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
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?
President of the Burbank Police Officers Assn.