Baltimore police officer Jeffrey Bolger slit a dogs throat while the animal was already restrained, and is walking free of conviction of any crime.
Bolger was facing counts of animal cruelty, mutilating an animal, and misconduct in office after slaying Nala, a 7-year-old Sharp-Pei, in June of last year. However, Bolger was recently acquitted of all three charges. His partner Thomas Schmidt, also involved in the incident, was absolved from multiple charges earlier this year as well.
Last summer Nala escaped from her home in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Sarah Gossard, Nala’s owner, said Nala got through a backyard gate that she wasn’t aware had been left open. Nala wandered into an adjacent neighborhood where Sandy Fleischer, a passerby, tried to stop the dog so she could help find her home. Nala bit Fleischer, and she called the police. Officers from the Southeastern district of Baltimore responded to corral Nala into a vacant parking lot.
The police requested additional support in catching Nala, and the Emergency Services Unit was subsequently summoned. According to the charging documents, Emergency Service officers Schmidt and Bolger responded to the scene.
As Bolger exited the police truck, witnesses claim he asserted in a murderous tone, “I’m going to (expletive) gut this thing.”
Schmidt and Bolger restrained the dog with a dog-control pole. Fleischer, reported that the intensity of restraint used against Nala was unnecessary and torturous. “The dog was crying in pain.”
While Nala was restrained and face-down, Bolger slit her throat.
Some witnesses claim that Bolger and Schmidt acted in a fit of violent aggression. But their lawyers along with the ruling judge maintain that both officers were acting “according to police protocol,” and that Nala was “already dead” when they cut the dogs throat—which begs the question, why would someone slit the throat of an already dead animal? Witnesses also claim they heard Nala whimper shortly after Bolger cut her throat.
As for Nala’s owner Sarah, she is saddened and frustrated by the verdict. She believes that Nala was unjustly murdered.
“Any outcome would not have brought her back. So it’s over with and I have to just grieve it now and move on.”
In lieu of other recent events in which the law has been seemingly exempt from facing the consequences of violent and murderous actions toward the innocent, the case of Nala the Shar-Pei raises additional concern for how the police can seemingly skate by without repercussions when acting disturbingly out of line. In the courtroom, Nala was rendered as a threat to officers Bolger and Schmidt. Under this view, the two policemen were acting in mere accordance with the law and were fulfilling their duty by defending themselves and others against Nala.
However, there seems to be a mix up when discerning the threat versus the threatened, the powerful versus the disempowered.
A restrained dog held face down versus two armed men? You decide which party sounds like the greater threat.