The Cleburne Police Department in Texas confirmed today that a viral video claiming to be one of their officers shooting dead two dogs with wagging tails is legitimate.
In the 22 second video, you can hear the cop coaxing the dogs over and firing three shots. It’s clear that one dog is injured but the second dog just stands around. The video ends with a chirp of the walkie-talkie and the officer pointing his service weapon at the other dog.
It’s also clear that the dogs pose no immediate threat to the officer given that he approached them before opening fire.
The Cleburne Police Department released the following statement:
“The City is obviously concerned about the video showing an officer shooting a dog. As is often the case, the short video does not tell the whole story. The officer was responding to a 911 call for assistance. Three dogs had pinned some residents in a vehicle. One dog was secured without incident before the shooting. The officer was attempting to secure the other dogs until animal control arrived when one dog became aggressive.
The City of Cleburne takes the safety of our residents, their pets, and our officers seriously. This incident is currently under review. The review will include interviews with witnesses and review of department policies. Once the review is concluded, any actions that may be warranted will be handled swiftly and appropriately.
The Cleburne Police Department is seeking the public’s help if anyone observed this incident, please contact the Professional Standards Unit at 817.556.8894.”
Long time readers of PINAC of course recognize the boilerplate language of this release. Safety, safety, safety.
We will be pressing for the full release of the body cam footage in order to get the whole story. If Cleburne police are being truthful, they will release the full video immediately to show no wrong-doing on the part of the officer. If they stall and make excuses, it’s fair to draw the conclusion that their lack of transparency will make the department look even worse.
PINAC advocates the mandatory use of body cameras for all police officers in an effort to increase accountability and transparency. It’s only part of the solution though; the public must be vigilant in helping us bring misconduct to light.
Here is another video from last year showing a Cleburne cop tasing a man during a traffic stop who was posing no threat to him.