Omaha Police Under Investigation in Dog Shooting After Neighbor Produces Security Tape Allegedly Contradicting The Account Of Two Officers

We have another controversy (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here) over the shooting of a dog by a police officer and the allegation that the officer lied about the dog threatening him before the shooting. In Omaha, Chris Schulte was walking his dog near his home when officers told him to stop because they had cut off the street in search of a criminal suspect. Schulte unwisely and inexplicably refused and continued to walk. That resulted in his arrest. Nothing particularly noteworthy there. However, witnesses later heard a shot and an officer reported that Schulte’s dog, Teela, had threatened — an account later contradicted according to the family by a security camera. Teela is a Labrador/golden retriever mix and has never had a reported incident of biting or threatening anyone.


Two officers — identified as Officer Schuster and Officer Clement — claimed in their reports that the “suspect’s dog became aggressive, growled at officers, and showed its teeth before being shot and killed.”

A neighbor, Tim Wagner, told reporters that he saw the incident through a night vision security camera. He insists that the dog was not aggressive or threatening before being shot. Wagner knows the dog and was shocked by the killing since the animal is viewed as extremely friendly.

In the meantime, police have charged Schulte with obstructing police and resisting arrest.

The video below shows the arrest and the shooting of Teela, which occurs quickly after the police throw Schulte to the ground. The video does not show clearly whether the dog was growling or showing its teeth. The witness insists that it was not. However, taking down an owner in this fashion would normally produce some response from a dog. That does not mean that the officer was justified in the shooting. Indeed, the shooting occurred so quickly, that it is hard to see how much the police officer observed before the killing. The officer immediately put the gun on the dog and fired within seconds.

Here is the video and you can reach your own conclusion:

Source: WOWT

34 thoughts on “Omaha Police Under Investigation in Dog Shooting After Neighbor Produces Security Tape Allegedly Contradicting The Account Of Two Officers

  1. I hope that there will be a civil suit and criminal charges filed against the cops. These cops should never be allowed to have firearns again under any circumstances, so I hope that they will be convicted of a felony of at least perjury, and obstruction of justice.

  2. The problem with many police departments is just this….. They lie, the prosecutor errs on the side of the cop…. The judge accepts business as usual….. With them advent of home security…. Some justice msy be served…. Now will the cop be charged with obstruction of justice….

  3. Reality Check #1: Cops can lie to CYA.
    Reality Check #2: Sociopaths who start by needlessly and mercilessly killing animals before moving on to humans can wear any sort of uniform or none at all.

  4. What will not be reported is that, in Omaha, both resisting arrest and obstructing the administration of law are city ordinance violations carrying up to 6 months jail. That limit was set deliberately as it creates “petit” offenses with no right to trial by jury. Now, you might think that a judge will provide a fair trial but statistics from Douglas County reveal that, with regard to the majority of judges there, a “bench trial” becomes the equivalent of a slow plea, often carrying a “trial tax” along with it.
    Thankfully the video evidence will become an “insurance policy” against a quick guilty verdict in a bench trial or a quick plea after the defense lawyer explains the odds of convincing a judge (some of whom have seemingly never acquitted someone)of arriving at a fair verdict.
    The fact that video evidence is so helpful at achieving justice explains why almost every shoplifting case relies on video but, despite millions spent on Omaha Police cruiser video cameras, that evidence is almost never preserved.

    This combination of police controlling when their cameras preserve their encounters, a powerful police union that intimidates candidates from challenging it, and the fact that the police can cite or arrest for crimes tried to judges, who rarely rule against them, creates a situation in which absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

    It probably would have led to a dead dog, a jailed/charged citizen and the word of 3 cops against the accused (and no 1983 suit) if not for the neighbor’s hidden camera.

    This was an accident waiting to happen, in other words, and Jefferson’s statement that the only thing that holds government to uphold the Constitution is trial by jury holds true. Only now we can add hidden cameras to that short list.

  5. A dog bite would not cure a pig like this, only make him worse. Someone needs a rifle instead of a security camera.

  6. I have a golden retriever and he is a gentle dog but he is still a dog. It is possible the dog did growl when the man walking him was thrown to the ground or was startled and made some sort of noise.

    Maybe the cop had been bitten before and miss-read the dogs intention.

    With that being said shooting a golden retriever mix is like shooting a 2 year old child for snarling at you.

