Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The family of Rosie the dog awarded $50,000

Attorney for family of Rosie the dog on historic judgment

Originally aired: Friday, February 22, 2013

The family of Rosie the dog awarded $50,000 after she was shot needlessly by trigger-happy Des Moines cops who were supposed to help her.

Follow the link to listen to the Radio Interview with Attorney Adam Karp.

Arvada, CO police getting dog behavior training to prevent dog shootings.

ARVADA, Colo. - Most of the headlines with police and pets lately have been negative, with officer investigations in Adams County and Commerce City, where dogs were killed.

However, one local police force is being preemptive in preventing dog shootings.

Arvada police officer Jason Ammons was finishing a day on bike patrol when the unexpected happened.

"I saw a pit bull that was racing toward me on the street," he said. "It started going after my left leg."

Ammons was able to use his Taser to subdue the pit bull, instead of pulling his service revolver, and that's what Arvada is teaching its officers.

All Arvada police officers are getting dog behavior training by some of the city's most knowledgeable: their K-9 unit's animal and management officers.

"We can be a good resource for them and offer a different perspective," said Jennie Whittle.

The goal is to do everything you can to not kill someone's pet.

"Even our patrol officers are, I don't want to say scared, but intimated at times when we go around our own canine police dogs," Ammons said.

And the more comfortable the officers can be around dogs, the better chance at avoiding a dog death like those that have hit Commerce City and Adams County lately.

"Fido just came out here and he isn't necessarily trying to attack me and if I just give that dog some space then we don't have any further issue with that dog," said Ron Avila.

State Senator David Balmer is set to introduce a bill that would make mandatory dog training for all police officers.

Family wins $225,000 settlement against Minneapolis police

Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune | Updated: June 1, 2013 - 9:41 PM

A family that sued a Minneapolis police over a 2011 raid of their home, one that led to the shooting of two dogs and a list of ugly allegations against officers, has won a $225,000 settlement, a city spokesman confirmed this week.

The allegations laid out in James and Aisha Keten’s lawsuit against 15 members of the department portray the officers as cavalier and reckless, firing weapons at targets near children, screaming profanities and racial slurs, and taking cash from the family while searching for a rifle.

The search warrant’s focus was Lamont Keten, a suspect in an April 3, 2011, shooting. He was in custody by the time the police SWAT team arrived at his brother James Keten’s duplex. The warrant authorized the police to search for a .223 rifle that had been used in the shooting, according to court documents.

Two days before the search, James Keten had spoken to police about the shooting when he agreed to meet the officer assigned to the case, according to the lawsuit. Two days later, as Keten and his wife and two daughters ate breakfast and prepared for their day, the SWAT team entered the ground-floor duplex.

A dog in the front living room was shot immediately, as was a second dog in the kitchen, according to the lawsuit and the city’s response. The Ketens said that their daughters, ages 1 and 3, were eating breakfast at the kitchen table at the time, and that some of the dog’s blood splattered on the 3-year-old girl. The city disputed some of these allegations but agreed that the 3-year-old was at the kitchen table when a dog in the kitchen was shot and killed.

The Ketens’ account of the search warrant included several more allegations, all of which the city disputed: that officers beat James Keten in the head, neck and face during the search, ordering him to “shut up” while using profanity and racial slurs, that his wife’s purse was searched and that officers took $9,400 from it, and that officers broke furniture and tore down curtains.

The City Council approved a $225,000 settlement on March 29.

In a prepared statement, Police Chief Janeé Harteau said: "This incident occurred two years ago, and I do not have all the details about the case. However, as the new chief, I can reassure everyone that police misconduct will not be tolerated by the department. I fully support our officers in the work they do to keep our city safe each day but will also hold them accountable for their actions to ensure they are consistent with our core values."

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

$25K Settlement with Tallahassee Police Over Dog Shooting

City Settles Out of Court in Dog Shooting Case

Posted: Apr 05, 2013 | Reporter: Andy Alcock Email

A man who sued Tallahassee Police after an officer shot and killed his dog has settled his case.

It all started at about four in the morning in July, 2009.

Tallahassee Police Officers Joseph Azevedo and Mark Adrick arrived at a home in the 1400 block of Charlotte Avenue.

The officers were there because Kyle Marshall's live in girlfriend for two years claimed he was going to harm her black lab Dutch and wouldn't return it.

Marshall says it's not true and fallout from a fight.

The officers claim Marshall ordered his dog Smitty to attack them.

Officer Azevedo fatally shot Smitty.

"The officers maintain that the dog attacked them and they were justified in using the force they used," said Cassandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Tallahassee City Attorney.

"In no way was Smitty aggressive," said Marshall. "In no way did he look aggressive," he said. "This was basically the officers not manning up to a mistake they made and covering themselves to keep their jobs," Marshall said.

While Marshall admits he was rude to the officers and told them to leave his property multiple times, he says he feared for his own life after Officer Azevedo shot Smitty.

He says he tried to close the door and get away, but the officers entered his home and Acevedo shot Marshall twice with a taser.

"They shot my dog right on my front porch and then came into my house," said Marshall. "What rights do you have if you can't stay in your own house," he said.

"It was determined their actions were completely justified because they were in fear for their own safety," said Jackson.

Marshall was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence and petit theft of the dog.

He faced up to 30 years in prison.

However, the state attorney dropped all the charges, noting "the dog in this case does not meet the definition of a deadly weapon".

Marshall then sued.

