MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police’s union is defending the shooting of two dogs by an officer in a north Minneapolis backyard last Saturday.
Sherral Schmidt, vice president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, calls the shooting on July 8 “a tragedy,” but says the union “fully supports” the officer’s decision.
Police were dispatched to the home on Queen Avenue North after a security alarm was accidentally tripped by a teenage resident.
Home security footage shows an officer climb over a backyard fence and slowly walk towards the home. He then backs away when the family’s two dogs approach him.
WARNING: The video is graphic.
“Our Officer attempted to back-pedal and create space between him and the Pit Bulls as well as yelling ‘Get back’ at the dog,” Schmidt said. “He realized turning his back on the Pit Bulls and attempting to jump back over the fence was not a viable option. The first Pit Bull growled at the Officer and slowly continued to advance towards the Officer.”
The officer shot one of the dogs in the face, and the other dog was shot several times. Both are expected to survive.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a statement on Monday that said her department’s Internal Affairs division will investigate.
“I’ve watched the video, and as someone whose family has included dogs most of my life, I can say that it was difficult to watch,” Harteau said. “We will be implementing updated mandatory training specifically for officers identifying effective tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters.”
The homeowner and owner of the injured dogs says she wants the officer prosecuted.
A GoFundMe page set up to help with veterinary bills has raised more than double of its $15,000 goal in just three days.