MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We’re getting a new perspective tonight of the moment a Minneapolis police officer shot two family pets in a homeowner’s backyard.
The body camera video shows the officer’s point of view while responding to a burglary alarm on July 8. It happened at 38th and Queen Avenue north.
Despite the camera footage, the dogs’ owners still have questions for police about how the shooting unfolded.
Video from a body camera shows an emotional exchange between 18-year-old Courtney Livingston and officer Michael Mays.
“Are they OK? “I don’t know, I have blood all over my house and they’re both walking that I know of,” Mays and Livingston said in the exchange.
Minutes before, Officer Mays fired his weapon when he encountered the family’s two pets in the backyard.
“Hey I’m going to sit there and say sorry about this. I don’t like shooting no dogs. I love dogs so it’s unfortunate,” Mays told Livingston.
Ciroc ran out first, stopped and walked slowly towards the officer wagging his tail, when the gun goes off. The second dog, Rocko, runs out and is also hit Rocko goes out of frame, while Circoc is seen struggling to get away.
“Rocko is physically at 75 percent. Emotionally and mentally he’s not there,” Jennifer LeMay said.
The day after the shooting happened, LeMay posted surveillance video taken by a backyard camera to Facebook, where it went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of views. The video clearly shows Mays shooting both dogs and climbing over the fence.
In a news conference, the dogs’ owner, Jennifer LeMay and her attorney questioned the officer’s response to a security alarm call.
“The reasonable question is why didn’t you just ask her if the alarm was legitimate?” Attorney Mike Padden said.
They also pointed to a section of muted video on the body camera. The police report describes the dog growling, though there’s no sound to hear the encounter.
“Ciroc didn’t growl, didn’t bark. He didn’t even curl his lips being a muted video you’d see his teeth,” LeMay said.
It is new perspective on a call that ultimately left LeMay’s pets with lasting injuries.
“They need to assume responsibility. They need further training,” LeMay said
Minneapolis police have offered to help pay some of the vet bills. The chief said there would be additional training. And they have not given details on why the sound was off for the beginning of this call. The dogs are expected to recover.
The wounded dogs required thousands of dollars in veterinary treatment. A GoFundMe page to raise money for medical expenses has received nearly $40,000. The dog shooting is the second Minneapolis police incident this month involving questions of police and body cameras. Over the weekend, an Australian yoga teacher reporting a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home, was fatally shot by a responding officer.
Here is how you can see the full video of the dog incident, but we must warn that it is graphic.