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Letter -- Darin Ryburn

August 11, 2001

In response to the three articles in the Leader regarding the shooting

of a dog by Officer Anthony Valento, it is unfortunate that the Leader

must resort to innuendo-laden articles to sell newspapers.

While the shooting of the animal was, indeed, unfortunate, the

portrayal of the animal as a friendly family pet and "hero" belies the

fact the animal exited the owner's house and bolted across the front lawn

onto the sidewalk, mere feet from where Officer Valento was standing on

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the parkway.

The animal was shot only after it presented a clear threat to the

officer's safety, and his primary responsibility to respond to the

possible domestic violence incident at that location.

Perhaps reporters should avail themselves of all the available public

information, including Burbank Animal Shelter records regarding the

animal, before they set pen to paper in a, rather, transparent attempt to

shade the facts against the officer. Fortunately, Officer Valento had the

means to protect himself.

Unlike your reporters, a Burbank Police Department shooting review

board will review the officer's actions, weigh all the information and

evidence and report its findings to Chief Tom Hoefel. I'm confident the

department will then respond with all the available information.

Journalists often flaunt their 1st Amendment rights pertaining to

freedom of the press. Wouldn't it be nice for you to honor the rights of

others to be considered innocent until proven guilty?

DARIN RYBURN

President of the Burbank Police Officers Assn.

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