MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has issued a statement in response to a video showing an officer shooting two dogs in their owner’s yard Saturday night, saying she has asked for an Internal Affairs use of force review.
Jennifer LeMay posted home surveillance video of the shooting to Facebook on Sunday, showing what looks to be a Minneapolis police officer firing his gun at two approaching pit bulls in a fenced-in backyard on Queen Avenue North. After firing, the officer is then seen jumping over the backyard fence.
WARNING: The video is graphic.
LeMay says the officer shot one of her dogs in the face and another dog multiple times. Both animals are expected to survive, although the dog that was shot in the face suffered a broken jaw.
LeMay believes her home surveillance video shows that the dogs were not aggressive or charging the officer. She also questions why the officer jumped the fence to get in her yard.
The shooting took place Saturday night, after the home alarm system was accidentally tripped by LeMay’s daughter. LeMay says she called to cancel the alert.
Police say they arrived and noticed the back door opened, so they entered the property to investigate. The officer claims the dogs charged him.
On Monday, Harteau released this statement:
“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. This was an outcome that no one wanted. 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, we will be implementing updated mandatory training specifically for officers identifying effective tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters. We want both our officers and all our community members to be safe.”
Attorney Michael Padden says his client Kirtrina Jones’ dog, 13-year-old Sadie, was also shot by Minneapolis police.
“They say because she was coming to them, trying to charge, but she wasn’t coming to them — she was standing right there,” Jones said.
Jones says police were called to her home last month because she and her boyfriend were arguing. She says Sadie was sitting outside the door and was shot three times by the officer.
Police would not comment on Jones’ case.