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Couple sues BPD officer for shooting their dog to death in aftermath of quadruple shooting in 2018

A couple who live on Fayston Street have sued both the city and the BPD officer they say shot their pet without provocation on July 4, 2018.

In a suit originally filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Shirley and Sean Goode allege the officer, Daniel Smith, deprived them of their property - their dog Chyna - and without due process - as required by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and that the shooting caused them emotional distress.

The Goodes filed their Suffolk suit on July 2, although the city, which had the case transferred to federal court this week, said it was not formally served until Sept. 2.

In their complaint, the Goodes allege what happened around 10:30 that night, after Smith pulled up to the intersection of Fayston and Dunkeld streets, parking across from the Goodes' home:

While Officer Smith was outside his police cruiser at the corner of Dunkeld Street and Fayston Street, Plaintiffs dog (hereinafter "Chyna") wondered [sic] out the front door and out the front gate for the property located at 73 Fayston Street.

When Chyna wondered outside of the front door of the 73 Fayston Street property, Shirely began saying "Chyna come here girl" while other people were also calling Chyna's name.

After Chyna wondered out the front gate, Chyna then wondered in the direction of Officer Smith and other police officers.

When Chyna was within a few feet of Officer Smith, Chyna stopped in front of Officer Smith and was wagging her hair.

Prior to and without attempting any non-lethal actions to secure Chyna, Officer Smith unjustifiably shot Chyna three times with his department issued firearm.

Chyna died as a result of the being shot by Officer Smith.

The reason Smith and other officers were at that location was because around 6:30 that evening, four people were shot, one critically, during a fight outside a kiddie bounce house that had been set up on Fayston Street.

The Goodes say Chyna had never been aggressive, let alone labeled a "dangerous dog" by the city.

In addition to the federal claims, the Goodes charge that Smith's alleged actions violated state law, because he "owed a duty of care to plaintiffs to not unreasonably destroy Plaintiffs' property by shooting and killing Plaintiff's pet dog" and because he violated a Boston Police rule on discharging firearms.

After watching her pet be killed, Shirley Goode now has to receive mental-health treatment for the "emotional distress" that caused, the complaint charges.

The Goodes are seeking damages, to be doubled or tripled, as well as court costs and attorney's fees.

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Comments

I hope they win.

Also, why is "emotional distress" in quotes? I would need help if cops shot either of my dogs.

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62

Direct quote?

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Their lawyer really needs to invest in Grammarly software.

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57

Unscrupulous lawyer is just soaking some dopes. Why waste his money on grammar?

He’s wagging his hair all the way to the bank.

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a pitbull? Yes, I think that matters.

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My guess no because it did not have the breed listed first. Pitbulls get mentioned over and over when it is a pitbull at fault.

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My guess yes because the court filing doesn't disclose the breed. When people file lawsuits, they only list details that help their case and leave out whatever hurts their case.

If Chyna wasn't a pit, rottie, or german shepherd, the plaintiff would have led with that. Instead they left the breed out.

This sounds hard to believe, a dog wagging its tail like a good doggy looking for a treat gets shot 3 times?

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I don't find it hard to believe, because it happens all the time.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/cops-shooting-dogs-police-vi...

It's sickening.

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We had to call the police once and I was shut in a room with my two dogs (one a "pitbull" type dog) and I did not want them killing him. The cops did not come in the room but they were in the rest of the apartment. All was well with the dogs.

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When Chyna was within a few feet of Officer Smith, Chyna stopped in front of Officer Smith and was wagging her hair.

I'm sure that hair was very scary.

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I've never heard of wagging hair. And I'd still like to see the response.

Have you ever met cops?

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Many.

This sounds very damning, but I'd be curious to hear the other side of this.

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Will come out eventually when the city, or more specifically the officer (since the city will likely move to have itself dropped from the suit), responds. But that could take awhile.

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the city's defense covered here when/if this goes to trial. Will BPD try to adapt the standard playbook to new circumstances? The dog was moving suspiciously while clutching at its waist, was a known collaborator of other dogs in the canine gang database, and barked twice rather than answering the officer's verbal request for identification. Really he had no choice,

Much more likely BPD punts on liability, claiming it was the actions of one person acting under duress... and then we get a qualified immunity defense from the actual dog-shooter. Because as long as you're wearing a uniform, you can just wander around shooting at things, and not only won't you face criminal charges, but whatever you hit (or its survivors) can't sue you for it.