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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries: Brit puzzled by tale of two Idaho shootings

Reporter Paul Lewis of London’s Guardian newspaper called Huckleberries last week trying to figure out two police shootings within 14 hours last July in North Idaho. He was amazed at the community anger after the Coeur d’Alene police shooting of Craig Jones’ 2-year-old black Labrador, Arfee. And also by the lack of outrage over the Sandpoint police shooting of a troubled, pregnant woman the night before. I confirmed that Coeur d’Alene police received hate mail and even death threats following the Arfee shooting and pointed him toward CPD spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood. And the reaction to the killing of 35-year-old Jeanetta Riley in Sandpoint July 8? Not so much, I said. In a lengthy article Friday (“A tale of two killings: What happened when Idaho police shot a dog and a pregnant woman in one day”), Lewis bottom-lines: “The divergent reactions to the police killings of Riley, a mother of three, and Arfee, a Labrador-hound mix, speaks to a disturbing indifference to some human lives lost during encounters with police.” Lewis provides in-depth background about the two shootings. His report is worth Googling. Ilah for Legislature

Huckleberries: Kootenai GOP to discuss whether rights act has too much ‘religion’

The wacky Kootenai County Republicans are at it again. Last month, the Elephants were asked to approve a resolution requesting that Idaho be declared a “Christian state.” They shot that one down sans discussion but not before it gained national attention. On Tuesday, the local Pachyderms will discuss a draft resolution calling for Idaho to “subtract the words” from the Idaho Human Rights Act. Actually, the resolution wants one word subtracted from the act: “religion.” Although the language in the “whereases” is confusing, it appears that the unknown sponsor wants Christian business owners to be able to refuse service to LGBT individuals. The city of Coeur d’Alene has adopted an ordinance that makes such a refusal unlawful. Never a dull moment when the Elephant herd gathers. Remembering Rocky

Coeur d’Alene settles with owner of dog killed by officer

Eight months after a Coeur d’Alene police officer shot and killed a dog in a parked van, sparking criticism across the nation, the city has agreed to pay the dog’s owner $80,000. The settlement was approved Tuesday night in a unanimous vote of the City Council.

Owner files $350,000 claim in police shooting of dog Arfee

The loss and pain from the unjustified police shooting of Arfee in Coeur d’Alene last July is worth $350,000, the dog’s owner says in a claim filed with the city Tuesday. Craig Jones and his attorney will give the city 90 days to settle or they’ll file a federal lawsuit alleging, in part, illegal police seizure of the 2-year-old Labrador, which died from a gunshot wound to the chest inside its owner’s van in July.

CdA officer’s pay cut after dog shooting

COEUR d’ALENE — A Coeur d'Alene police officer whose superiors determined his shooting of a pet dog in a parked van violated policy has had his pay reduced.

Board reviews dog shooting

The owner of a 2-year-old Labrador-mix dog shot by a Coeur d’Alene police officer will file claims against the officer and the city in the dog’s death, which a review board said violated department policy for use of deadly force. Craig Jones, the owner of Arfee, has retained a Bellingham attorney, Adam Karp, in the case.

CdA police investigation into Arfee shooting moving slowly

For the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, the dog days of summer have been less about the weather than the heat over its closely watched investigation of a police officer’s fatal shooting of Arfee, the black Labrador left inside his owner’s parked van. The controversial shooting five weeks ago has overshadowed every other story in the Lake City this summer. Police and city leaders have been bombarded with questions, condemnation and profane rants from near and far. The name of the officer has not been revealed over concern for his safety.

Shawn Vestal: Secrecy surrounding shooting of dog suspicious

When cops shoot human beings, they are named publicly within days. This is as it should be. We grant police officers extraordinary authority, not the least of which is the right to carry and use guns. When they do so, the level of public scrutiny should be high and early. Even as larger questions are investigated, the initial facts should come out early – not late and after a bunch of massaging – and the process of evaluating those facts should, as much as possible, unfold in a manner that the public can examine.

Coeur d’Alene officers must view videos on encountering dogs

Every officer in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department must watch a series of short training videos on dog encounters – one of the city’s responses to a controversial dog shooting by an officer earlier this month. The video series, “ Police and Dog Encounters: Tactical Strategies and Effective Tools to Keep Our Communities Safe and Humane,” was produced by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, Safe Humane Chicago and the National Canine Research Council.

Huckleberries: Some too extreme in response to dog’s shooting

The anger over the July 9 police shooting of 2-year-old black Labrador Arfee in downtown Coeur d’Alene is understandable. But some concerned citizens have gone too far. Huckleberries has perused emails fielded by the police department and city of Coeur d’Alene. Many are vulgar. Some threaten the police officer involved. One suggested that the officer who killed Arfee be shot in the chest with his own gun. Unhinged? You be the judge.

Coeur d’Alene police chief apologizes to owner of dog shot by officer

Coeur d’Alene’s police chief called the controversial police shooting of a dog inside a parked van last week “a regrettable tragedy” and said the matter is being fully investigated. At the start of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, interim Chief Ron Clark and Mayor Steve Widmyer addressed last Wednesday’s fatal shooting of the 2-year-old black Labrador named Arfee. The incident sparked a storm of criticism of the patrol officer’s actions.

Arfee, dog shot by CdA officer, was a Labrador, not a pit bull

The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Coeur d’Alene police officer on Wednesday says the dog wasn’t a “vicious pit bull,” as initially reported by the police department, but a 2-year-old black Labrador named Arfee. Coeur d’Alene police Chief Ron Clark, said Thursday that the department is reviewing the shooting in a parking lot at 821 Sherman Ave. in downtown Coeur d’Alene.