Saturday, November 5th, I had to go to Wells Fargo Bank to conduct a bank transaction "I had just gone to get my dog treat from the bank teller, when a mean policeman harassed me. I have been so depressed since. I have travelled 32 states, and never been so sad. Dog lovers unite, and send a letter to the Fort Worth Police: 'Leave our Latte alone'" Latte SEE LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN AT END OF ARTICLE with my master. As always, when I go to the bank, I get excited, my tail starts wagging. Two blocks out, my mouth is watering. My bankers always give me a dog treat for bringing my master to the bank. I may be "little" but my name is well known in banking circles as little "Latte" a Shitzu who loves dog treats the tellers give me. I noticed that there was an "Occupy Wall Street" group demonstrating, and so after my master completed his bank transaction I walked out of the bank, tail wagging to hop in the car.
But first, my master wanted to take a photo of the demonstration.
In the middle of the photography a man in a wind breaker walked up and said: "I want to see your driver's license." to my master. Now, my master has run for U.S. Congress and Mayor, and he knows a lot of people, but this strange man was unfamiliar so he continued taking a photo of his friend. The angry stranger then took my master's arm and started pulling him. I heard my master say: "Who are you?" and the stranger raised his voice and said: "Come with me. I am going to arrest you if you don't come NOW." I got scared and stopped wagging my tail. My master said: "Can you identify yourself or show me a badge?" The angry man refused but kept putting pressure on my master.
My master said: "What is the problem, if you are an officer shouldn't you show some ID or a badge before you start pushing in on someone?"
The angry mansaid: "Is that your dog?" and pointed to me, Latte, the famous Shih Tzu dog, sitting quietly. My master said: "Yes." He said: "This dog has to be under your control at all times." I thought that was silly. I have been well trained and am always under my master's control...well...almost, except when the cat at home tries to get my food. In fact my job is to keep my master from walking in front of a car, sometimes he doesn't hear as well as I do. My master said: "She is sitting quietly, and is very well trained, and is absolutely under my control." He said: "Follow me, I am going to give you a citation." Well, as a Shiatsu of reputation, I was so humiliated. To think that anyone would treat my master that way. I wanted to lift a leg on that angry man's foot. And I would have too, but his shoes were so dirty. I don't think he had shined them in a month. I didn't want to waste my good stuff on his foot. Suddenly, I was in the middle of something, I didn't expect. Everyone in the banking community knows me and my master. He accompanies me everywhere.
A doggie question. Isn't a police officer supposed to identify himself or show a badge?
I am just dog, so forgive the question. But isn't an officer supposed to identify himself, or show a badge? When my master went to his patrol car and said: "Can you give me your name?" The man in the blue wind breaker refused. My master again said: "Listen, if you will, please show me a badge or identification."The angry man refused, and said, "If you wish to know my name, you will have to read it on the citation, and you can read it when you go to court as well." I was proud of my master when he took out his camera to take a photo of the angry man, and the angry man lunged at my master and threatened: "You are assaulting me, I can call that assault, and I can take you in for this." My master has never assaulted anyone, and fortunately 40 people were watching, and the angry man backed off and got back into his car, when he tried to regainhis composure.
Us dogs know an angry, frustrated man when we see one. I have some good dog advice. I would suggest that this officer, "V.D. Hopper" take a course or do some training in inter-social relationships. Because men like this can "loose it" and become a danger to themselves or other. I also publicly suggest that the Fort Worth Police Department, which I respect, review their procedures. If they don't, the city is at risk of problems. If this officer had been dealing with a young man or a hothead, there may have been violence, and it would have been stimulated by an unwise policeman, creating an UN-necessary problem. Anytime an officer loses his temper, he has lost. Any policeman with a gun, who can't show restraint and judgement, and looses his cool, is a danger to our citizenry. Over my master's banking and business career, he has hired and fired, trained, and worked with hundreds of people. The Saturday experience suggested that some of our officers need a bit more training, so that they can better serve our citizens. My Master has been called: "Mr. Fort Worth": Now, my master and I have been a friend of the last 5 mayors of Ft.Worth, (I helped my master run for Mayor one year), and he has been a friend of several of our police chiefs. When I helped my master run for Mayor, one of our positions was that the Fort Worth police should be paid, at least as much as their brothers in Dallas. Now as an observant dog, I would make one exception to that idea of my master's. In my opinion, this officer was either inexperienced, or frightened by the demonstration. But, it appeared to me that the people demonstrating, were just ordinary middle class people. I didn't notice any radical looking hippie types, most of them seemed like intelligent, normal citizens. The only difference is that I didn't come there to demonstrate, I was in the bank to get a dog treat while my master had to take care of banking business.
It is this type of over reaction, that puts a city in danger of violence. The Fort Worth Police, are by and large good people, a bit under paid, in my opinion, but the City or the Department should spend a bit more time in training them how to handle good citizens, and how to deal with stress.
Certainly, his action was technically incorrect. He should have identified himself, or been wearing a proper and full uniform. With a kind word and a smile he could have gotten far more accomplished. Certainly I would have put a leash, it it made the angry man feel better, but I always wear this bridle, that identifies me as my master's helper. We were in the bank, going to get in our car in a parking lot, and didn't expect to be accosted by someone with a gun and badge under his wind breaker.
The event certainly brought life to those who were demonstrating, and while I had formerly ignored the stories of police over-reaction, I now have a personal experience.
I was simply going to the bank, on a Saturday morning to take care of business, and didn't expect to see my master, be threatened by a police officer. In the meantime, I, famous dog Latte have the distinction of having a police record, (or at least I share that with my master). No, just kidding. He didn't really arrest me, but he yelled and pushed my master, and everyone out there saw it. We all kind of felt sorry for the angry man.
When a man looses his temper....he looses. That's it. Period.
As a dog, I have some advice for that police officer. "If you throw a rock into a crowd of dogs, the one who howls is the one you hit". The Ft. Worth Police Department officer Hopper, I.D. number 297 (or 2917, his writing is almost impossible to read) howled a bit, when the absurdity of what he was doing became apparent Saturday.
Now, here is my request. This has been hard on me. I have been one depressed Shiatsu puppy ever since that happened. I would like for you all to start a letter writing campaign to the Chief of Police, in Fort Worth. email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
"DEAR CHIEF JEFFERY HALSTEAD,
Please instruct your officers to take a deep breath and not harass little puppies (or their masters) who go to the bank to get dogie treats.Police have better things to do.
(or you can say, For Latte)