The War On Dogs Continues: Cop Shoots Two Non-Threatening Dogs During Burglar Alarm Call

from the no-matter-how-scared-you-are,-shooting-a-cop's-dog-is-a-criminal-act dept

Man’s best friend remains a cop’s worst enemy. At least, that’s what the numbers appear to show. Cops claim the job is dangerous — hence the ~1,000 people killed every year by law enforcement officers. Trigger-happy cops: “Hold our beer.”

The exact number of dogs killed by law enforcement officers is difficult to quantify because there is no official record of these deaths across American agencies. Laurel Matthews, a program specialist with the US Department of Justice’s community-oriented policing services office, says fatal encounters are an “epidemic” and estimates that 25 to 30 pet dogs are killed daily by police.

Even while suggesting cops are killing ~9,000 dogs a year, the DOJ’s specialist still couches the data in cop-friendly language: “fatal encounters.” No officers have been killed by dogs, but plenty of dogs have been killed by officers. The fatalities run in one direction.

And that estimate may be on the low side. Records of people killed by cops are incomplete, thanks to the DOJ’s long-running belief any reporting on police shootings should be purely voluntary. But there’s no shortage of reporting on the epidemic, which has deemed law enforcement “puppycide.”

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, two more dogs have been shot by a police officer for no apparent reason at all. The dogs will survive but the owner is now saddled with medical bills she wouldn’t have had if responding officers had handled the situation with more common sense.

Returning early from a camping trip, one of Jennifer LeMay’s daughters accidentally set off the burglar alarm while attempting to disarm it. LeMay called the company and told them what had happened but apparently officers had already been sent out to investigate.

It should have seemed obvious someone was home, but neither officer approached the front door of the house. One climbed over the privacy fence and into LeMay’s backyard. When he did, he was approached by one of LeMay’s dogs. In the video, posted to Facebook, the dog can be seen approaching the officer, but not in a threatening way. If anything, the dog appears cautious and curious.

But the lesson to be learned here is try not to leave your dogs in the yard if police officers might need to be in there for any reason at all ever.

The video, with no audio, shows an officer standing in the backyard. He then approaches the house and goes out of camera range. A moment later, he steps backward rapidly with his gun drawn.

Ciroc, a white and brown dog, trots toward the officer and stops about 10 feet away. The dog looks distracted but does not appear to be charging the officer. The officer fires, the dog falls and then scrambles to his feet and runs away. At the same time, a black dog runs into camera range. The officer shoots several times and the dog flees.

The officer appears to assess the scene for about 18 seconds before he exits the yard by climbing over the fence.

LeMay’s 13-year-old daughter saw the whole thing from the upstairs window. That probably wouldn’t have made a dent in the official narrative, but the incident was also captured by the home’s security cameras. Nevertheless, there’s still an official narrative:

“We are aware of the recent incident involving MPD officers responding to an audible residential burglary alarm and while at this call an MPD officer discharged their firearm, striking two dogs belonging to the homeowner. Anytime an officer discharges their firearm in the line of duty there is an investigation … by the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. We are in the process of reviewing the video posted online, as well as the officer’s body camera video. We have reached out to the owner of the dogs and will continue to do so during the investigation.”

In other words, the MPD is trying to find some way to spin this. The video looks pretty damning. If the officer didn’t want to be scared by someone’s pets, perhaps he or another officer could have taken the last step first.

After the dogs’ shooting, another officer knocked on the front door. The 18-year-old explained that she’d triggered the alarm and that it had been deactivated.

Then there’s this part of it, which shows MPD officers really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to dealing with pets. And they clearly don’t understand… or care… how attached regular people are to their canine companions.

The family didn’t instantly take the dogs to the emergency vet because police told the family that “animal control” would be there in minutes to access the dogs’ medical needs. No one showed up, LeMay said.

The alarm was accidentally set off at 8:50. The alarm was deactivated by the alarm company after notification by the homeowner by 8:54. For some reason, twenty minutes later, cops show up and one of them shoots two dogs. Even if the cops weren’t notified by the security company, what made them think the best approach was to invade someone else’s private space and shoot two pets on sight before making any contact with the people inside the house? An overabundance of caution would seemingly indicate staying a safe distance from the premises while they determined who was actually inside the house, not entering the backyard with a gun out and shooting animals that had more right to be there than the uniformed, armed interloper.

Then there’s the fact the officer left after shooting the two dogs. What happened to the burglary investigation? It could be this was the point the other officer finally knocked on the front door of the house, but once again, this step should have been taken long before a cop invited himself into the backyard and try to kill the yard’s inhabitants for reacting — in a non-threatening way — to his intrusion. Is no one else alive — humans or pets — allowed to feel “fear for their safety?” Or is that solely the “right” of cops, who do things to increase the danger of situations and are allowed to shoot their way out of it.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “The War On Dogs Continues: Cop Shoots Two Non-Threatening Dogs During Burglar Alarm Call”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Ninja (profile) says:

Having pets I can almost feel what the family went through.

