have been to impress her. She got excellent training from him I’m sure. The longer I live the more I understand why the police are so disliked today. They’re was no reason for this officer to act the way he did towards me, I’ve never broken a law in my life, (until now) and have no criminal past. Many time, police get back from the public what they give out. It is too bad, I grew up in the era where the police were the good guys and they were respectful. Police seem to all want to be like those forceful superstars on TV. A traffic ticket took 1 hour and tons of macho verbal crap to resolve. Nonsense.

  • San Jose would be short 5 officers if that was my dogs they shot. I would have slaughtered those pigs in rage.

  • I stand behind what BadBoy posted. San Jose WOULD be short 5 officers if they shot my dog(s) or any of my pets.

  • I AM MAD AT THE POLICES WHO SHOT AND KILLED THE ROTTWIELERS AND I AM VERY UPSET WITH THIS AND MY DOG IS 4 YRS OLD FEMALE ROTTWIELER AND IS WONDERFUL ANIMAL AS MY BABY FAMILY BUT WHAT ABOUT THE POLICES DIDNT KILLS THIER OWN DAMN DOGS AND I HOPE THAT COPS LERANS A LESSON TO LEAVE THE DOGA ALONE SO ARE U, PEOPLE ARGREES WITH ME HUH HUH HUH , LONG LOVE BROTHER RUSTY

  • how can police be so cruel and uncaring? If they do that to a dog with no remorse or sorrow, God help us all.Next could be an actual “human” that growls at them.The dogs were pets and they had the right to guard their masters and their home.Shame on these “cops”; their conduct was despicable.What if it was their dog??WOULD THEY SHOOT THEM TOO?I’m the sister of a NYC cop and even he thinks this was a planned massacre with no reason except cruelty. SHAME ON YOU “COPS”, YOU A JUST BLOODTHIRSTY, AND A DISGRACE TO YOUR UNIFORM.

  • I can`t believe this case. I`m a 28years old german mp ssgt, it`s my 9th year on duty. I remeer your police forces usaually as well trained, but after these report, I don`t believe anymore.

    I want to say, that it isn`t a prof way to shoot dogs, exspecially when planning the task of police forces one whole week.

    I`m a civil dog handler myself, keeping a staffordshire terrier and an american bulldog puppy, and you can bet on it, nobody would be able to shot at something, after shooting my dogs.