  7. What’s all that firearm training for if not to kill whatever they can get away with? If they will kill a dog that quickly without provocation, then who’s next?

    Seriously, if they are that afraid of a non-threatening dog, then the guy they took down is damned lucky to still be alive.

    The cop who killed the dog might get a day at the desk then back to the street. Those with him get a pass, never mind the false reports.

  8. I grew up with dogs and my sister-in-law was a dog breeder. I know them well and I know breeds well. While I might be intimidated by an unfriendly Rottweiler, an angry Labrador Retriever is about as threatening as a Lhasa Apso. The cops shot the dog to give a lesson to its owner and exposed themselves as unfit for duty.

  9. Schulte should have obeyed a lawful request; however, what ensued was an outrageous abuse of power.

    I live in the Colorado mountains – several years ago I installed a video security system for protection from neighbors who’d repeatedly abused me and my property. After my neighbors saw I’d installed a video security system, I received a call from a captain in the Sheriff’s office threatening me with custodial arrest. My neighbors had friends in the S.O.

    By the way, there’s a lady who posts here who lived in the Colorado mountains – what was done to her was atrocious and remains unresolved. Her case is well known in some Denver legal circles. It involves Federal Judge Edward Nottingham (yes, Naughty Notty who later resigned from the bench in a prostitution scandal) who allegedly took payola from this woman’s harassers, put her in jail without due process, held her for months without a hearing, denied access to a lawyer and she was forced to take drugs while in the Clear Creek County (infamous 5th Judicial District) jail. I hope someone looks into this horrific violation of civil rights and stripping of assets in retaliation of exercising 1st Amendment rights.

    Justice delayed is not justice denied. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing – Schulte

    The widespread and increasing abuses by those charged with ‘serving and protecting’ and objectively upholding the law – is alarming. If we continue to sleep at the wheel, then the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will mean nothing. Remote rural areas seem more prone.

  10. I would say something like “Oh yeah! That was clearly justified!” except I’m running low on extra-strength sarcasm. I’ll pick up some more at the the store later to today.

    And what ARE, AY, mespo, Mike S., Magginkat and bettykath said.

  11. “They didn’t have to shoot him. Not at all. Execution.” (Said by the dog’s owner and seconded by this writer.)

  12. Here is my conclusion:

    1) Why was it necessary to throw the man to the ground? There is no audio, but unless he threatened to harm the officers, which I highly doubt was the case, there was no reason the man could not have been at worse taken by the arm, told the situation was dangerous, and walked behind the perimeter for a talking. Heck, just me but if a armed criminal could in theory be anywhere, I wouldn’t want to be pinned down with an arrest like this and picked off by the criminal in hiding.

    2) When the man was tackled the dog got pulled backward by the leash quite abruptly. if the dog was barking it might have been due to this. The demeanor of the dog prior to this was just ordinary, not happy, not angry, just walking type of neutral behavior.

    3) Why if it was so necessary to shoot the dog was a rifle used? That bullet could have went through the dog, reflected off the street and travelled into a house. I don’t know what the backdrop was but the risk certainly was not worth it.

    4) This is what can happen when officers get amped up on adrenalin and firearms are in hand, the threashhold for their use drops.

    5) The dog growled and showed its teeth. Even if this was true so what? Where was the attack? I didn’t see any evidence of this. The dog was looking at the officer, maybe it growled, but attack, that did not happen.

    Maybe this officer who did the shooting should take a refresher course in the Use of Force Continuum, at the very least. I know what being attacked by a dog is like, and I have defended myself, so I can sympathize, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use a little common sense.

  13. Awful execution. The young man really should have just listened to the officers and this would have been avoided. Two wrongs and we’re left scratching our heads for the umpteenth time.

    This is relevant, but I don’t know if it’s true (so far no rebuttal from Bloomberg):

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/156844/

    ” Mayor Bloomberg has snubbed Borough President Markowitz’s impassioned plea to bring the National Guard to Hurricane Sandy-scarred Brooklyn — arguing that approving the Beep’s request would be a waste of federal manpower and turn the borough into a police state.

    “We don’t need it,” Mayor Bloomberg said on Wednesday during a press update on the city’s ongoing Hurricane Sandy cleanup. “The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns.””

    The line about the police state- I don’t even know what to say.

  14. “Schulte unwisely and inexplicably refused and continued to walk.”

