PuppycideDB's ongoing coverage of the killing of Kevin Davis and his dog Tooter by DeKalb County cop JR Pitts has been cited by international news organization RT. RT's American division published a hard hitting story reviewing the controversial decision by a Georgia grand jury to decline to prosecute Pitts, as well as four other Georgia police officers who had been indicted after they killed people in several different circumstances.
The shocking decision on the part of Georgia's grand jury flies in the face of an overwhelming trend among American grand juries to follow the recommendations of prosecutors - a trend that results in grand juries bringing indictments to trial over 99% of the time. Despite claims by some researchers that prosecutions of police officers are at record highs, members of law enforcement have managed to escape this trend. Over the last year multiple police officers who were videotaped killing unarmed civilians, including a case in which the victim was 12 year old Tamir Rice, escaped trial after grand juries found evidence that would almost insure not just charges but convictions unconvincing.
This reversal of fortune for police officers results in a comfortable position for prosecutors bringing indictments before these grand juries. When confronted by massive groups of protesters (who increasingly have become a significant political force even on the national scale after meeting with presidential nominee front-runners), prosecutors can blame the result on the grand jury. Meanwhile, prosecutors need not worry about the influence of police unions disrupting a future election or appointment when the result of grand jury proceedings is a known quantity.
In most cases, grand jury testimony remains secret in perpetuity. It is a painful irony that grand jury proceedings and the privacy mandates surrounding them, originally founded to protect the rights of citizens from tyranny in the form of star chamber-style kangaroo courts, have disintegrated to an institution that simultaneously rubber-stamps the investigation of civilians criminal defendants while shielding officers of the court from the rule of law.
Keep in mind that we aren't discussing convictions here - just trials. When the obstacles to bringing a police officer who kills an unarmed human being to trial are so high, it is difficult to remain optimistic about the possibility of reforming use of force toward dogs. Given the odds, advocates of such reform continue to bet against the house.