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Sunday, October 19, 2014


October 19, 2014

Cleburne, Texas

In what appears to be an ongoing epidemic in America, some Police are using a "heavy-hand" when it comes to responding to calls that involve canines (dogs).   The latest incident we have been made aware of appears to have occurred on August 10th, 2014 in Cleburne, Texas.  The information we have been able to gather suggests the following:

A short video, taken from a body camera’s perspective, shows a man’s arms wielding a handgun while the officer summons two dogs toward him.
As the animals approached with their tails wagging, the officer fired several times. As one of the dogs fell to the ground, the officer, who has not been identified, took aim at the second dog.  FNN has reviewed the video several times, and has been unable to determine that the canines depicted in the video were acting in an aggressive manner at all towards the officer;  in fact, it would appear that the two canines were acting pleasant / friendly and were responding to the officer's coaxing for them to move towards him.
The video ends abruptly, before showing what happened to the other dog. (Warning:  Disturbing Images)

Although the video shows that the animals were not being aggressive when the officer fired, Cleburne police have said the officer was responding to a 911 call for assistance after several dogs cornered residents in a vehicle.
Cleburne police are investigating after a video circulated online of one of its officers coaxing a dog toward him before shooting it.  
A prepared statement by the City of Cleburne states the following:
“The City is obviously concerned about the video showing an officer shooting a dog. 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 City of Cleburne takes the safety of our residents, their pets, and our officers seriously. This incident is currently under review. The review will include interviews with witnesses and review of department policies. Once the review is concluded, any actions that may be warranted will be handled swiftly and appropriately.
“The Cleburne Police Department is seeking the public’s help if anyone observed this incident; please contact the Professional Standards Unit at 817.556.8894.”
In a statement on a Facebook page dedicated to the one canine that was killed by the Cleburne Police Officer, the following was posted regarding the victim, named "Maximus" :

"Our pups got out while we were shopping out of town...the cpd called my phone letting me know they were trying to gather the puppies....we rushed back home to find out by our neighbor they shot one and one was in the pound...I kept calling the chief of cpd asking why this happened how it did bc he should have waited for animal control. ..He said ma'am you do not know how your dog's act around other people. ...I said ok ..I understand so I decided to request video bc I know that cops have to have camera on when shooting fire arm. ...and I paid one dollar for the video and report. The cop said in the report that the pup was aggressive and growling and charged at him....then we see the complete opposite in this video..."

Maximus' owner / mother further states: " I think it's important to remind all that even by the officers statements that were on scene, just prior to the shooting the dogs were licking the officers, jumping up to be petted, and showed no signs of aggression at all. After the first dog was secured back in the yard by a neighbor the other two ran down to the culvert. It is documented in the reports that the dogs were not acting aggressive in any manor prior to the first dog being secured. The only documented claim of aggression was Officer Dupre. He put in his report that Maximus became aggressive as he approached him in the culvert, which clearly is not the case. He claims that he made the kissy noise in attempt to calm the dog, again clearly not the case. He also states in his report he only drew his weapon after the dog became aggressive, which again the video refutes since he has his weapon drawn as he approached the dogs. The call you hear him recieve at the end of the video is animal control saying they had arrived. It is believed that is the only reason the other dog was not gunned down since he clearly had the intention of shooting her as well. Maximus was a 7 month old puppy and does not even know aggression yet. "

FNN has also reached out to the Cleburne Police Department directly via it's Facebook page as the City's official website and email servers are not functional as of the time of this article.  FNN's inquiry was addressed to the Police Chief directly, Chief Rob Severance.  While we appreciate the serious nature of Law Enforcement and its inherent risks, there is never an excuse for an officer to use deadly force on an innocent victim, human or animal alike.  FNN has also commented to Chief Severance that should he wish to make any clarifications, statement or rebuttals, FNN will gladly post those as well.

Video Source and some information contributed by:

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