They shoot compliant people to death in front of their family. They shoot peoples docile, non-threatening pets in front of their owners. And they want us to trust they will use their deadly tools and their power over the ordinary citizen wisely and stay calm near them.

Right. Might as well let the burglars in, at least there’s less chance of damage to living beings.

Vidiot (profile) says:

If only the family had let the dogs watch more “Law and Order” or other police shows, the animals would have lain down and rolled over, and not shown so much “contempt of cop”. That’s certainly been proven to be a valid reason for police to shoot anyone they meet, especially if their fur is brown.

The only thing missing here is a property seizure… say, 22 lbs. of Poodle Chow and two stuffed chew toys. Check the property room.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "contempt of cop"


Also, this cops-kill-dogs stuff is a symptom of our militarized police.

Automatically killing the household dog(s) is standard procedure for our US military soldiers whenever they forcibly enter local households or villages in the many foreign wars/occupations America endlessly engages in. It’s normally very unnecessary, but our heroic imperial troops operate with impunity, just like Minnesota (and all) cops.

Green Berets & CIA assassination squads developed the dog killing procedure in the Vietnam War. They were more interested in stealth entry into Vietnamese villages in the middle of the night… any dogs around had to be immediately silenced. They even employed a special purpose Smith & Wesson Model 39 9mm pistol with silencer — dubbed the “Hush Puppy”.

Military habits are now American police habits. Gives one a small taste of what the citizens of US occupied foreign nations experience. Cops want instant obedience and dogs do not readily obey strangers; instant death is the cop solution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: "contempt of cop"

What a load of crap.

Here is a hint, standard military personnel are not issued silencers, and in fact, silencers don’t actually exist in the way that most people think about them. Additionally, special operations people generally don’t go into law enforcement, because it is a huge step down.

“Silencers” don’t make guns quiet or noise free, they reduce the sound enough so you can shoot them without going deaf. They still make a lot of noise. Additionally, even if you had a silencer that reduced the sound to zero, the only gun that it would be effective with would be a very low caliber gun whose bullet wouldn’t exceed the sound barrier. Bullets that go faster than the speed of sound crack the sound barrier and that makes a big noise. So a silencer in that case would be useless since people would hear that crack. The gun that would work without that happening would be nothing more than a .22.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Cops claim the job is dangerous”

Well… when you pose a threat, just by being there with an attitude… you bet its a fucking hazard. People are going to become even more brazen and threatening as the police create a self fulfilling prophecy of escalating violence between them and the “subjects” they police.

And with a negative attitude, you can sure as fucking bet that pets are going to be fucking concerned! They are excellent sensors of hostility and unstable people.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'Your dogs are just sacks of meat. Our dogs on the other hand are fellow officers'

And yet if someone were to shoot a police dog you can bet that the police would go from ‘eh, who cares?’ to baying for blood. Funny how that works.

If they were actually interested in handing out a punishment for the cowardly, trigger-happy loser who killed two dogs the videos available would make this an open and shut case. Given they’re apparently still ‘investigating’ has me suspecting that the article is right and the only thing they’re ‘investigating’ is how they can spin this to look good for them.

kitsune361 (profile) says:

Re: 'Your dogs are just sacks of meat. Our dogs on the other hand are fellow officers'

In most places killing a police dog is treated as bad as attacking a cop.

For the almost the last two decades, it’s been a federal offense that could get you up to 10 years.

If the government values animal life so much, maybe we should expand the law to cover all canine companions’ life… and then start tossing these incompetents without the temperament for being cops in jail instead of just to the unemployment line.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 'Your dogs are just sacks of meat. Our dogs on the other hand are fellow officers'

Your article showed that a guy received 17 years in prison for killing a police dog.

Of course, he also stabbed the police officer that the dog was with. That might have had something to do with his sentence.

kitsune361 says:

Re: Re: Re: 'Your dogs are just sacks of meat. Our dogs on the other hand are fellow officers'

Yes, stabbing the officer definately contributed to the 17 years, however they treated both crimes with the same sentence. Relevent quote from the article:

Rush will serve about 3 1⁄2 to 7 years for killing Rocco and 3 to 7 1⁄2 years each for stabbing Lerza and punching the other officers. The judge gave him 2/ 1⁄2 to 7 years for attempting to take an officer’s gun.

Killing the dog got him the same "3 1⁄2 to 7 years" as stabbing, but not killing the officer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well it appears to have happened to a visitor in Minneapolis.
Thinking that the police would help her survive an assault in an alleyway late on Saturday night they murdered the 40yo woman instead. And before you ask, yes the body & squad cameras just happened to be turned off.

