Loveland, CO — An utterly disturbing and outright infuriating video was released this week as part of a family's lawsuit against the now-infamous Loveland police department. In the video, we see the cowardice of officer Matthew Grashorn on display as he shoots a 14-month old puppy in the face and body as it happily walked up to greet him.
The family is now suing after their complaints to the department fell on deaf ears and they were essentially ignored for over two years. The shooting took place on June 29, 2019 and the family has been seeking justice for their mixed boxer puppy "Herkimer" ever since.
On that fateful day, Wendy Love and Jay Hamm were running their firewood delivery company when they pulled over in a vacant parking lot to repair a box they use for the firewood. The owner of the building saw them on security cameras and thought they may be trying to use his dumpster, so he called 911 to have cops investigate.
When police asked the building owner if the family was near or had been near the dumpster, the business owner said, "no," according to the lawsuit. No crimes had been committed yet the officer responded as if he had arrived to a hostage situation.
“It was an ambush, and Grashorn knew it. He didn’t care,” the suit says. “He suspected that they were poor and wanted to surprise them, to see if they were up to anything he might be able to get an arrest for.”
As Grashorn walked up to the family, he never announced himself but Herkimer, who, according to the suit is a happy dog who had never bitten anyone, trotted up to greet the officer. Unfortunately, however, Grashorn is a coward and instead of petting the dog, Grashorn shot it.
As Wendy approaches the officer crying in horror, Grashorn refuses to let her near her dog to help him.
During this, Hamm yelled at Grashorn, asking him why he had shot a “clearly friendly dog,” according to the suit. Grashorn responded that he had “no way of knowing” whether Herkimer was friendly, that he “wasn’t in the business to get bit” and he had no interest in “waiting to find out” if the dog was friendly.
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In other words, he's a coward who shoots first and asks questions later.
Over 13 minutes would pass before a supervisor arrived and finally allowed the couple to bring their dog to the vet. After suffering for four days, Herkimer had to be put down.
According to the lawsuit, Grashorn would go to the vet when the family wasn't there and tell them that Herkimer attacked him and needed to be put down. The suit claims police followed the family to the vet and “had their own private conversations with treating veterinarians in which they repeatedly told them that Herkimer was dangerous and had attacked police and needed to be euthanized.”
When the couple tried to file a complaint, the department told them Grashorn was justified in his shooting, a claim with which the family's attorney, Sarah Schielke disagrees.
“It was in violation of Colorado’s Dog Protection Act. It violated all common sense and it violated all common decency,” she told CBS 4.
Schielke brought up the case of Karen Garner, the 73-year-old woman with dementia who was attacked by the same department as she walked home from Walmart. The innocent Garner was injured during the attack and instead of helping her, the Loveland officers celebrated her injuries and made fun of her. Then, as TFTP reported this week, the same department shot a developmentally delayed teen who needed help.
“What in the world is going on in Loveland that these things keep coming out?” Shielke asked.
What in the world, indeed.