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Detroit police have defended an officer who fatally shot a dog through the fence surrounding its own garden.
Footage of the incident, which took place on the city’s east side on August 3, has gone viral after being caught by a Ring doorbell, prompting social media users to condemn the officer responsible.
The disturbing video shows a medium-sized white dog running around behind the garden fence, following the cop and her K-9 as they walked alongside the garden on the pavement. When they got to the end of the garden, the two dogs began fighting through the fence and the white dog clamped its jaws around the K-9’s snout.
See footage of the incident below – Warning: Distressing Content:
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This happened in Detroit, with footage being caught on a home camera system. The video is extremely upsetting – which shows Detroit police shooting a dog in the face and killing him. . In the video the dog is barking through the fence at the policemen and police dogs. The officer draws his gun, as the dog appeared to be latched on to his dogs muzzle or face through the fence. Instead of trying to separate them he shoots the dog in the head. . The officer responsible for the act needs to be held accountable. Please voice your concern and call the precinct and Detroit Mayors office demanding justice. . Phone: (313) 267-4600 or (313) 267-4639 Detroit Mayor’s Office Phone: (313) 224-3400 . @detroit_police @dogsofahwf @animalhopeinlegislation @shaunking
Rather than attempting to split the dogs up or pull her K-9 away, the officer pulled out a weapon and discharged it in the white dog’s face.
According to TMZ, law required the officer to control her dog and stay away from a fence where a dog was legally on the other side, but she failed to do so by letting the K-9 get close to the fence. Animal rights organisations have called for the officer to be reprimanded, but Police Commander Darin Szilagyi said she was left with no choice but to shoot the dog.
In an interview cited by the Detroit Free Press, Szilagyi explained that at the time of the incident officers were searching the area for an apprehended suspect’s illegal weapon that they believed had been tossed into a garden while he was on the run from police.
Police said officers asked the owner of the white dog to secure it while they searched the garden, but it escaped its owner’s hold and ran up to the K-9 officer.
Szilagyi said the officer who shot the dog acted according to protocol and was left with no choice.
Her partner was being attacked and we demand that our officers protect not only themselves but their partners and citizens. At this point it was a clear and present danger; her dog was being viciously harmed. It’s unfortunate it came to this, we don’t like to see any animal hurt.
Szilagyi said the fence surrounding the property was inconsistent with city code, and argued that having an aggressive dog with improper restraints puts the public at risk. He went on to say that the narrative of this incident would be different if the victim been a small child or senior citizen walking along the sidewalk.
The commander continued:
I’m a dog lover, I own several dogs, I have a responsibility to protect the public from my animals, just like anyone else. Keep your dogs in the backyards and this won’t be an issue.
No matter what, when force is used on a person or animal, it is ugly. No one likes it, I don’t like it, I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I don’t like it.
But unfortunately it’s necessary if you have life or death situations, and this was a life or death situation, that is the option that a police officer has to use, and I commend the officer for making a decision and coming back to work and taking care of her partner.
As a result of being bitten by the white dog, the K-9 suffered extensive injuries including a large rip through the skin of its upper snout and puncture wounds on its upper jawlines. The dog will undergo tests and evaluations to determine whether it is still fit to serve for the police.
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Detroit Free Press
Animal Hope and Wellness/Instagram
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