In August, police in Cleburne, TX responded to a call about 3 loose dogs who had escaped their fenced yard. One dog was reportedly captured without incident before police arrived. The other two were located by a police officer, whose identity is being kept hidden by the department, who reported that the 7 month old puppy behaved in a threatening manner toward him, including growling, and that he had to shoot the puppy to death.
The puppy’s owner received the news and could not believe it. Her puppy, called Max, had never acted in an aggressive manner and the story didn’t make sense to her. So she FOIA’d the officer’s body cam footage of the shooting. That footage (which I have not watched) reportedly shows the officer coaxing the two loose dogs to him, the dogs behaving in a friendly manner and the officer killing the puppy.
The Cleburne police department is investigating itself in the matter and hiding as many details as possible:
Cleburne police are now investigating, but say the short video clip of the dog being shot doesn’t tell the whole story.
A statement [police spokeswoman Kelly] Summey provided said the dog was indeed being aggressive before he was shot.
Summey wouldn’t tell News 8 if the officer in question is on leave during the investigation, or how long the investigation will take.
Summey also didn’t know how many dogs have been fatally shot by police in Cleburne in recent years.
You are not seeing what you are seeing. We won’t tell you anything. We know nothing. Seems legit.
If anyone here has a stronger stomach than I have, please share your impressions of what’s shown in the video. Do you hear any growling? Do you see any body language from the dogs that would reasonably be interpreted as threatening? Does it appear that the officer would reasonably be in fear of his safety based on the actions of the dogs?
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)
UPDATE, added October 21, 2014 – The Fox affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth reports:
A city spokesperson said Monday that the Texas Rangers are being asked to conduct an investigation into the shooting, adding that the city will also be asking another outside agency to conduct a review.
In a police report regarding the incident, the officer involved said, “I raised my duty weapon to the ready position – pointed at the growling dog’s head. As soon as I lifted my pistol, the dog began coming up the hill, continuing to growl and display its teeth…I fired three shots at it.”
(Thanks Arlene for the link.)