Terre Haute, IN — A video uploaded to Twitter this week has sparked massive backlash against the Terre Haute police department after it showed a police officer repeatedly kicking a small dog on a resident's porch. The video sparked so many calls to the department that the department was forced to immediately respond and actually released the nearly 4 minute body camera footage showing what led up to the event.
The video was uploaded to a Twitter account which was created on the date it was uploaded, named Haley Richey — who turns out to be the daughter of the couple who owns the home. In the post, Richey writes that they called police for a break in and when officers showed up, that's when the kicking happened.
"Yesterday evening while my family and I were at work, someone broke into my home. My dogs ran the intruder off. This was the response shortly after a neighbor called. My home needed help and all it received was hurt. #AnimalCruelty"
The brief video shows a small dog standing on the porch barking at the officer before the officer comes up and begins kicking it. The dog yelps in pain before running off camera.
When the video went viral, police responded by releasing the body camera footage issuing a statement claiming that they were actually responding to a report about loose dogs not a break in as the original post implies.
In the body camera footage, the officers are confronted by the dogs and surprisingly, they did not shoot them. Instead, the officer appears to spray them with pepper spray as they run off.
The officer then knocks on a door to a home and confirms that the dogs belong to the home next door. When the officer gets to the home next door, the tiny Boston Terrier named Murdock had retreated to the porch after being sprayed and is simply standing there when the officer says, "don't you bite me!" and proceeds to kick the dog multiple times in a fit of rage.
The video is extremely hard to watch.
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As the original post claims, the family did report a break-in, but according to police it wasn't until after police showed up and kicked their dog and issued them multiple citations for their loose dogs. According to the Richey family, they didn't watch the Ring doorbell videos until after they were issued the citations and after they realized their dogs were loose because someone cut the lock going into their backyard, which is why police were called after they received the original citations.
“The male resident contacted police again and reported that after speaking with his family, he believes someone may have gotten into their residence and that is how the dogs escaped,” police said.
In a Facebook post, A.J. Richey, Haley's father, explained that his daughter misunderstood why police were there when she made the post. He also explained that she made that post after he told her not to as he didn't want to shine a negative light on his local police department but his daughter posted the video without his permission.
According to police, the officer broke no laws repeatedly kicking the small dog.
“While the conduct in the video has been determined by the prosecutor to not constitute a crime by the officer and the body camera footage is in sharp contrast to the original social media narrative, we will still be objectively evaluating the conduct to see if it violates any departmental policies or directives,” THPD said in the statement.
Police also claimed that the white pit bull belonging to the family had allegedly bitten a child last year. They used this as a reason to justify kicking the hell out of the small dog.
After police released their report, essentially painting the Richey family as a problem family in the neighborhood, he felt compelled to tell his side of the story. It is copied below in its entirety. The Ring and body camera videos are also below.
So apparently being kind and turning the other cheek is not enough.
I have 60 minutes of footage that shows our pets on the porch scared and being antagonized.
We have a wacko Neighbor that spends more time paying attention to other folks lives instead of living her own (The Neighbors name is on the report that the officers sister was so kind to share with the public less than 24 hrs after the incident which is interesting considering how our insurance company had to wait 48 hrs for a report, do you think she had some inside help?
We support our Local Law Enforcement and I actually only went back to review to see were we failed as a family.
Then I see this….very heroic action, next time just push the big blue button it will call me. The dog he is boot stomping is a 10 year old Boston Terrier named Murdock who weighs under 25lbs. This is after the dogs have been maced. But I’ll save that footage and language for later. Just pray this guy isn’t in a bad mood if you should ever happen to have
Dealings with him. My wife had just put out Xmas decorations the evening before one being a white sign straight from the store, the sign was decorated with feces and blood of Murdock after this interaction. Anger Management anyone?
THPD official statement was they found no wrong doing? Our other dog had retreated to the back yard and into the house after being maced repeatedly as was Murdock.
My daughter Madelyn Richey arrived at the house but the officer would not let her go in the house……… why? When I arrived home I parked next to the garage came in through the garage noticed the back door standing wide open, I assumed Madelyn left the door open getting our other dog back inside but I still mentioned this to the officer but he dismissed it. There was also an animal control officer present when I arrived so why did this officer go up and stomp Murdock?
This is getting boring so let’s fast forward for a second. After going in and searching the house for the dogs I cannot find Murdock and I locate the younger larger dog quivering in Haley Richey’s room covered in orange paint which was pepper spray. The officer told me both dogs were in the house so I search for Murdock with no success, at this point I’m the only person at home.
I come back out to apologize that I cannot locate the smallest dog.
I go back in and retrieve Drako the large younger dog who was shivering, suffering from being maced which I didn’t know at the time otherwise I would’ve made sure he was given some water. Drako was so happy to see me but shaken and I was about to betray him again without question out of respect for our local PD.
I walk him out pick him up and sat with him on the tailgate of the AC truck for a short bit feeling like a failure.
I push Drako into the kennel and promise him I’ll try my best to bring him home.
Meanwhile two other officers proceed to hand me 6 tickets. I apologize for the trouble and shake each officers hand and thank them for their service.
I promise to turn in Murdock if he comes home.
My wife Karen Richey comes home along with Haley Richey who had been at work since 4:30pm leaving no one at the house from that time.
Now I won’t get into the details but both gates were secure in the AM when I left for work padlocked from the inside. After seeing the beat down and the dogs being maced we went looking for Murdock hoping to not find him dead. That’s when I noticed the padlock for the side gate was missing and the window on the rear door damaged.
I called THPD and asked for a supervisor over the conduct caught on camera and the signs of forced entry. At this point it’s getting late and we are sick about Murdock and worried about someone hiding in our house.
Sergeant Ribollo ￼was very kind, patient, and understanding. My daughter Haley was present at this point in time so this was her account of the event!
So everyone’s super tired, upset, and I promise to keep looking if the girls will go to bed. I’m riding a bike down every alley and street when Sergeant Ribollo calls to inform me they have found Murdock.
I stress to my family that no one is to speak of violent attack on Murdock and I fell asleep.
I think we have a great Police Department that I have witnessed be Very respectful and patient when others would have cuffed, tazed, or shot.
My child was traumatized and shook over the footage and then punished (by her parents)for sharing footage that was not hers to share and what I thought would just create division in our community.
But after the officer’s sister post’s a report her own brother created with our information address to Facebook and his daughter sends hateful messages to my daughter I’ve had enough.
I will pay a high price for this text I’m sure of it but I wanted to set the record straight.
1. All of The officers were very professional and kind when I was present however I was lied to and there was 0 reasons for the officer to come back up on our porch when he used excessive force and cruelty. Animal control was on their way the dogs had been maced and were sitting on their own porch. Watch the clip again why does he turn off his flashlight right before?
2. I did not want any of this to be public and explained that to everyone. We have taught our children to respect Police officers and I have repeatedly bragged on our local departments, these men and women typically live in the community they Police and seem to be invested kin everyone’s success.
3. Our family adopted a dog from our local shelter not based upon the need thr shelter had at that time, we have spent way more money than I will ever admit on training for Drako, I take him on nighttime bike rides to avoid people, we love him very much and will not give up on him.
4. Someone came into our home with unbeknownst intentions, at the very least to steal, and thankfully our furry family ran them out only to be abused for it. The gate was padlocked from the inside and I believe the intruder cIipped the lock off because it was their only way out. Y I have 40 minutes of footage of our boys waiting on their porch for their Mom and dad to get home.
I hope my daughters and the other family learn a valuable lesson over this because I am certain I will be covering the tab on this one way or another.