February 8, 2012 Comments Off

The Rosie Case is Headed to Superior Court

Posted in Cruelty Cases

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Rosie was shot to death by Des Moines police

JOIN US – Speak up for Rosie!
March 9th
Meet us in front of the courthouse at 11:45 – 12:45pm for a peaceful vigil.  The case will be heard at 1pm.
Snohomish County Superior Court
3000 Rockefeller
Everett, WA

On November 7, 2010, Rosie the Newfoundland was shot and killed by officers from the Des Moines Police Department. Pasado’s Safe Haven has followed this case for 16 months, supporting Rosie’s owners, the Wrights, as they navigated the legal process seeking justice for their beloved dog. On January 31, 2012, Attorney Adam Karp filed an appellant brief, taking Rosie’s case to the Snohomish Superior Court.

While the pursuit of this case has taken many months, it is always important to take a stand against cruelty. Rosie’s death did not have to happen, but ensuring that those who killed her will face the consequences of their actions can ensure that another beloved companion does not have to suffer a similar fate.

Pasado’s Safe Haven is following this case to the Superior Court, where it will be heard at the highest level of the U.S. justice system. In an appellant opening brief for Case No. 11-2-08932-9 filed on January 31, Attorney Adam Karp outlined this case, providing a timeline and illuminating key discrepancies between actual footage and witnesses to the incident and statements made by the officers. Karp notes many troubling discrepancies in this case. These discrepancies include, but are not limited to, inaccurately describing Rosie as “at-large;” expressing intent to kill Rosie within minutes of seeing the dog, who was in her own yard at the time; ignoring eyewitness testimony that contradicted statements that called Rosie “aggressive;” and not following the American Veterinary Medical Association protocol for euthanasia by gunshot.

Rosie was shot to death in her hometown of Des Moines, WA, by the police who were hired to keep her city safe.

The timeline of Rosie’s death and the Wrights’ ensuing case is long, but it shows the steps that have been necessary to bring this case to justice:

Nov. 7, 2010: Police officer (MPO) Graddon executes Rosie at the direction of Sergeant Wieland, in the city limits of Des Moines.

Feb. 11, 2011: Mr. Wright, through attorney Adam Karp, submits a petition to Des Moines Municipal Court (“DMMC”) seeking permission to file municipal criminal charges against MPO Graddon and Sergeant Wieland.

Feb. 17, 2011: Mr. Karp submits supplemental material supporting the petition, including an alarm registration application dated Apr. 30, 2010.

Feb. 28, 2011: DMMC Judge Alicea-Galvan recuses herself and signs an order changing venue to King County District Court (“KCDC”) Chief Judge Barbara Linde for assignment within that court.

Mar. 3, 2011: DMMC delivers the file to KCDC.

Mar. 16, 2011: Mr. Karp faxes and emails a letter to Judge Linde and Mr. Kaser noting his intent to initiate both a municipal and state criminal complaint.

Mar. 17, 2011: Judge Linde enters orders disqualifying the entire KCDC bench and changes venue to Pierce County District Court (“PCDC”).

Mar. 24, 2011: Mr. Karp emails amended Affidavits of Complaining Witness to PCDC Criminal Clerk Jennifer Steele.

Mar. 25, 2011: Ms. Steele responds that no judge in PCDC will hear the case, and will return the matter to King County.

Apr. 15, 2011: Ms. Steele confirms that a judge signed an order returning venue to King County in March, but no case number was assigned.

Apr. 27, 2011: Judge Linde orders a change of venue to Snohomish County District Court (“SCDC”).

Aug. 2, 2011: The parties argue the City’s motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss before Judge Tam Bui. She takes the matter under advisement.

Sept. 19, 2011: Judge Bui rejects the City’s procedural and constitutional arguments in their entirety, including that CrRLJ 2.1(c) is unconstitutional facially and as applied, but dismisses the petition, finding no probable cause.

Oct. 14, 2011: Mr. Wright files and serves this RALJ appeal and the Designation of Clerk’s Papers.

Representatives from Pasado’s were in attendance at the vigil to honor Rosie

In his brief, Mr. Karp stated, “Any reasonable person, including one trained in law enforcement or criminal law, would have no difficulty finding probable cause to believe a crime occurred when, by the officers’ own reports, Rosie was not attacking, charging, barking, growling, baring her teeth, or foaming at the mouth when they executed her as she sat, over 20’ away, silently staring, immobile, four times with an assault rifle. Watching the dash-cams also confirms that a full half-hour before, the officers made the decision to kill her (even before she took flight from the Wrights’ driveway after being Tasered twice). And the moment of the shooting itself reveals that the officers enjoyed playing with their new toy – discharging an M4 assault rifle in a residential neighborhood (imprecisely, one must add, thus adding to unnecessary pain and suffering) followed by the blithe exclamation, ‘Nice!’ and gladhanding-type behavior becoming to adolescents.” The witness statement of Bryan Burnett noted that the officers ‘kinda congratulated [Graddon] oh you know they were pattin him on the back like good kill, good shot.’”