AricTheRed says:

But those are SCARRY ASSAULT dogs, cant you SEE!!!

Not only are those “dogs of color” but the lighter brown one appears to be an evil Pit Bull Terrier, clearly identified by the American Humane Society as a classic fighting dog.

As the address appears to be one of Michael Vick’s prior residences, those dogs were clearly trained to use a faux happy “tail wag” to lull their victims in to a false sense of security.

Heck it was likely just a matter of time before we would have read about the entire suburban family found eaten by their own dogs, so they are safer for the officer’s brave action that day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: But those are SCARRY ASSAULT dogs, cant you SEE!!!

“those dogs were clearly trained to use a faux happy “tail wag” to lull their victims in to a false sense of security.”

I am thinking that you are being sarcastic, but for those that may not be aware.

A dogs tail waging is a sign of heightened emotional excitement, not that they are specifically happy, and dogs really do wear their hearts on their furs. That excitement can be positive face slobbering happiness or negative and ready to bite your ignorant ass threatening. Some breeds also have different tail wagging traits as well. Some might have an erratic but energetic wagging when they are on the hunt. And when they are “happy excited” like when a master comes home it is more of a butt & tail wag where they cannot walk straight where their butts seem to be racing their body towards you.

Never assume an excited dog waggling a tail is not about to bite you.

Machin Shin says:

This is the kind of thing that makes being a police officer dangerous. If hear gun shots in my yard followed by my dogs yelping in pain, you better believe I am coming out armed and shooting to kill. I like dogs a lot more than I like most humans. That equation tips even more in favor of the dog when it is my dog.

If police want to make their job safer then they need to use their brain. I can’t think of any reason for jumping a back yard fence for a burglary call. Sure, you might want one cop in back to catch a runner coming out the back door, but that doesn’t require jumping the fence. It also means someone should be knocking on the front door.

Who Me? says:

Re: Re:

They are trained to empty the magazine of a Glock 19… Nineteen shots into an unarmed, already dead body of a no -compliant, mentally disabled person mistakenly thought to be reaching for something in their waistband.

This is an insane country.

Last year here in Salt Lake City, the family dog in a secured back yard was shot and killed because he was barking at an intruder, a cop, who was prowling yards looking for a missing child later found blocks away and totally unrelated to where the killing of the dog took place.

Another man was shot and killed outside his home of five years because an aggressive cop challenged and provoked an angry response of a guy who was knocking on the door of a neighbor to ask if she wanted him to clear ice and snow off her property, because another called cops because she did not recognize her own neighbor of five years.

But this is SLC, where cops stip their cars and stare long and hard at senior citizens sitting at a bus stop. I know. It has happened to me on multiple occasions, all 140 pounds of me holding a grocery bag.

What a world.


Re: Re: Johnny come lately dog people.

So you guys are branching out to the butt hurt pet owners blog then?

I would call this a cautionary tale to corral your dogs if you think the cops are going to come by to deal with a burglar. It’s a bit stupid but somewhat forseeable.

Most modern pet “consumers” don’t train their animals. So I could see a lot of this problem being the fault of the owners even if it’s not the case this time. This incident is just fits the narrative particularly well.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Johnny come lately dog people.

"I would call this a cautionary tale to corral your dogs if you think the cops are going to come by to deal with a burglar."

Not sure if trolling or stupid, but I’ll run with the latter…

The dogs were ‘corralled, in a fenced back yard. The officer climbed over the fence into the corral! And how exactly are you supposed to know that a cop is coming to deal with a burglar since you’re generally not at home during a burglary?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Johnny come lately dog people.

I would call this a cautionary tale to corral your dogs if you think the cops are going to come by to deal with a burglar. It’s a bit stupid but somewhat forseeable.

I see that you are an apologist for bullies and cowards, who always claim it is the other persons fault when they resort to violence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Johnny come lately dog people.

I would call this a cautionary tale to corral your dogs if you think the cops are going to come by to deal with a burglar.

From the article:
One climbed over the privacy fence and into LeMay’s backyard.

I would call this a cautionary tale to read the fucking article before commenting like an ignorant fuckwaddle.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wait, was he pointing the gun at the dog as a threat?

Or was he just aiming. I don’t know more than a couple dozen dogs in real life but I doubt any of them would see a gun and say “please don’t shoot” while raising their paws above their heads.

The second that cop drew his gun he had intent to shoot and/or kill.

Zonker says:

I heard according to a snippet of the victim’s Facebook rant in another article that the home security system used was an XFINITY Home Security system.

So call for service and it’s a two week wait for a 8am-5pm time slot for service that the technician cancels after failing to show up at all, but they have no problem sending two cops to shoot your dogs for a canceled alarm in twenty minutes or less?

