An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was fired after shooting a boisterous Chihuahua in the jaw.
The officer, Keenan Wallace, was responding to a call involving a violent dog. According to HuffPost, Doug Canady, owner of the wounded pooch Reese’s, explained that the encounter began when a woman pointed a gun toward him and his dog. While she put the gun away without incident, she told Canady she’d be calling the police. When Canady returned from a trip to the gas station, he was met with Wallace at his doorstep. It was then he began recording the incident. Wallace then fired a shot into the defenseless little dog’s jaw. While Reese’s needed to receive immediate treatment for her shattered jaw, she was not killed by the gunshot.
The next day, Sheriff’s Deputy Keenan Wallace was stripped of his badge.
The response of the police department to the unnecessary shooting of the small dog was immediate.
“I hold my Deputies to the highest of standards to protect and serve the residents of our community. Unfortunately, a Deputy fell short to those standards,” wrote Sheriff Tim Ryals.
The response of police departments to the unjust shootings of Black people, however, is never immediate. The repercussions officers face when they kill and maim unarmed Black folks is not only slow but often nonexistent.
In 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department. He died a week after his arrest due to spinal injuries sustained while in police custody. It took two years to determine the six officers involved would not be prosecuted. This is not an abnormal response, as can be seen by protests that continue to erupt across the nation begging for a fairer justice system.
While Reese’s assailant was swiftly dealt with, many officers are only placed on paid leave when it comes to the deaths of innocent people. Many are not fired, and the majority are not convicted.
Though Wallace should have undoubtedly suffered the consequences from shooting the poor pup, the immediacy of those consequences is something many Black people aren’t often afforded. Justice is something that continues to evade us.