Video of Cleburne police shooting dog goes viral; sparks investigation

October 18, 2014

According to an October 17 report by CBSDWF News, a Cleburne, Texas family is upset after viewing body camera footage showing their dog being shot. The video has now gone viral and has sparked an investigation.

A caution to anyone who wishes to view the video as it is graphic.

The shooting occurred back in August when Cleburne police were called to a home on Lindsey Lane after a woman called 911 to report three put bulls snarling at her car door. The dogs had escaped from a fenced-in yard belonging to a neighbor.

The officer, who hasn’t been identified, is now accused of murdering one of the dogs, a 7-month-old pit bull puppy named Maximus, after making kissy noises at the dogs to calm them. One of the dogs was captured immediately. The other two, including Maximus, ran off.

In an incident report, the officer said the dogs were friendly at first, then one growled (Maximus) and took an aggressive posture. Maximus can be seen running away from the officer as he fires his weapon three times, killing the puppy.

Amanda Henderson and her husband are now speaking out about the murder of their dog Maximus. They’re very upset after seeing the body camera video, which has just been released. One of the pit bulls ran to the officer tail wagging. The camera video doesn’t show any growling, snarling or barking. In an interview with WFAA News, Amanda describes what she saw in the video.

“I see a murder. I see him murdering my puppy, our family… our dog.”

The story was suspicious to the Henderson family because Max was always so friendly. Neighbors commented on how sweet the dogs were, and how well they played with the children who lived in the neighborhood. Neighbor Virginia Granger told CBS News

“To call the dog and act like you’re going to be sweet to the dog, and you just blatantly shoot it, I don’t think that’s right at all.”

Lapel video may not have been made available, had Amanda not requested it. Police are saying the body cam footage doesn’t show the whole story, but it shows enough. Their story is the officers were trying to subdue the dogs until animal control arrived when one of the dogs became aggressive.

What I see is a dog running from officers, trying to get away. Then three gunshots can be heard, and the dog drops. How was this dog a danger to the officer when it was running away?

The Cleburne Police Department has posted a statement on their Facebook page

“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, asking for anyone who observed the incident to call the Professional Standards Unit, at 817.556.8894. The phone number for the PD is listed as (817) 645-0972 on their Facebook info page.

Both the Henderson’s, as well as the neighbor who called 911 are said to have moved out of the neighborhood.

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