An Idaho cop murdered a dog in its own front yard while serving an arrest warrant on a compliant citizen after officers took advantage of a door left ajar.
The arrest warrant turned into a death warrant for the beloved family pet named Targaryan.
Now Caldwell police are threatening to charge an innocent woman with “having a vicious animal at large.”
And they sent her a $200 bill before they’ll release the remains of her deceased beloved pet dog.
Police claim the dog “lunged.”
But the body camera videos released today show a very different story.
After the August 18 incident, Caldwell police told the local news that the dog “lunged” at the officers but the video reveals an officer who is apparently afraid of dogs who fires his gun after his partner seemed to have no issues with the mixed-breed 85-pound dog who barked but did not charge or lunge.
Alinah Stelly’s sister was wanted on a warrant and the Caldwell Police knocked on her door to serve it, but they didn’t alert the young woman who was drying her hair with a maroon towel as she casually chatted with them for a few seconds to the real reason for visiting her townhouse.
They had an arrest warrant for Stelly’s 31-year-old sister on a probation violation.
“I’m looking for Crystal, Crystal Holden,” said the Idaho cop.
It was a subterfuge on the part of the officer, but one that they are legally allowed to use when serving an arrest warrant.
“What is this for?” asked Stelly.
“I’ve just got to talk with her… for some follow up,” replied the Caldwell police officer.
The 20-year-old Stelly dutifully went upstairs to get her sister, and accidentally left her front door slightly ajar
That’s when the Caldwell police officer quite literally crossed the line from acceptable to probably unconstitutional policing.
He crossed the threshold of Alinah Stelly’s private residence to push the front door wide open so he could visually search her residence.
An arrest warrant is not a search warrant
Moments later, Targaryan, the 85-pound German Shepherd and Pitbull mixed breed dog trotted downstairs and started barking, he faced a wide open front door in his own yard.
The nearest Caldwell cop wisely pulled out a rather large baton, and held it at nose height for the barking dog, which ran up to the cop, and then continued to move to his left while barking.
That’s when the second officer on the scene lost his cool.
Targaryan the dog came near him, while barking.
The gruesome end result nearly took off the foot of the officer, since the dog was sniffing the cop, as most dogs do when strangers visit their homes. According to the Statesman:
Later, as the officer who shot the dog is looking for the shell casing, he can be heard telling another officer, “I was almost shooting my own damn feet, that thing was right at me. Scared the crap out of me.”
After seeing the video, Stelly, who said she is considering filing a lawsuit, believes her dog wouldn’t have been shot if the first officer hadn’t pushed the door open. “I would have had more control of him and put him in the kennel,” she said.
But Stelly couldn’t have guessed that police would open the front door to her home so they could conduct a visual search of her apartment.
Nor should she have had to.
The officer used terrible judgement in testing the boundaries of constitutional policing, and now his department will likely face a lawsuit over his partner’s dog murdering ways.