I’d hate to find out what happens when I try to cancel my cable service.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Sometimes They Shoot Small Children At The Same Time As Dogs.

Well, there was a weird case a couple of years ago, in which a Columbus, OH, cop fired at a dog, and actually hit a little girl of four, name of Ava Ellis. As you can see from the pictures in the linked article, she’s a cute kid. Anyway, the bullet shattered the upper leg-bone (the femur) and she had to have a whole series of operations, and possibly more will be required. The officer fled the scene of the crime. The city settled while the local police union was still making excuses.

Nicholas Parco, “‘Mommy, am I gonna die’: Mom of 5-year-old Ohio girl accidentally shot by cop trying to subdue dog says officer left scene,” New York Dailly News, October 10, 2015,

Violated says:


I directly say it that the police officer seen here is a coward.

The first dog seen here is clearly being friendly by wagging its tail saying “me friend”. Even had the dog’s tail been pointing up meaning “I don’t like what you are doing” then he could have just climbed back over the fence.

That is their home he is invading where he only has to be friendly and respectful.

So here we have a coward with a handgun preferring to shoot than to say “me friend” back. His uniform only gives him reason to be there but clearly he has no “how to handle dogs training”. Instead of pulling out his gun he should have pulled out some doggie treats to win some friends for life. Throw a ball and not bullets.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Shame

Several years ago, the Department of Justice worked up a manual about dog encounters. Basic stuff like dogs’ body language, simple advice like always carrying a few dog yummies to say hello with.

David says:

Re: Cowardly Cops

Several mailmen have had various injuries on the job through misbehaving or mistrained dogs, however.

Mailmen, as opposed to policemen, have no right to use a gun for proactively averting any conceivable harm that might in due course befall them.

Mailmen are paid according to the inherent dangers of their job. There is a reason policemen get only a fraction of a mailman’s pay, and part of the reason is that they are allowed to kill whatever frightens or annoys them.

Or something like that, to be found in police manuals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mission Accomplished

“One climbed over the privacy fence and into LeMay’s backyard.”

This is the worst possible approach to this entire class of situation, unless you HOPE to manufacture a deadly encounter in what you reasonably believe to be a consequence-free legal/judicial environment.

By their actions shall ye know them.

Nurlip (profile) says:

I recently called the police b/c an AT&T worker parked his truck on my property despite the clear no parking signs posted. i asked him to leave, he told me to call the police, so I (e.g. my wife) did. The police arrived and told me I had to get a court order or a letter from the city prosecutor before they would do anything, including ASKING the guy to move his truck off my property. They immediately sided with the AT&T worker despite our city code saying the opposite of what he told them. The cops then blamed us for calling 911 and told us to call the non-emergency # the next time, despite the fact that we had already explained that we called the non-emergency number first and we were told by the operator there to call 911. The officer matter-of-factly said ‘No. Our people wouldn’t tell you to call 911 for this.’ My wife was on the phone with the non-emergency person for 10 minutes trying to get them to send an officer out b/c we didn’t want to call 911. A few minutes after the police left, the AT&T guy left – he was done with his work about 20 minutes before the police arrived and told me he was waiting for the police to arrive.

Moral of the story: don’t call the police ever. If they don’t get to use their fancy, read: deadly, toys, they don’t want to do the work.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re:

People who work in the streets have a certain community of interest. That includes cops, firemen, postmen and parcel drivers, public utility people, trash collectors, construction crews, bus and perhaps even taxi drivers. The street, considered as a system, only works because people work together. People don’t mess each other up if they can avoid it. When issues do develop, they get handled in conversation between “responsible management,” eg. between the police chief and the cab company owner. The cab company owner agrees to fit dash-cams, that tones down a whole range of over-aggressive driving, without the police having to make a lot of traffic stops. Obviously, in the case of the AT&T man, people said that he has to park his truck somewhere, and if there’s a crane or whatever on the back of the truck, which he has to use, that narrows down his choices . Once he fixes whatever he has to fix, he’s gone, probably for the next ten years. Cops would prefer that, if possible, the AT&T man parks his truck somewhere it doesn’t block traffic, and if he has to use someone’s private parking, or even park on someone’s lawn, that may be the lesser of two evils. The cops make a clear distinction between that and commuters stealing parking places for the whole day.

Cowardly Lion says:

Re: Re:

I fault him.

a) what gave him the right to trespass there in the first place?

b) pulling a gun and shooting 2 dogs was his only option?

c) the police don’t train or prepare for these eventualities?

d) a bit scared? he fled the scene like a little girl

e) both the cop and his department have zero morality, neither give a crap about inflicting pain, and are shirking their responsibilities

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...