Cop Granted Immunity Despite Video of Him Shooting Little Girl, While Trying to Kill Small Dog
Wichita, KS — Last year, a cop was fired after he shot a little girl inside her own home while trying to kill her dog. Showing that they are willing to hold their own accountable, the officer was charged with felony aggravated battery the following March. However, this month, TFTP has learned that a Wichita judge ruled the cop is immune from criminal prosecution and can’t be sued.
Judge Kevin O’Connor issued his ruling last month on the case of officer Dexter Betts. However, it was not made public until this month. After the ruling, according to the Wichita Eagle, the Sedgwick County district attorney’s office filed a notice of appeal.
Last year, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett released body camera video from officer Dexter Betts which shows him attempt to kill a 35 pound dog and strike a small 9-year-old girl instead.
Despite this horrifying video, showing the completely unnecessary shots fired from Betts’ gun, which struck a little girl in the face, the judge ruled the officer’s actions were reasonable. Betts’ lawyer convinced the judge that his client fired his duty weapon legally and in an act of self-defense.
As the Eagle reports, the wording of the statute used as a defense is that use of force “against another” is justified if the person using it “reasonably believes” that it is necessary to defend themselves or a third person “against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”
The prosecution disagreed, claiming that the law did not apply to animals and that self-defense cannot be claimed by someone who acts recklessly.
“It was not reasonable under the circumstances to fire twice without a clear background, with a child in the line of fire, a few feet away, at a dog the officer already knew was present,” prosecutors wrote in court filings. “The threat posed by the animal, if at all, was that it might bite the officer, not create a risk of death or great bodily harm.”
We agree. Sadly, however, the judge did not and Betts is now immune from being prosecuted despite shooting a little girl after being scared of her small dog.
“The injuries to the little girl as a result of the actions of Officer Betts were certainly unfortunate and regrettable. However, the court finds that the State has failed to meet its burden to demonstrate that the defendant’s use of force was not justified,” O’Connor wrote.
In January of 2018, Betts was placed on administrative leave after discharging his firearm inside a family’s home—in the cowardly attempt to kill a dog. Then, in an actual moment of accountability, Officer Betts was fired and in March of 2018 he was charged.
According to Kansas.com, Betts was the first cop in decades to be charged in an on-duty shooting that resulted in an injury or death. Apparently, however, this was all in vain.
As TFTP reported at the time, according to the family’s attorney, the girl, hit by bullet fragments, was so directly in the line of fire when the officer shot at her dog that the flashlight he shined from above his gun barrel illuminated her face right before he fired. Indeed, this was all verified by the video.
The video shows Betts and his partner approach the house with flashlights and enter through the front door. When they enter the house, several children are seen in the living room watching television.
Betts checks the hallway and then returns to the living room where he becomes frightened by the family’s medium sized English bull terrier named Chevy.
“Ok, we got a dog inside here, too,” he says. “Whoa! Whoa!”