A Commerce City, Colorado police officer was caught on a now viral video shooting a captured dog five times. Neighbors are outraged as they say the shooting was unnecessary, as well as unsafe.
The tragic shooting of 3-year-old Chloe, a pit bull-labrador mix, took place in an upper middle class neighborhood of Commerce City. The home owner, who had custody of Chloe at the time of its shooting, was taking care of the animal for her cousin. She has asked to have her identity remain private.
Chloe was given a bed in the home owner's garage, and she then went to work. Not having an animal, the home owner did not anticipate the possibility of her garage door's automatic opening mechanism being activated by Chloe. Unfortunately that scenario is exactly what happened.
With the garage door now open, Chloe was then free to wander about the neighborhood, doing what any other domesticated dog would do. Sniff and pee on things, marking her new found bastion of territory.
A neighbor, Kenny Collins, saw Chloe and did not recognize her and called police. Not because he felt threatened, but simply because the dog was loose and he did not want it to get hit by a car.
According to coloradoan.com, Collins stated:
He never came at me in an aggressive manner.When police arrived Collins' son took it upon himself to record the officers. The video shows officers having cornered Chloe on its own property. An animal control officer was also present. Chloe was feet from the bed that was given to her by the homeowner. Commerce City police can be seen on video twice attempting to use a tazer on Chloe. After that method failed the animal control officer, who is a highly trained professional, used a tool known as a catch pole to capture Chloe.
The animal can be seen attempting to flee the garage after its neck was caught in the catch pole. This is a natural response for any animal, and it is why the pole was designed, to allow animals to be controlled from a distance.
This is when the Commerce City officer opened fire on Chloe, shooting her five times, killing her within seconds.
Kenny Collins is absolutely outraged. He claims he did not call police because Chloe was violent. He also believes his life and his family's lives were put in danger by the action of the officer. Preliminary reports show that six shots were fired. Five struck Chloe, and one struck a Commerce City police cruiser. Collins says that the bullet which struck the car would have easily struck any one of the members of his family, including himself. He said on the record:
That bullet was fired in my direction with me standing across the street.Naturally the Commerce City Police Department has an entirely different take on the situation. They released the following statement:
"An animal control agent was able to place a catch pole around the dog's neck. The pit bull remained extremely agitated and continued to attempt to attack the animal control agent. Due to the dog's size and aggressive demeanor, it could not be controlled on the catch pole. For the safety of the animal control agent and the community, a police officer shot and killed the dog."After reviewing the video multiple times, it is evident that the statement by the police is a blatant and baseless lie, and is an attempt to cover-up an abuse of power. At no point does it appear that Chloe was attempting to attack anyone, let alone repeatedly attempting to attack. The neighbor who called animal control said that the dog was not aggressive.
It is odd how the animal became a "threat to the community" only after police arrived.
More questions remain and a detective with the Commerce City police department named Mike Saunders spoke locally with 9Wants to Know and reaffirmed the officer's killing of Chloe:
Yes, the dog was on the catch pole. But, it was the officer's concern that the animal control agent wasn't able to maintain control of the animal and the fear was that the animal was going to come off the catch pole and attack the officers or get loose and run back into the neighborhood putting citizens in danger. They attempted to taze the dog twice however that had no effect on the dog.The summation by the detective is nonsensical. The animal control officer is a trained professional. They are trained in the fine art of dealing with wild animals. Everyday, all day long. Police officers, however, do not deal with wild animals on a daily basis.
With that common sense in mind it begs the question of what authority did the officer have to second guess the abilities of the trained animal control professional? Chloe was restrained by the catch pole. The rational is because a police officer doubted an animal control officer's ability to do their job that an innocent dog was killed? On what basis do they make such a judgment? Their own irrational fears, because they don't work with animals?
Chloe did not attempt to attack anyone. She was in a strange place, with strangers surrounding her, trying to place her neck into a noose. The natural inclination of any animal would be to run, and that is precisely what the video shows.
A Commerce City city council meeting is currently underway to discuss the shooting of Chloe.
A Facebook community page has been founded. It is called Justice for Chloe -Dog shot by Commerce City Co Police.
Interested in signing the petition for Chloe? As of this writing over 8,000 signatures have been collected.