    From the video tape evidence–taken by Mr. Schulte’s nextdoor neighbor–he was obviously mere feet from home. Why stop?

    And, if police were searching for an armed suspect, doesn’t logic dictate a citizen would be safer within the confines of his home than in a potential line of fire?

    But logic does not apply to our nation’s “finest.” Police forces since their earliest days in the 1840s are little more than gangs of armed thugs with the legal power to arrest and detain.

  15. Resisting arrest? Doesn’t look like he had that opportunity.

    Ernest, Was the walk just starting or was it ending? Do we know that the man lived in the next house? Or maybe he lived in the house on the other side, the one he was walking away from.

  16. Mike Spindell “The cops shot the dog to give a lesson to its owner and exposed themselves as unfit for duty.”

    Darren Smith “Why was it necessary to throw the man to the ground?”
    “The dog growled and showed its teeth. Even if this was true so what? Where was the attack? I didn’t see any evidence of this.”

    Darren refer to Mike’s post….Like Mike says it was never necessary, they are unfit…

    These guys need to have their certificates pulled so that they can not go to a different place to be LEO’s.

  17. “if the man just stopped it would have never happen” non sequitur. Those cops were not rational. You don’t know what they would have done. They have a tough job. Mistakes may be forgiven, lying is not. That is premeditated.

  18. These LEO’s were out of control and should be arrested for the assault on the owner and the killing of the dog. While any dog can get aggessive,
    the Labs and golden retrievers are some of the most people friendly dogs that you can have. Even if this guy kept walking, wouldn’t the prudent thing to do would be to stop the owner without throwing him to the ground?

  19. Shooting the dog is so cheap for the city that it’s good policy even if there’s no evidence of aggression. Even if the owner is dumb enough to sue in the face of police harassment and the threat of charges, the dog is chattel so the amount that can be recovered from the city is pennies compared to what it would take to pay for an officer’s medical bills and sick leave should they be bitten. And can you imagine how much money it would take to train these officers on how to deal with common animals they are likely to encounter on a regular basis? No, clearly shooting the animal pre-emptively is the best possible solution for everyone involved wearing a badge.

  20. I agree with many of the posts here. We the People, need to demand some change in our out of control law enforcement that get away with way too much. Especially when it comes to killing family pets at random. We hear about this happening more and more lately all over the country. This a…hole cop will probably get off with nothing, but if he can so easily cold bloodedly kill this helpless and harmless dog, what else does this guy kill that no one knows about? This guy is obviously trigger happy and an animal abuser. Needs to be fired and get psychiatric help. If any of us non cops abused an animal like this, we would be arrested and fined and told we were “Disturbed”.

  21. Tonight the police union president John Wells defended the shooting of Teela – the black lab murdered by officers Schuster and Clements. BIG SURPRISE! The owner of Teela needs to find a good lawyer, and sue these 2 officers civilly for abuse of power and animal abuse. Thank goodness for the video tape – it will be her only evidence because in addition to using terrible judgement these 2 officers lied in their report about Teela being aggressive.

  22. Not a comment on this article, but a link to another police-shoot-dog incident. A friend recently called my attention to your collection of these events and I noted there is no mention of this one from 2009 in Minnesota, where police shot a dog that was CHAINED and restrained with a CATCH POLE.

    I could not find an email address so am posting this as a comment:

    Read the Whole Article Here:
    http://animalarkshelter.org/animal/ArkArticles.nsf/EmailArticle/4BF4CEC357D45F3F862576340072E840

  23. […] What makes this alleged threat even more egregious is that we have been a disturbing trend of officers shooting family dogs under questionable circumstances here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here andhere and here and here). It is chilling that, according to Crinnian, the first thing that this officer thought of was to threaten to shoot the family’s pets as if it were just one more minor act like kicking in a door. [I apologize for the way in which the list of links is formatted, but after reviewing the HTML code there seems to be nothing I can do about it.] […]

  24. […] What makes this alleged threat even more egregious is that we have been a disturbing trend of officers shooting family dogs under questionable circumstanceshere and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here andhere and here and here). It is chilling that, according to Crinnian, the first thing that this officer thought of was to threaten to shoot the family’s pets as if it were just one more minor act like kicking in a door. [I apologize for the way in which the list of links is formatted, but after reviewing the HTML code there seems to be nothing I can do about it.] […]

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