The Death of Maximus: Texas Couple Allege That Videotape Shows Officer Shooting Their Dog Without Provocation

1413674604634_Image_galleryImage_cop_shoots_dog_Circled5244341_GThere is a highly disturbing controversy in Texas where a couple sys that the Cleburne, Texas police effectively executed their pit bull, Maximus. They say that the videotape shown below confirms the lack of necessity to use lethal force.

We had discussed a long line of controversies where officers had killed family dogs. These cases often involve complaints that officers use lethal force too readily in encountering dogs in backyards or homes. In this case, however, Maximus was found outside of the home, but his owners insist that he was never given a chance.

1413674604634_Image_galleryImage_cop_shoots_dog_CircledMaximus belonged to Quinton Tatum and his wife, Amanda Henderson. They say that they were not at home when the dogs escaped.

A neighbor had called 911 about a group of pit bulls running around her car, trapping her. The officer arrived on the scene and found three pit bulls. One pit bull named DoBoy put his paws on the officer’s chest. He found the other two later in a ditch, including Maximus. The video shows the officer making kissing noises to calm the dog. The officer says in the report that “I raised my duty weapon to the ready position – pointed at the growling dog’s head. As soon as I lifted my pistol, the dog began coming up the hill, continuing to growl and display its teeth . . . I fired three shots at it.”

The family says that the video contradicts the report. The other dog ran off and was later retrieved by an Animal Control officer. Notably, he did so without a leash, let alone lethal force.

The police department issued a story stating that

“As is often the case, the short video does not tell the whole story. The officer was responding to a 911 call for assistance. Three dogs had pinned some residents in a vehicle. One dog was secured without incident before the shooting. The officer was attempting to secure the other dogs until animal control arrived when one dog became aggressive.

The aggressive behavior of the dogs toward the neighbor certainly justifies caution by the officer. However, this short video raises serious questions of the necessity of the use of the weapon.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call police at 817-556-8894.


Source: Daily Mail

Kudos: Paul Schulte

26 thoughts on “The Death of Maximus: Texas Couple Allege That Videotape Shows Officer Shooting Their Dog Without Provocation”

  1. No no no no! I was crying watching that video. That dog was no threat.

    A lot of people are scared of all pit bulls because of the attacks in the news. But most pities that I have met have been very sweet, especially when they’re not defending home territory.

    I have had encounters with aggressive dogs, especially on horseback, and that dog was not showing any signs of aggression. Can’t believe it was injured and he just kept shooting.

    I’ve picked up lost dogs and drove them home based on their tags lots of times, including pities. As long as they don’t show any aggression (and my kid is not in the car with me) I just load them up and we go for a drive.

    He should have kept an eye on the dogs and waited for animal control.

    This is a good reminder. Do NOT call the police to report stray or loose dogs. They are not equipped to handle the situation, and typically do not have training in animals. They will always be concerned that if they let a dangerous dog get away it could harm someone. Animal Control will have the equipment to catch an aggressive dog, and they deal with this every day.

  2. There is no evidence there was aggressive behavior to the neighbor. The person that made the call thought there were 4-5 dogs. They moved away and are unreachable. It is far more likely the dogs were playing and the elderly woman was intimidated. ( if they were causing a problem at all as the person eventually exited the car with no problem) All other neighbors have reported how friendly the dogs are. The police did not review the video ( should not all shootings be reviewed? ) until it was posted in facebook over two months later.They initially had no idea how it was released. ( the owner paid one dollar for the report and video) I am keeping this updated here:

  3. Pogo, Wisconsin dairy cows have gotten into meth big time! Look for hyperactivity to become a national epidemic soon.

    1. Nick – I would agree that the cows are full of meth and probably should be rounded as suspected felons.

  4. Two dogs wagging their tails while officer calls them to him. Then BANG! BANG! BANG! It looks like target practice. Even if one of the dogs changed his disposition in the 1 second of video where we cannot see the dog, the officer created the situation. Why was there not an animal control person catching the dogs that got loose?

    1. david – wagging of the tail is not an indicator that the dog is peaceful. It is the direction the dog is wagging it.

  5. Having bred, raised, and trained literally hundreds of dogs now I have seen a fair amount of aggressive behavior and dogs in single minded attack mode. Based on this short video he was not “calming the dog” by making kissing noises, he was calling it. To calm an animal you would be talking in a low steady tone to it. I did not see any aggressive or attacking behavior on the dogs part, and it was at a safe distance. His service weapon was covering the dog in case that changed and he could have waited for animal control – or if necessary employed his taser – probably the best weapon he had in the “aggressive dog” situation. (personally I used to use a cattle prod to break-up dog fights as nothing works faster and it does zero harm to the dog).
    In my opinion this dog died needlessly from an untrained officer who simply didn’t want to waste any more time on it. Far too often we have excessive force used as a shortcut to honest actual police WORK.

  6. I am on the side of the cop in Ferguson who shot the 300 pound felon who was fleeing back towards his home in Jennings. But when a cop shots an unarmed teenage dog he needs to be shot himself. None of this grand jury justice. The dog’s owner or friends in the neighborhood need to get out the rifle and catch this ickPray when he is out mowing his lawn or something.

  7. Looking at the cop, tail wagging, no barking, not even walking, let alone running toward the cop…….. by god that was an aggressive dog. This cop is a real piece of work, or I should say a real piece of shit.

  8. Not enough to know what was going on…heard the officer, but never heard any growling…but again, the video doesn’t show enough…

    If you love your dogs, SECURE them, especially if you have a “pack” of them!!

  9. Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and Scooby Doo are heading to Cleburne to lead protests.

  10. “The officer was attempting to secure the other dogs until animal control arrived when one dog became aggressive.

    Memo to self: Being alive is considered “aggressive behavior” to the police.

    We can be all shocked an appalled, but nothing will happen to the cop or the police force.

  11. The is a case in court right now for pets to get personhood. That could case no end of problems for the police in cases like these. And not just the police.

  12. Police are shooting faster and thinking later. BTW, I am NOT referring to Fergeson.

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