Mimesis Law
24 January 2020

Oakland Raiders Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong Barks At Dog: Hilarity Does not Ensue

Nov. 13, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Oakland Raiders Ray-Ray Armstrong is probably wondering if the Pittsburgh police have solved all the crime in the city, as he faces a felony investigation for taunting a police dog.

Last Sunday, NFL football featured one of the bitterest rivalries in professional sports. The Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers have hated each other since Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception. Emotions run high in any professional football game, but they run especially high in this one.

Ray-Ray Armstrong was living up to the image of the NFL linebacker on the way into the game Monday night. NFL linebackers are the epitome of the badass:

A linebacker is like an animal. He’s like a lion or a tiger and he goes after prey. He wants to eat him, he wants to kick the s— out of him. That’s a linebacker.

Armstrong was barking, lifting up his shirt, and pounding his chest. Unfortunately for him, the police in Pittsburgh were a little sensitive and took his antics the wrong way. Apparently he hurt Officer Bandit’s feelings and now he faces a third-degree felony in the state of Pennsylvania. The charge carries up to seven years in prison.

Bandit is a police dog. The felony investigation into Armstrong is based on taunts towards a police dog. A police dog, but still a dog. Despite the cool badges on their collars and the neat names, they are just dogs. They are not particularly good at sniffing out crime. They probably like treats and naps and drool just like the pet dog sitting at your feet. Most importantly, they probably don’t get their feelings hurt by fired up linebackers. Or really much of anything.

This would be funny, except that it’s serious. This is a real investigation, involving real police and real prosecutors. Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus made it quite clear no football player will be intimidating a dog in his county and getting away with it:

We were immediately notified about the incident, and we immediately initiated a criminal investigation into the matter. Sheriff’s Office supervisors interviewed witnesses and reviewed video surveillance recordings at Heinz Field. We notified the District Attorney’s Office on Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office is currently reviewing all of the information and reports to make a final determination relating to charges.

This “don’t screw with doggy cop” position was summed up neatly by this piece from a local Pittsburgh sports guy named Colin Dunlap.

Spare me all these ways people have been trying to excuse it away; trying to rationalize such actions or trying to get a laugh out of what allegedly went down in the tunnel at Heinz Field before the Steelers-Raiders game on Sunday.

It really boils down to this: If you taunt the police — and a police dog is the police — you are acting like a knucklehead and deserve everything that’s coming to you.

Everything? For being a knucklehead? Dunlap’s argument is embarrassing. He is exactly what is wrong with this country, and if being a knucklehead was a crime, he’d get life. Be careful what you ask for, Dunlap.

The police want to be taken seriously. They want our respect. In fact, they can barely do their jobs because of the lack of respect they face these days. Of course, they can still more or less shoot us at will, so all of this lack of obedience does come at a cost.

But every day it becomes increasingly difficult to take law enforcement seriously. There is no responsibility and no accountability. Officers simply have no clue how to deal with the citizenry. Trying to get away from a little marijuana bust because you are a scared teenager? Shot dead. Trying to follow orders you have been given by the police because your cattle got hit by a car? Shot dead. Drive off from a traffic stop? Your kid is shot dead. Running a search for police shootings turns up so many results there is no way to describe them all.

Ray-Ray Armstrong’s case presents a decent example of how we can improve American law enforcement. There was neither intent nor harm in what Armstrong did. He was fired up about a football game. He was excited to be playing the most popular sport in the United States. He plays the position where we expect just a little crazy.

Armstrong clearly wasn’t trying to upset a police dog, to the extent dogs get all that upset. And the dog couldn’t have suffered any ill effects. Because it’s a dog. Dogs play and fetch sticks and lick their own butts. It doesn’t matter if they went through Puppy Police Academy. Dogs are dogs. They do dog stuff. And getting barked at will hardly traumatize a dog, at least not from my observations of every dog I have ever seen.

Yet on a Sunday, the same day of these events, there was a full-blown investigation underway. The prosecutors had been contacted. The video footage from the stadium had been pulled. Over a linebacker barking on his way into the Raiders-Steelers game. Come on.

Deputy Kraus and his sheriff’s office need to cool it. This is the exact reason why people are losing respect for law enforcement. Which in turn requires the police to shoot them. There is a better way to handle these situations. Laugh it off. Tell Ray-Ray that you and Bandit hope he gets a whipping from your home team (by the way, he and the Raiders did) but welcome to Pittsburgh. Pet Bandit, give him a treat, and let him bark his head off.

You know, be a regular person. Part of the community. We will all be better for it.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • Richard G. Kopf
    13 November 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Dear Josh,

    I am so sorry that this incident, with so much comic potential, did not play out.

    This is what should have happened:

    Ray Ray acts like an idiot barking at the cop dog. Whereupon Fido, the cop dog, probably a 125 pounds of mean ass German Shepard, is let loose on Ray Ray. Then someone in the crowd begins taking bets on which one would be the victor. Put the whole thing on YouTube under the banner: Dogs’ lives matter!

    After the bets are settled with Ray Ray’s butt bitten surrender, the suddenly silent linebacker complains to the NFL Players’ Association that he was treated like a dog. NFLPA in turn files a grievance, and the League suspends Fido,the cop dog,for four games, using a “Cf.” cite to the League’s domestic violence policy.

    All the best.

    RGK

    • shg
      13 November 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      So you’re not an Oakland fan? Neither am I. Go Giants!

  • MoButterMoBetta
    13 November 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    This incident is great, it demonstrates how petty and unprofessional police officers can be. That the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office signed off on this nonsense should scream to every American “We cannot be trusted with any authority”.

    • Leonard
      15 November 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      No truer words said.

  • John Livingston: Killed For Knowing His Rights
    20 November 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

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