Video Shows Minneapolis Cop Shooting Two Dogs for No Reason

Ever since they were puppies, Ciroc and Rocko have been emotional support dogs for Jennifer LeMay’s two sons, who have severe anxiety. In response to a burglar alarm that LeMay’s daughters accidentally set off at their home last Saturday evening, a Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer jumped over a fence into their backyard.

What happened next was recorded by a security camera in a very disturbing video that LeMay later posted on Facebook. The officer walks toward the house, out of camera range, and then can be seen walking backward with his gun drawn as one of the Staffordshire terriers, Ciroc, approaches him.

Although Ciroc stops about 10 feet away from him, wagging his tail, the officer shoots him. When Ciroc runs back to the house, Rocko runs out to see what’s happening. The officer can be seen firing several shots as Rocko runs back to the house. Instead of checking on the welfare of the injured dogs, the officer climbs over the fence and leaves.

Here’s the video. Be aware that it’s graphic.

Both Ciroc and Rocko survived their gunshot wounds. Ciroc, who was shot in the jaw, will need to undergo several surgeries and is not doing well. Rocko was hit in the face, shoulder and side. A GoFundMe campaign has raised over $31,000 for their veterinary care as of July 12, and the MPD also offered to help with the bills.

Police Report: ‘Pit Bulls Charged at Officer’

In the police report, the officer wrote, “While staging at the rear, two large size pit bulls charged at officer.” Really? The video clearly shows this was not what happened.

“My dog wasn’t even moving, lunging toward him or anything,” LeMay told the Star Tribune. “My dogs were doing their job on my property. We have a right to be safe in our yard.”

Mike Quinn, who was an MPD officer for 23 years, watched the video. “The dog’s tail is wagging. Ears are down. They’re not back. He’s just curious, and he shoots him,” Quinn said. “I don’t see any reason to shoot the first dog.”

MPD Police Chief Janeé Harteau released a statement the day after the shootings. “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,” she said.

According to the statement, if an officer discharges their firearm in the line of duty, an investigation is conducted by the MPD’s Internal Affairs Unit. The surveillance video as well as the officer’s body camera video are currently being reviewed.

On July 12, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis issued its own statement saying the officer had responded properly by shooting the two dogs – because Ciroc had growled and slowly walked toward him.

The officer “made the difficult decision to fire his service weapon upon the pit bulls to prevent injury to himself,” said Sherral Schmidt, vice president of the union. “It is easy to judge an officer’s actions from the safety of one’s home with the ability to replay the video over and over,” she added. “In this line of work, officers need to adapt and react to situations in the blink of an eye.”

Preventing ‘Puppycide’

Dogs are shot so frequently by police in the United States – once every 98 minutes, in fact — that there’s even a term for it: “puppycide.”

To save dogs’ lives, states like Colorado have passed laws requiring all law enforcement officers to be trained in humane ways to deal with scared pets instead of reacting to situations in the blink of an eye by immediately reaching for their guns.

Harteau said to help prevent more shootings, the MPD “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.”

It’s sad that it took the shootings of two dogs to motivate the MPD to train officers in dealing with pets without the use of deadly force, but at least it’s a start. Despite the police union’s conclusion, the officer appeared to be in no danger and had no reason to shoot Ciroc and Rocko. Please sign and share this petition asking that he be fired for needlessly hurting these two dogs.

Photo credit: GoFundMe.com

186 comments

Melania P
Melania P2 months ago

It seems police officers need training in handling with animals/and a compassion course. Shame on these officers, really, animals are the ones to suffer, so sick of this.

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H M
H M3 months ago

And don't think living in Saint Cloud will save your ass from either the local cops or the Minneapolis ones. A few of the Mpls. ones fought some Green Bay ones in Wisconsin.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

Officer should not jump into a garden without knowing what is in there

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara4 months ago

Thanks, poor dogs

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joan silaco
joan silaco4 months ago

TYFS

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE4 months ago

Thank you siela siela for clearing this up.

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siela s
siela siela4 months ago

Some times cops are wrong, but not this time.
You are mistaken.  Withdraw this petition.
First dog clearly had his hackles up.  He was steadily approaching.  Second dog charged.
Both wagged their tails, HOWEVER, all dogs wag their tails for a wide variety of reasons, including alarm.
Officer had absolutely NO time to retreat over the fence or anywhere for that matter, he only had 1 second, 2 at the most.
Enlarge the video.  If you can't see the hackles, I will circle it for you.
Talk to dog trainers and ask this:  Do attacking dogs wag their tails?  They will say yes they can.  
You are irresponsible pit owners.
Siela
animal communicator

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Beth D
Beth D4 months ago

It's not only Minn, this hapoopens everywhere and way too often. What are these pigs so afraid of? And why the hell are they still on the force if they're THAT afraid of anything that moves towards them? They need to be prosecuted, just like civilians would be.

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Susan Vogel-Hudgins

Dogs with wagging tails...women reporting sexual assualt...black men in cars with their girlfriend and young child...who aren't these "cops" afraid of??? And then LIE about the interaction. Minneapolis police have a SERIOUS problem as do the city's civilians who depend on these monsters for "protection". Absolutely disgusting!

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga4 months ago

horrible

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