Minneapolis, MN — A new perspective has come forth from a gruesome dog shooting by a Minneapolis police officer earlier this month. While the surveillance footage of the shooting was graphic enough, the newly released body camera footage shows this officer shooting a happy, submissive, and docile dog for absolutely no reason — other than irrational fear.
The LeMay family were camping in Wisconsin when two of the children, both teenage girls, 13 and 18, wanted to come home early because the elder had to get back to work at a local fast food restaurant. They arrived home at around 8:50 pm Saturday, but when they did, they accidentally triggered their own security alarm.
The security company was notified that it was a false alarm, and the alarm was canceled at 8:54. But police were already on their way to the LeMay residence. One of the two responding officers stayed in the front yard while another officer scaled the 7ft high fence in the back.
As the officer trespassed on to the family’s property — despite the alarm call being canceled — he met Cisco and Rocko. From the video, the officer can be seen drawing his weapon as the dogs slowly approached while Cisco, one of the family’s two Staffordshire Terriers, is seen wagging his tail.
The officer didn’t kneel or offer an extended hand for Cisco to smell him, he cowardly pointed his gun at the dog and fired. Cisco wasn’t even charging at the officer when he was shot. Rocko came just as quickly, and he, too, was hit with the officer’s spray of bullets.
The officer then did what he probably should have done — before he shot. As the two dogs were bleeding and badly injured, the officer jumped back over the fence.
After the shooting, Lemay posted the footage from her surveillance cameras to Facebook, which quickly went viral. While it did show Cisco slowly approach the officer, the first video is not as graphic as the body camera footage below as it doesn’t show exactly how submissive and non-threatening the dog actually was.
The 13-year-old saw her dogs get shot by a so-called officer of the peace, and was surely traumatized. The officer who was in the front of the home then did what he should have done in the beginning. He knocked on the front door.
“The reasonable question is why didn’t you just ask her if the alarm was legitimate?” Attorney Mike Padden said, pointing out that all the cop had to do was knock on the door, especially considering the fact that the alarm was canceled.
As WCCO reports, 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.
The LeMay’s said the officers told them not to transport the dogs to the hospital because animal control would be coming over to get them but they never came.
Later that night, they were able to get the pets the much-needed surgery and medical care they should have gotten immediately following the shooting.
The family spent thousands on surgery to save the dogs’ lives and a GoFundMe page raised over $35,000 to help her pay for since the police department did not immediately offer assistance. However, since the first video received so much coverage, the department said they’d be willing to pay some of the vet bills.
“They need to assume responsibility. They need further training,” LeMay said
Below is the unedited entire clip from the officer’s body camera. WARNING: It is graphic.
Exactly what they are teaching officers to fear at the Minneapolis police department is not clear. However, given this body cam and the recent murder of Justine Damond — who was unarmed and in her pajamas when officer Noor, from the same department, shot her — Minneapolis cops would do well to learn some courage.