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: