Cisco

In response to community outcry, the officer involved in a fatal shooting of a dog in East Austin has been reassigned and an internal investigation has been opened, said Austin Police Department representative Sgt. David Daniels.

Officer Thomas Griffin responded with backup to a 9-1-1 call reporting a domestic disturbance at 2613 E. Fifth St. on Saturday afternoon. Dog owner and Austin resident Michael Paxton resides at the address and was outside at the time, playing Frisbee with his dog Cisco. The dog ran towards Griffin as soon as he stepped from the car, Daniels said. Griffin yelled at Paxton to restrain his dog, even though Paxton had no opportunity to react, Daniels said. Griffin then shot one round into the animal, which was fatally wounded.

Daniels said the address given to Griffin was not the residence of the individuals involved in the domestic disturbance. Although reports conflict as to why Griffin was at Paxton’s address, most indicate that he received the wrong address.

Travis County Animal Control documents published by KVUE indicate that Cisco had a history of aggressive behavior. William Harris, a neighbor of Paxton’s, filed a report with Animal Control in March complaining of an incident with a violent animal at the same address to which officer Griffin reported on Saturday. Harris confirmed that the dog he reported in March is Cisco.

“It’s the same dog without a doubt,” said Harris. “I recognized the animal as soon as I saw images of it on the news, only I think the photo that is being distributed must have been of when that dog was a puppy. He looked much more vicious and dangerous [at the time of the reported incident].”

Harris said the dog was acting very aggressively and he felt so threatened that he took off his backpack and prepared to defend himself. He said Paxton was holding the dog by the collar which was the only thing that stopped the animal from attacking.

“[Paxton] warned me to stop yelling and said that if I continued to make noise the dog would bite me,” Harris said, “I will never forget that day. I will never forget the look in the dog’s eyes.”

Harris said he does not like to see an animal get killed, but he feels like he can relate to the experience of officer Griffin.

Astronomy sophomore Travis Cormier said he knew Paxton through a local motorcycle group. Cormier has helped organize a Facebook group designed to raise awareness about Cisco’s death. The group is titled “Justice for Cisco” and has received over 95,000 likes online.

“I just hope that we spread the news,” Cormier said. “The cop had other means of protecting himself. From what I was told, he had a Taser and pepper spray. Why he chose a firearm, I don’t think any of us will ever know.”

A response to a domestic disturbance issue in East Austin left the dog of an Austin resident dead due to a misunderstanding of the location of the disturbance by the Austin Police Department.

Officer Thomas Griffin and backup officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a domestic disturbance at 2613 E. Fifth St. Saturday afternoon. The officers did not locate the man and woman in question but encountered Austin resident Michael Paxton, who lived at the address and was walking from his backyard, where he was playing frisbee with his dog, to his truck in the front yard.

“The officer yelled ‘Let me see your hands’ and Paxton’s dog, named Cisco, came running from the backyard and toward the officer,” said Sgt. David Daniels of the APD Public Information Office. “[Griffin] yelled at the subject to grab his dog and at that point, the owner had no opportunity to react and the officer shot one round at the dog.”

Daniels said whomever contacted 9-1-1 gave the address where the man and woman were seen, but the address was not the location of their residence. The address that was given was confirmed to pertain to multiple dwellings, Daniels said. Reports conflict as to how Officer Griffin ended up at Paxton’s residence, although most indicate that the officer received the wrong address.

“APD has apologized to Mr. Paxton for the loss of his dog but we can’t apologize for the officer doing his job,” Daniels said. “There are certain circumstances that officers encounter and if there is an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or those around him, they have to use force.”

Senior police officer Dennis Farris said the issue is currently under review by APD to determine if Officer Griffin violated any policies.

“Officer Griffin is very upset about this and none of us ever want to use our weapon and discharge it,” Harris said.

In response to the incident, the Justice for Cisco campaign page on Facebook has gotten more than 50,000 likes since its launch on Sunday.

Candace Hogan, a close friend of Paxton, said just thinking about what happened to Cisco infuriates her.

“I heard the pain in [Paxton’s] voice and saw it on his face when I found him curled up crying with Cisco’s body,” Hogan said. “I am trying to put that anger into good energy by helping Mike get justice for Cisco and, hopefully, find a little peace and comfort.”

Astronomy sophomore Travis Cormier knows Paxton through a local motorcycle group and said he is helping the campaign by supervising the comments left on the Facebook page and answering emails and messages people send.

Cormier said he was devastated when he heard the news because he has played with Cisco multiple times at Paxton’s residence.

“Cisco has never displayed aggressive behavior unless you are just messing with him, as most dogs do,” Cormier said. “He was protective but I’ve never seen him bite or even scratch anyone.”

Cormier said he hopes students react in support of the situation but in a proper manner.

“We don’t want to spread the message that police are bad or evil, just that an unnecessary use of violence shouldn’t be happening,” Cormier said. “I would hope that students would also see this as an opportunity to help take peaceful political action and realize that we don’t need to respond to violence with violence.”

Published on Wdnesday, April 18, 2012 as: Austin Police officer fatally shot dog at wrong adress

BRUSSELS — Cisco says it is challenging Microsoft’s $8.5 billion takeover of Skype at the EU’s top court to ensure Microsoft won’t block other video conferencing services.

In a blog post Wednesday, Marthin De Beer, the head of Cisco’s video conferencing division, said “Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability.”

He said Cisco, which offers the WebEx teleconferencing service, wants the European Court of Justice to get the Commission to create open standards for video conferencing, similar to what exists for mobile phone calls.

Such standards would eventually allow WebEx users to make calls to users of Skype and other services like Google Voice.

De Beer said that without these standards, Microsoft could end up with sole “control (of) the future of video communications.”

BRUSSELS — Cisco says it is challenging Microsoft’s $8.5 billion takeover of Skype at the EU’s top court to ensure Microsoft won’t block other video conferencing services.

In a blog post Wednesday, Marthin De Beer, the head of Cisco’s video conferencing division, said “Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability.”

He said Cisco, which offers the WebEx teleconferencing service, wants the European Court of Justice to get the Commission to create open standards for video conferencing, similar to what exists for mobile phone calls.

Such standards would eventually allow WebEx users to make calls to users of Skype and other services like Google Voice.

De Beer said that without these standards, Microsoft could end up with sole “control (of) the future of video communications.”