His name is David Vara a community activist in Rochester, NY exposing police misconduct and corruption. For years, Vara’s work consisted of being a voice for innocent, unarmed citizens who have been killed by the Rochester, NY Police department. Now, Vara finds himself becoming a voice for innocent family pets, dogs who are being executed by trigger-happy police officers.
In the last 7 months three innocent family dogs have been executed by the Rochester, NY Police department, the Gates, NY Police department and the Monroe County, NY Sheriff’s department. Despite the fact Vara has held several rallies denouncing these injustices, and an outrage from the community, the killings of these pets is always ruled justified.
In the following exerpt from his blog Vara tells us about the shooting of Codi an innocent 1 1/2 year old “pit bull” who had the misfortune of wandering away from home, and never returned because he was shot in the back of the head by Rochester NY Police Officer Chris Burgstrom. Yes that’s right I said shot IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD! Here is the story in Vara’s own words.
By Davy V.
Updated Tuesday January 18, 2013 9:17 pm
Steven Jodoin Benus says he must have covered 100 miles over the last couple of days looking for his best friend Codi, a 1 1/2 year old pit bull terrier.
On Monday January 7th, when Steven took his friend home after they had gone ice fishing, Codi got out and wandered off.
Steven barely got any sleep looking for his beloved dog that night.
After posting an ad in the lost and found section of Craigslist, Steven and Ranger, Codi’s brother, searched everywhere near near his Greenleaf Rd. home in Greece, NY.
They looked through fields, streets, a golf club and the Greece, NY animal control.
The next day, Tuesday, with just a few hours of sleep, Steven was up at 4 am, continuing to look for Codi.
Steven then went to Rochester Animal Control on Verona Street near downtown.
An employee walked him back to the cages housing dogs, most of them pit bulls.
But no sign of Codi.
Before leaving, Steven filled out some forms describing what Codi looked like.
Wednesday morning, Steven got a call from a woman who had seen the Craigslist ad.
The woman told Steven that on her way to work Tuesday, she had seen Codi near Abbott’s ice cream on Lake Ave. near Lake Ontario.
Steven raced there, but once again, disappointment set in as there was no sign of Codi.
Then, Steven went back to Rochester animal control on Verona St. to see if Codi may have turned up.
It was then that Steven learned what had happened to his best friend.
An employee who overheard Steven describing Codi, pulled Steven aside and told him that Codi had been shot and killed by Rochester Police near the Lake Ontario pier.
Steven broke down.
Too distraught to see his best friend, Steven’s mom later went to Verona St. and identified Codi.
“My mom said he had a bullet hole behind his shoulder, that was a kill shot. He was my best friend.” Steven told me as we sat down at Tom Horton’s in Greece, his eyes watering.
He told me about how he and Codi met.
Codi was just 5 months old when Steven rescued him from a home near his job on Rochester’s northeast side.
“I actually saw Codi being born, then as he grew I realized he wasn’t being taken care of. His collar was gouging his skin, he was dirty, he had fleas and worms when I got him.” said Steven.
Then Steven told me something about the first time he had gone to Rochester animal control to look for Codi, when he was taken back to see all the dogs.
“They were all barking and their ears were cropped, they had the big collars on, and looking at them you could just tell that they had a rough life.” he said.
And as I sat there with Steven I realized just how much he loved his best friend.
I also couldn’t help but think how ironic it was that Steven had rescued Codi, a beautiful dog, so he wouldn’t end up like those dogs Steven saw in those cages, only for some trigger-happy Rochester Police officer to shoot him before Steven could find his best friend.
Sadly, the shooting of Codi as shocking as it may seem, is not an isolated incident. The incidents Vara speaks of are only the tip of the iceberg. Since the beginning of 2013 over 18 accounts of cops shooting dogs have come across my desk. All took place in different States across America. Most are unjustified outright executions of beloved family pets, which leads us to ask the question “Have American Police Officers declared war on the family pet?”
What some of you may know be asking yourselves is this: “How do we know that Burgstrom was lying when he said Codi charged him?” The answer to that is right here in the following short video clip taken by Vara of Codi’s corpse. I warn you that although this is a short clip it may be too disturbing for some of you to view:
Upon viewing the video we can clearly see that the smaller entrance wound is in the back of the dog’s head with the larger exit wound in the front. This tells us Codi was clearly shot from behind execution style. It also refutes Burgstrom’s claims that the dog was charging him in an aggressive manner when shot.
Davy Vara drew the same conclusion. He is now trying to raise funding for an expose’ film on cops who shoot dogs. We think this is a very important film that needs to be made. As such we are asking all of you to help us by supporting Davy Vara and contributing to the funding campaign. We MUST stem the tide of cops murdering innocent family pets.
Please visit the Indie GoGo funding campaign page and give what you can, even a single $1 can make the difference! Here’s the link:
Until Next Time Remember
WE ARE THEIR VOICE!
UPDATE: In response to this blog post a couple of readers have posted links to petitions. I thought I would include them here for those of you with no time to read the comments.
Both of the above are important petitions to sign if you are concerned about cops shooting dogs please support them both by signing and sharing!