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This is the story of my dog’s life — and his murder by the police.
My name is Stacy Fields. I first met my dog, Kincaid, in February 2010. This sweet and loving dog was a birthday present from my brother, who got him from a friend. Kincaid was a lover up until the day he was killed.
My stepfather’s own pup had died at an old age, so when Kincaid was about a year old, I asked Ed if he could take Kincaid for a while. I did this for two reasons. First, my stepfather lives alone and he missed having a dog around to keep him company. Second, Kincaid was a strong boy, and with two young children around, I had found it could be a little much. He loved the kids greatly, but there were times when he didn’t know his own strength and would knock them over playing.
So Ed took Kincaid into his care. Even though it hurt to let him go that day, I knew we would see him all the time. The kids and I loved him so much, as did the rest of my family. That’s how Kincaid came to live with Ed.
Fast-forward to this past New Year’s Eve, the start of a tragic turn of events.
I Never Expected This
I’m a bartender, so I was working into the early hours of the morning on New Year’s Day. I got home from work around 6 a.m. and fell right to sleep. I slept right through a number of phone calls and even slept through loud knocking on the door around 11 a.m.
I finally awoke when my mother came in yelling my name. I threw on my robe and went into the living room. I had a sinking feeling. I knew this wasn’t going to be good news, but I never expected what she was about to say.
With tears streaming down her face, she told me our sweet Kincaid had been shot by the police. He was dead in an instant. Gone forever.
I fell in a heap to the floor, sobbing like a baby.
I learned that a police officer had chased a suspect into the yard, and Ed was reaching down to grab Kincaid’s harness as the first shots rang out. Several bullets missed Ed by just a few inches. He says the dog was only barking, not charging. This was such a needless death.
After a while, I pulled myself together long enough to get dressed. Then I drove my truck to Ed’s house. (We needed a way to move the dog’s body.) When I arrived, all of the police officers on the scene had already left except for one who had to wait for Animal Control to come and release the body.
With unsteady steps and a heavy heart, I walked over to Kincaid’s body. The awful sight of blood made me queasy. Crying and petting him, I told him how sorry I was that this had happened to him.
Sadness Turns to Frustration
After his body was released, we wrapped him in blankets and had to carry him to the truck bed — one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. We have had dogs pass in their sleep from old age, and we have had to put dogs down because of illnesses, but nothing like this.
I was so sad, I didn’t have room in my heart for anger — that came later, when the Baltimore Police Department became so uncooperative that I couldn’t even get my rightful copy of the incident report. All I got were excuses, not apologies.
First I was told I could get the report in 10 business days. Then I was told I couldn’t get it at all because now the officer felt threatened because of the community’s reaction. (I didn’t know and still don’t know the officer’s name.) Then I was told to call this person, or that person.
That’s when I decided I needed to fight back.
A Search for Justice
My wonderful sister, Crystal Parsons, set up the Facebook page Kincaid — Killed by Baltimore City Police. I was overwhelmed by the support we got from people all over the world. I knew I couldn’t let this moment slip past us. This sparked a fight for justice within me, and I found a strength I didn’t know I had.
I contacted every local news channel I could think of. I did TV interviews and radio interviews. If anyone was willing to talk with me, I talked. I contacted an attorney I had been referred to by one of my amazing supporters, and thankfully this attorney was willing to take my case. It’s a long process to file suit, but the case is coming along. Justice will prevail. My dog’s death will not have been in vain.
I’m fighting hard and daily! I’m fighting not just for Kincaid but for all the family pets taken from us way too early by the police, who are sworn to protect our families. I’m fighting so this doesn’t happen anymore and so no one else has to know the pain my family has endured.
Some people ask me: Has the pain eased in the four months that have passed since Kincaid was killed? I wish I could say it has, but honestly it hasn’t. And I do not expect that throbbing pain to ever ease.
But we have adopted a puppy from the local shelter to keep Ed company, a late birthday gift — Ed’s birthday was only five short days after Kincaid’s murder.
Next… In Part 5 — the final installment of our special series — we discuss how, little by little, police officers are beginning to get the training they need on non-lethal ways to deal with dogs that they encounter on duty.