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Police officer shoots two dogs in family’s back yard, one of whom was wagging its tail

Minneapolis police say they are helping a local family with their veterinary bills and will institute a mandatory training program after an officer shot two dogs Saturday in the family’s fenced back yard Saturday.

“This was an outcome that no one wanted,” Police Chief Janee Harteau said. “I’ve asked for an Internal Affairs use of force review. We are reaching out to the family to help them with the veterinary care bills to ensure that both dogs are adequately taken care of.

“To help us prevent similar outcomes in the future,” she added, “we will be implementing updated mandatory training specifically for officers identifying effective tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters.”

One of the dogs, Rocko, was shot multiple times and is doing OK after surgery. The other, Ciroc, was shot in the face and has a fractured jaw.

The owner of the two pit bulls, Jennifer LeMay, called the officer “trigger happy,” and said the dogs were not attacking. One was even wagging its tail.

“My dog had stopped. My dog wasn’t even facing him to charge him or be in an aggressive manner to him. You still shot him,” she wrote in a Facebook post that included footage from the surveillance camera.

The officer was responding to a residential burglary alarm, and did not know it had been set off accidentally by the homeowner’s daughter when she returned home, KARE11 reported.

Police say they will review the surveillance video as well as that recorded by the officer’s body cam.

Chief Harteau described the video as “difficult to watch.”

The dog can be seen approaching the officer, but not in a manner that clearly appeared to be “charging,” as the officer described in a police report.

LeMay has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with the dogs’ medical bills. Its $15,000 goal was quickly reached. As of 3 p.m. Monday people had contributed more than $20,000.


Comment from KateH
Time July 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

Why couldn’t the cop have checked for loose dogs BEFORE he opened the gate? Or stepped back out and closed the gate as soon as he saw the dogs? Did he even go to the front door of the house to investigate anything – like if there was a member of the household at home? And, to be fair to the police, whenever a member of ANY household, who accidently sets off an alarm, needs to 1) get their dogs into the house, preferably into an interior room and/or their crates, and 2) call the police to let them know it’s a false alarm, so the police don’t respond.

Comment from Sarahkate
Time July 15, 2017 at 3:28 pm

You know what the IA stands for? It doesn’t stand for Internal Affairs which is – police policing the police aka the fox guarding the chicken coop. In my opinion, IA stands for Idiots Anonymous. The shields that 99 percent of cops wear that keeps them prosecution-free is the “I was scared for my life” and “it was a pit bull and it was charging me and I was scared for my life.” This reminds me of so many needless canine injuries and deaths – especially the one in the Seattle area a number of years back where a LEO chased a terrified Newfie puppy and then killed her as she hid under a bush. Charging. Pit bull. Riiiight. Or the officer who shot a tiny Chihuaha (the officer weighed in at over 250 lbs) claiming he was “afraid for his life.” Every day in every community in the US cops are senselessly killing and maiming dogs and there are never any repercussions. I say, if you aren’t smart enough to avoid shooting first and asking questions afterward, and if you are that “scared for your life” then you should not be in law enforcement or indeed act as any first responder.