Jury awards $300,000 to family of dog killed during a police search of their Chicago home
A U.S. District Court jury in Chicago has awarded $330,000 to a family whose black Labrador, named Lady, was shot and killed during a 2009 police search of their home.
“That was my best friend,” the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Thomas Russell III as saying. “We did everything together.”
The Russell family sued the city of Chicago in January 2010, accusing police of excessive force, false arrest and inflicting intentional emotional harm. Police were searching for drugs, but found none.
During the 2009 search of the family’s apartment, Russell and his younger brother, Darren, were handcuffed and both had shotguns placed against their heads, their attorneys said.
At some point, Lady appeared and an officer shot her, the family’s lawyers said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Thomas Russell asked police if he could lock up Lady, who was 9 years old, but the request was denied.
When Lady came around the corner with her tail wagging, Officer Richard Antonsen shot the dog, according to the suit.
The jury awarded Thomas Russell $175,000, Darren Russell $85,000 and their parents $35,000 each. The jury also awarded the family $2,000 in punitive damages, levied against Antonsen for shooting the dog, and $1,000, against the police supervisor who made the decision to arrest Thomas Russell.
Jenny Hoyle, a city Law Department spokesperson, said, “The officers involved in this case were executing a valid search warrant when this incident occurred and were simply protecting themselves.”
“We are extremely disappointed and reviewing all of our options, Hoyle added. “In particular, we think the damages awarded to the plaintiffs were excessive.”
In that case, I’d suggest, think again.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, award, black lab, chicago, damages, dogs, drugs, excessive, jury, killed, lab, labrador retriever, lady, lawsuit, pets, police, search, shooting, shot, thomas russell, u.s. district court