Instead of going to trial, the city settled out of court with Marshall for $25,000.

"There was some concern perhaps the sympathy factor because of the dog," said Jackson explaining the decision to settle.

While Marshall has received the $25,000 settlement, he says his legal bills were more than $40,000.

And he said he sat in jail for two weeks.

He says he was offered a plea deal for three years in prison he's glad he didn't take.

"It's real serious," said Marshall. "It would've changed my entire life," he said. "I'd still be in jail right now," Marshall said.

Instead Marshall left Tallahassee to get a fresh start in California.

As for Officers Azevedo and Adrick, a Tallahassee Police Department internal affairs investigation cleared them both of any wrongdoing.

MPD has acknowledged the need for canine encounter related training, and the need to revise current policies regarding canine encounters.

Good news for Milwaukee PD residents! MPD has acknowledged the need for canine encounter related training, and the need to revise current policies regarding canine encounters.

Per the 2012 Milwaukee, WI PD Firearms Discharge Annual Report p.17-20

2012 Milwaukee PD Dog Related Encounter Incident Stats:
- 32 dog-related encounter incidents
- 37 dogs were police targets
- 28 dogs sustained fatal injuries
- 1 dog sustained major injuries
- 8 dogs were unharmed (all shots missed)
- 118 total rounds were fired averaging 3.2 rounds per dog
- 3 of the 52 officers were involved in 2 separate dog encounter incidents (3 officers shot at a dog on more than one occasion)
- SWAT: The Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) was involved with 2 of the dog-related incidents

2011 Milwaukee PD Dog Related Encounters Stats:
- 36 dog-related encounter incidents
- 37 dogs were police targets
- 20 dogs sustained fatal injuries
- 11 dogs were injured
- 6 dogs were unharmed (all shots missed)
- 105 total rounds were fired averaging 2.8 rounds per dog


1. The MPD should develop a departmental strategy for the proper handling of dog-related incidents. This strategy should closely align with the model protocols identified in the August 2011 U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services publication, "The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters." The goal of this strategy should be to significantly reduce the use of deadly force in dog-related encounters.

2. The MPD should intensify training on dog behavior and appropriate use of de-escalation techniques and other non-lethal tactical response strategies for dog-related encounters.

3. The MPD should closely review every dog-related encounter that involves the discharge of a firearm to determine if the use of deadly force was appropriate and whether proper non-lethal tactical responses were considered and utilized by officers.

4. The MPD should consider revising the use of force policy to include specific dog-related protocols consistent with a revised training regimen.

Pet Owner Reacts to Sentence of the Man who Killed his Dog


By: Litsa Pappas | Jan 09, 2013

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- In a retrial, a judge found former Harrisonburg Police Officer Russell Metcalf guilty once again of animal cruelty, but he did drop one charge that Metcalf was convicted of in his first trial.

The judge said on Wednesday that Metcalf is not guilty of recklessly using a gun when he shot and killed a dog last spring. The judge did say that it wasn't necessary for Metcalf to shoot the dog and that's why Metcalf is still guilty of animal cruelty.

Bryan Ware, the dog's owner, said he was upset when he found Sadie, his dog, shot to death outside his home last April.

"It's very upsetting for someone to take something away from you like that. That's uncalled for,” said Ware.

Ware described what Sadie was like.

"Sadie was a lovable, black and white Border Collie, about eight months old. She was very playful. She was just like any other Border Collie. When you would speak to her, she would kind of just crouch down like they normally do. She was very obedient."

Former Harrisonburg Police Officer Russell Metcalf shot Sadie as he was riding his bike past Ware's house. Metcalf said he did it because he was afraid the dog would bite him.

Ware said he was disappointed when the judge dropped the reckless use of a gun charge against Metcalf.

"Anytime you discharge a firearm like that in a neighborhood with homes and human life, that's reckless. That's being reckless."

Ware said he was glad the judge still holds Metcalf accountable for killing Sadie by finding him guilty of animal cruelty.

"Hopefully this will be a message for him and some others that you can't just up and do what you want to do like that. Take other people's feelings and personal properties into consideration."

The judge said the defense showed Metcalf's extensive experience in gun use and that was why the judge said his shooting the dog wasn't reckless because he knew what he was doing.

Metcalf's lawyer said he was pleased the judge dropped that charge, but he was still disappointed that Metcalf was found guilty of animal cruelty.

Metcalf now has to pay an $800 fine for his sentence.

IA Police Chief Pleaded Guilty to Animal Abuse for Shooting 7 Dogs

09.14.05 - 7 DOGS - HAMBURG, IA

- The small claims suit was filed by Elizabeth Brock and her attorney Jon Johnson against Police Chief Nick Millsap Fremont County Court Case # 04361 AGCR006089

- The claim was filed on Dec. 6, 2005 in Fremont County Court and served to the City of Hamburg (Georgann Stephens) on Dec 9, 2005 and to Nick Millsap on Dec.12, 2005.

- Brock was awarded $3,500 in damages in a small claims lawsuit against Millsap and the city of Hamburg, IA.

- On August 1, 2007, Nick Millsap was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation under a deferred entry of judgment.

- The 'FORMER' Hamburg police chief pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The remaining counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

- Millsap was initially charged with seven counts of animal abuse after it was alleged that he removed seven dogs and puppies from a Hamburg residence in September 2005, and killed each of them - six by gunshots and one by stomping on its head.

- No jail time was imposed