The hundreds of pet dogs that get unnecessarily blasted by police each year, sometimes that many in just one city annually, are no accident. Devastated pet owners wonder why there isn’t training in place to deal with “animal encounters” – as though if only the police understood more they could be equipped to deal with the situation.
Hogwash. One could readily suspect that there is likely training in place ordering cops to kill the animals first – no questions asked. Ever. Then the complaints can be only ostensibly dealt with in the law enforcement version of a customer service ticket.
The tiresome claim is that they “felt threatened.” If so, then how can this be a recently burgeoning trend? A trend that is upheld even though exactly zero cops have died by jaws of domesticated pooches.
So why would a beloved parakeet named Tito need to die under a cop’s jackboot?
A situation propagated by NYPD police escalated to violent levels for Evelyn Lugo’s family on September 2, 2012 – an event that is now the center of a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court. Evelyn is pictured above. Despite the focus of the title, this unnecessary event is all around tragic for its violence and destruction towards an innocent family.
The Staten Island mom of 10 recounts the Labor Day barbecue gathering among some of her grown children. Lugo’s son Edwin Avellanet, age 26, was taking garbage out when cops did a ‘stop-and-question’ about an orange cone nearby to reserve a parking spot for family members. They demanded to see identification and he refused saying he had done nothing wrong. A cop grabbed him by the arm but he retracted his arm and went into the house.
City cops busted several windows. When Lugo opened the door to see what was happening, cops barged into her home, busting the door – no warrant of course – and beat up her family and their friends, using batons on the victims’ faces. Grandchildren were among the victims traumatized by the pepper spray used in the St. George home. A daughter allegedly had an asthma attack from the plume. The pet parakeet was ejected from its cage after commotion from the cops knocked it off a dresser.
Lugo’s daughter, Anna Febles, says she screamed “The bird!” when the officer said “F— the bird” and stepped on it, killing it.
They threw me like a piece of garbage on the floor.
Apparently not enough destruction and chaos, backup cops arrived to barge in and look for Avellanet. As per the usual MO, the victims were arrested and initially faced criminal charges. Then those charges were dropped but there has been no retribution for the family, nor disciplinary action towards the cops involved.
Evelyn reports being sick, depressed and heartbroken since the incident.
Their attorney, Jason Leventhal, helping them in the suit alleging unlawful search and seizure, excessive force and malicious prosecution, said:
It was completely uncalled for. There was no excuse for going into the house without a warrant.
The whole story is head-twirling and it’s pretty shocking to read about a parakeet crudely crunched to death for no reason by law enforcement – but this writer thinks Evelyn pulls it all into perspective when she says:
They (the cops) don’t care about us as humans, they’re going to care about the bird?