UPDATE II: Local news station WUSA interviewed the hearing impaired woman, LaToya Plummer whose service dog Cleo – a bully-mix – was shot by a DC Metro cop who was off-duty. According to that interview, the DC officer didn’t identify herself as off-duty law enforcement.
The complete local news video report and interview with Ms. Plummer is embedded below.
Plummer is seeking for prosecutors to press animal cruelty charges against the still as yet unidentified DC Metro officer.
Tongues and tails were wagging after an off-duty Washington D.C. police officer shot and wounded a dog outside a dog park in neighboring Maryland’s St. Georges County this past Sunday.
The officer claimed that the dog “bared its teeth in an aggressive manner” which must have made the officer fear “her safety.”
According to PuppycideDB‘s Josh Wieder, “After 18 months of research Puppycide Database Project has been unable to find a police officer who has been killed by a dog in 80 years.”
Greenbelt Police are investigating the incident since it happened inside their jurisdiction, not D.C.
As George Matthews of Greenbelt Police told PINAC News after publishing our original story, the Metropolitan DC officer filed a complaint against the dog she shot, and its owner called in the report.
The victim, an off-duty Metropolitan Police Officer, advised that she was walking her dog when a dog she described as a large pit bull aggressively ran towards her and her dog. Fearing for her safety, the victim produced her handgun and fired a shot at the dog. The owner was still inside the dog park with two other dogs. When the victim approached her and stated that she was contacting the police, the suspect took all of her dogs, including the possibly injured dog, and left the scene. It was later discovered that the suspect was hearing impaired and thought that her dog had been involved in a fight. She was told the dog had been shot. The dog was taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
Due to that communications barriers between the owner of the wounded dog and the cop, the hearing impaired wounded dog’s owner called police hours later, thinking her dog had been bit.
After finding out the other side of the story, it’s hard to understand why the DC sergeant is still being called the “victim” of this shooting.
According to the Washington Post’s report:
The owner took her dogs and drove away from the park, Mathews said. Hours later, about 5:40 p.m., Mathews said the owner called police to complain that her dog had been bitten. The spokesman said police investigated and discovered her dog had been shot.
Even the Post hasn’t obtained the names from police of either the woman who reported the incident, nor the officer outside of her jurisdiction who discharged a fire arm while walking her own dog.
“This sort of incident also speaks toward the sort of training, hiring practices and workplace culture that leads to this sort of behavior,” said Wieder, who worked to launch PuppycideDB last year, which tracks police shootings of dogs all across the country, mostly using collected internet reports.
“It speaks volumes about the police departments involved in this incident that they declined to inform the public about this shooting until they were forced to by the press.”
The incident is under investigation by animal control officials in Prince George’s county animal control officials.
Prince George’s County Police Department also has jurisdiction, perhaps the department whose Facebook page profile photo features two K9 Detectives wearing badges, perhaps they’ll consider investigating too.
Ed. Note: The sergeant did self-report the shot, calling 911 to tell her side of the story. But did she tell the dog’s owner? Probably not.” but has been revised after receiving the official statement of Greenbelt PD to remove those sentences. The word “service” was added to the headline after WUSA9’s report that the wounded dog is in fact a service dog for the deaf. Original cover photo is shown above with original caption