In his brief, Mr. Karp continues, “The in-car video of unit 545 does not show what happened in the final minutes of Rosie’s life, the only ones that matter from a standpoint of assessing criminal misconduct. That said, this video hardly exculpates. Rather, it memorializes the callous, disrespectful, and malicious way in which these adrenalin-pumped officers chose to manage a low-priority situation. A refresher for the court from this dashcam:

Karp notes, “The officer surmised correctly that Rosie lived on the property where they found her and from which they sent her fleeing by Taser. Only a few minutes after arrival, an officer expresses his intent to kill Rosie in her own yard. Even while fumbling with the catchpole, not one officer has a clue what they will do with Rosie once ensnared, yet they persist in their futile efforts, refusing to reflect on the consequences of their actions except to just kill her. (‘Once we get him, what are we gonna do with him?’); (‘I say we just shoot him, kill him. He’s gonna fight like an [expletive] once he’s Tased; I can try to choke him out’).

Karp addresses numerous important discrepancies between the police officers’ statements and actual evidence from Rosie’s shooting. “Prior to discharging the Taser, Rosie is not at-large,” Karp states in his brief. “She only becomes at-large after the officers terrorize her by electrocution and trespass. After she runs, Graddon says, ‘I’ll shoot him. Let’s just go shoot him.’”

Karp continues, “The City claimed no witness or evidence contradicts the account of Rosie ‘foaming at the mouth.’ Importantly, this allegation is not contained in any of the narrative reports of Graddon, the shooter, which only claim she was ‘barking and showing [her] teeth,’ a comment made at the time he encroached onto the Wrights’ property, not at the time he shot her four times. Only his unsworn Use of Force report claims foaming, and then only while on the Wrights’ property – a full half hour before she was gunned down in Ms. Perry’s brambled back yard. Relevantly, not one officer alleges that Rosie charged, barked, growled, bore her teeth, or foamed at the mouth from the moment she ran from the Wrights’ property to the moment they executed her. Indeed, Officer Shields notes, upon arriving at the Perry residence, ‘The dog watched us and did not move.’”

Karp notes that the Des Moines Police Officers who shot Rosie violated the very laws that they were hired to uphold, namely:

DMMC 9.16.030 makes it a misdemeanor to willfully and without authority in law kill or wound an animal:

DMMC 9.16.030 Wounding or trapping of animals.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to willfully and without authority in law kill, wound, or trap an animal or bird, or remove or destroy the young of the animal or the egg of the bird, except this section shall not apply to insect, pest, and rodent control.

(2) A violation of or failure to comply with this section is a misdemeanor.

“Without dispute, Graddon and Wieland willfully caused Rosie to become wounded and die. Whether they did so with ‘authority in law’ invites further discussion below,” Karp stated.

DMMC 9.16.010 also incorporates by reference RCW 16.52.207. Under Washington State law, animal cruelty in the second degree is codified, in relevant part, as follows:

(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.

Karp refers to RCW 16.52.207(2005), stating, “Graddon violated subsection by ‘knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence’ inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal. ‘Pain’ has been defined as ‘a state of physical or mental lack of well-being or physical or mental uneasiness that ranges from mild discomfort or dull distress to acute often unbearable agony.’ Wieland, in giving the order to repeatedly shoot Rosie, has accomplice criminal liability. Beyond any reasonable doubt, this incident, blast upon blast, caused escalating, unnecessary pain and suffering to Rosie. As to whether they inflicted this pain and suffering lawfully or without necessity, the analysis that follows negates any attempted justification.”

Pasado’s will continue to be there in support of the Wright family and to be a voice for Rosie. Please join us in this fight for justice: Rosie did not have to die, but we can fight to ensure that she did not die in vain. Having a police badge should not exonerate these officers of the law from following the very laws that they were hired to uphold.

We do not know the location yet, but please visit back at the website for updates and for further information.

If you would like to help Pasado’s follow and report on important cases like Rosie’s, please consider making a donation today. Thanks to the support of readers like you, Pasado’s can continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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