Disturbing video out of Cleburne, Texas shows a police officer coaxing what appears to be a completely calm dog towards him before opening fire.
The body cam video, captured by Cleburne County Police Officer Kevin Dupre, was uploaded to Facebook this week after the dog’s owner petitioned police for the footage.
According to police, the deceased dog, known as Maximus, was reportedly growling at officers before its death. The dog’s owner, who posted an account of the incident to the “Justice 4 Maximus” Facebook page, vehemently disagreed.
“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,’” the post read. “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.”
Although the department originally refused to comment on the incident when contacted by journalist Matt Agorist, city officials have since released a public statement:
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 817.556.8884.
For the time being, the department has yet to reveal the fate of the second dog, which can be seen standing near the first shortly before its death.
While police allege that the dog “became aggressive,” many noted the dog’s calm demeanor and wagging tail on social media.
“Yeah, tails wagging and calling them over to shoot them,” Donny Leek III posted to the department’s Facebook. “All you have to do is admit what was done was wrong and fire the officer that did it, then arrest him. We don’t believe you guys anymore. You’ve done this to yourselves.”
A woman reported to be a neighbor of the canine also refuted claims of the dog’s alleged aggressiveness.
“I lived beside these people, the dogs were never, NEVER, aggressive,” said Cheyenne Morrison. “They loved on us almost every day and loved our dogs! Justice for Maximus!!”
While an investigation is ongoing, the incident joins countless others in a disturbing trend of questionable dog shootings by law enforcement.
Last July, an Idaho police officer was cleared of shooting a small black lab sitting inside a vehicle despite telling investigators that the dog was a “vicious” pit bull.
Several months prior, a Michigan police officer shot and killed a 10-month-old puppy during a foot pursuit after the dog allegedly “charged,” causing the officer to “fear for his life.”
A Pennsylvania state trooper shot and killed a family’s dog only days earlier as it stood just feet from a 5-year-old’s bedroom window after officers mistakenly went to the wrong home.
An Idaho officer was cleared of wrongdoing as well last February after provoking and killing a man’s service dog outside a 9-year-old’s birthday party.