BOOKS: Animal Abuse: Why Cops Can & Need To Stop It
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2003:
Animal Abuse: Why Cops Can & Need To Stop It
Video from In The Line of Duty (P.O. Box 6798, Brentwood Station,
St. Louis, MO 63144), 2002. 35 minutes. $95.00.
Matthew Kaczorowski, 21, pleaded guilty to mischief on
April 9, 2003 in Toronto. The last of three participants to face
justice for making a purported “art video” of the torture killing of
a cat, Kaczorowski was arrested in Vancouver and flown back to
Toronto for trial approximately one year after Jesse Power, 22, was
sentenced to serve 90 days in jail on weekends followed by 18 months
of house arrest (which he has appealed), and Anthony Wennekers, 25,
was sentenced to the 11 months he spent in jail awaiting trial.
Ironically, the cat-killers’ video may now receive a much
wider audience than they could ever have found for it on their own.
Long clips from it are incorporated into Animal Abuse: Why Cops Can
& Need To Stop It, along with portions of videos taken by many other
convicted cruelty perpetrators.
“Tragically, we felt the only way we could reach veteran cops was to
make the program visually overwhelming,” In The Line of Duty company
president Ron Barber told ANIMAL PEOPLE, adding that In The Line of
Duty “is the world leader in law enforcement video and internet
Perhaps police officers do need to see some cruelty perps in
action–but a little goes a long way. A police officer who is not
already convinced that animal abuse should be taken seriously will
probably not watch this video, while officers who are convinced
would be better served with more information about identifying crimes
against animals and catching perpetrators who are not so stupid as to
produce video evidence against themselves.
Animal Abuse: Why Cops Can & Need To Stop It does offer some
crime-fighting how-to, but most of it is so basic as to be almost
self-evident. The video offers little help in identifying
cruelty–and catching perps–by accurately reading forensic detail.
There is not even a mention, for instance, of how to
distinguish human sadism from the work of wild predators. ANIMAL
PEOPLE sees police, humane investigators, and veterinarians
confusing predation with sadism several dozen times a year,
typically by underestimating how cleanly teeth, claws, and talons
cut, and by misunderstanding the attack patterns of wildlife, which
are distinctly different from the attack patterns of sadists.
Barber said he is “hoping to put this program into over
20,000 police/sheriff/prosecutors offices in North America. To
achieve that goal,” he added, “animal lovers will have to step up
to the plate and help their cash-strapped local law enforcement
In other words, animal advocates are expected to buy this
video as a gift for law enforcement agencies. At $95 a pop, the
entire audience that Barber envisions could be served for $1.9
The Humane Society of the U.S. could shell out $1.9 million
and still have more than $100 million left in the bank. Buying even
one copy, however, would be a big investment for the average animal
If there was some certainty that the video would be watched
and would lead to more effective enforcement of humane laws, most
would still consider $95 a bargain–but I think the odds against it
achieving major breakthroughs are high enough that the price would
have to be under $20 to encourage the gamble, even if one is not
disturbed by the notion of distributing “snuff video” clips in the
name of humane education.