A disturbing video was released by a Minnesota family after a uniformed Minneapolis police officer responding to an alarm call at their home appears to have shot their two dogs in the backyard over the weekend.
Both dogs survived the shooting and are alive, but their owner, Jennifer LeMay, says that the dogs “weren’t attacking or charging” the officer. The incident occurred on Saturday July 9, 2017 when two officers responded to a home burglary alarm.
LeMay told The Star Tribune what she knows of the incident from her two daughters, who were home at the time, and from the surveillance video, as she and the rest of her family were camping. She said, one of her two teen daughters accidentally triggered the home alarm, but LeMay said she called the security company and the alarm was deactivated a few minutes later.
Two officers arrived at their home 20 minutes later, and LeMay said neither officer knocked at the front door. One officer apparently scaled their fence in the backyard while checking the home.
The surveillance video shows an officer standing in their backyard. He approaches the home and disappears from view and appears again a moment later, stepping backwards and drawing his gun as the family’s two dogs approach.
Ciroc, the white and brown dog, appears to be wagging his tail and stops a few feet away. The officer shoots the dog, who then runs away. As Ciroc runs away, Rocko, the brown dog, appears and is then shot. The officer momentarily pauses before leaving the yard by climbing over the fence.
LeMay posted the family’s surveillance footage of the shooting on Facebook and captioned it, “Yall see this sh*t…mpls finest shooting my dogs that weren’t attacking or charging at him!”
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LeMay and her four children have had the two Staffordshire terriers, Ciroc and Rocko since they were puppies.
The two dogs were taken to the emergency vet, where Ciroc was treated for a gunshot wound to the jaw.
Rocko was shot in the shoulder/chest and is “out of surgery and doing ok so far but after the extent of his injuries he’ll need to be closely observed” LeMay wrote on Facebook.
The family faced thousands of dollars in veterinary bills. Fortunately for the family, the GoFundMe page set up to help pay for their veterinary bills has received an outpouring of support.
Both dogs are now at home resting, but are being closely monitored.
Police spokesman Corey Schmidt sent a statement to the Star Tribune stating that there is an investigation underway and that they are reviewing the video posted online as well as the officer’s body cam video. Police say they have reached out to LeMay and visited the family on Sunday.
LeMay responded to online questions of what the family plans to do on Facebook, and she wrote that the family “will be pressing charges to the fullest extent of the law and obtaining counsel to do so…right now, obviously, [our] primary focus is The Boys and their health. Without them suing them would be meaningless because there’s not a price to put on the value of a family member’s life.”