Commerce City police "puppy profiling" by calling dog shot by officer a pit bull?


Update, 8:08 a.m. November 29: Earlier this week, we told you about the shooting of Chloe, a pit bull mix, by a Commerce City police officer; look below to see our previous coverage. Now, the Animal Law Center's Jennifer Edwards has reportedly taken the case and plans a lawsuit against Commerce City -- the very community she unsuccessfully took to court over a similar incident mere months ago. Meanwhile, a police department rep decries media coverage of the case.

Chloe was being temporarily kept at a Commerce City house (despite the town's pit bull ban) when she snuck out of the garage. A neighbor, Kenny Collins, called the authorities and recorded law enforcers' actions on a cell-phone camera. The video he shot shows Chloe being tased by a policeman and snared on a catch pole by a community service officer -- the equivalent of animal control in Commerce City. But the policeman felt Chloe remained out of control and fired his weapon multiple times, shooting and killing her.

commerce city pit bull shooting.jpg
A screen capture from the video showing Commerce City officers trying to wrangle Chloe.
One of the bullets ricocheted out of the garage, where the incident took place, and appears to have struck the community service officer's vehicle. However, no one other than Chloe was hurt.

In a release, the Commerce City Police Department portrayed the shooting as necessary in order to protect members of the community. The CCPD also noted that following an officer's shooting and killing of another dog in 2010, all members of the department, including those who took part in the recent incident, went through training to understand the best way to handle situations involving dogs. The release added that a jury "determined the officers' actions were justified" in the 2010 matter.

jennifer edwards.jpg
Jennifer Edwards.
That's true: According to Edwards, the case was resolved in August, with the jury determining that the officer acted reasonably in fulfilling her duties. But Edwards remains troubled by contradictions in testimony. The officer said she was under attack by three dogs, the attorney notes, and she was forced to shoot and kill the one in the lead in order to defend herself. Yet Edwards says she had two witnesses who saw only one dog (Zoey, described as being of mixed breed) rather than three. Moreover, those witnesses believed Zoey was quite a distance from the officer -- claims that might have been proven by an autopsy had the dog not already been cremated.

Despite hearing this testimony, the jurors ruled in the officer's favor. But the latest shooting suggests to Edwards that the Commerce City department has what she terms "an endemic problem" when it comes to the way it deals with dog-related situations. She also asserts that after the 2010 shooting, the CCPD didn't take the training it received seriously -- "and that manifested itself in what happened to Chloe."

Detective Christian Rasmussen, spokesman for the CCPD, rejects that claim. "I can assure you the entire department took the training seriously," he says. "That's why we went through it. We wouldn't go through training like that if we didn't think it would be beneficial, or if we didn't take it seriously."

Rasmussen declined to go into details about the case, which has now been handed over to the Adams County District Attorney's Office for investigation -- and he didn't know if Chloe has been cremated. But he was unhappy with the media's reporting about the shooting.

"I think it started out extremely poorly -- it was extremely one-sided and wasn't portrayed accurately or fairly," he says. "There were even comments put out in the media about the community service officer's reaction and her mental state" -- a reference to reports that she was distraught after Chloe was killed. "No one spoke to her, and without getting her comments on something like that, well, I just think that's poor journalism. I think it's unprofessional to report on things like this without getting as many sides of the story as possible."

When we get more details about the proposed lawsuit against Commerce City, we'll update this post.

Continue to read our previous coverage about the dog shooting incident, including videos.

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119 comments
mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

GET REAL..when that dog runs out the open garage..AND CHOMPS ON A LITTLE DOG, CAT or a FACE! ASK KYLE DRYER..sure it was a nice dog..AND GUNS DO NOT KILL! Ask her if she would rather be bit AGAIN or shoot the dog, NO OTHER CHOICE. MY DOG WAS SHOT by a NEGLIGENT MARICOPA SHERIFF and was inside my home..alone! AFTER I SCREAMED for the neighbors to call 911! The Sheriff went in to an empty house and shot my dog in the entry hall! NO ONE GAVE A CRAP..except to IGNORE and HIDE IT! YES YOUR ANIMAL LOVING SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT..SOAP BOXER JOE!

joelgarrard
joelgarrard

This dog was completely out of control, he was attacking everyone around the neighborhood.. A real threat.. GET REAL.... This guy that called the police on this dog should be ashamed of himself... The dog was sitting in the garage for God sake.. At the very least this guy should be terrorized, tased and snared, then let's see how he reacts to just those things.. He should kick his own ass for being such an idiot..

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

I SAY SHOOT the OWNERS, for ALLOWING their DOG to loose REGULARLY!

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

At 50, after training and working with 100s of dogs. The ONLY time I was bit, was in 2010 in Englewood, Co. WHERE A LOOSE YORKIE was at MY FRONT DOOR. HE bit BLOODY BIT ME. I called Animal Control the next morning, they found the dog and owner! THE ASSHOLE OWNERS DID NOT EVEN SAY SORRY!

Kirk Gruber
Kirk Gruber

Watch the video. The killing wasn't justified. Take this guys badge and gun before he uses excessive force again.

Russell Lott
Russell Lott

could they have hit the "close button" on the garage door and trapped the dog until professionals arrived?

Jay Jurgens
Jay Jurgens

oh now im really pissed this looks exactly like my maymay

Amelia Ebert
Amelia Ebert

Yea that dog was very dangerous they way it was just sitting there while restrained by a catch pole. Stupid sick pigs just wanted to use their guns.

Bengy Martinez
Bengy Martinez

Reckless and Ruthless behavior illustrated by the Commerce City PD I hope the officer involved is terminated and the city pays out the ass for something like that. If it were "MY FENCED IN PROPERTY AND SOMEONE DID THAT TO MY DOG, THEY BETTER BE QUICK WITH THAT TRIGGER" If someone were to shoot a police dog they go to prison, but its okay for a douche with a badge to kill someones pet with zero repercussions? BULLSHIT!!!

mmjfreedomusa
mmjfreedomusa

TODAY I again I watched a small LOOSE DOG chase 2 young boys. SCAMMERS K9companionsltd , Hart Sr. LETS his BELOVED me BIG GERMAN SHEPARD do the same. I SAW THE FEAR from these KIDS! OH SHALL WE ASK THE LADY THAT HAD A PIECE OF HER ARM CHEWED OFF..AFTER MY REFERENCE TO HAVING A LEG CHEWED ON! NO BIGGIE! Let your kids run loose..CHOPPED UP! Let your dog RUN LOOSE REGULARLY..NO..NO DOG. LOST, SHOT, EATING UNINTENTIONAL POISONS or HIT BY A CAR. I would like to arrange all those who continue to be IGNORANT, with a dog that you would fear and you can see what you can do. AT ANY TIME EVEN THE BEST OF DOGS CAN ATTACK, PUT IN THE WRONG POSITION. 

l.t.austin
l.t.austin

despicable, cowardly, disgraceful pieces of shit are these cops! evil, grotesque abuse of power! the dog was a good dog and sat patiently waiting for them to decide what to do. HELLO close the garagae door azzhats! then the dog would be inside. i would not want these ill trained POS on my streets. hope they die and rot in hell. Now, you wanna know what I really think? I was being nice.

l.t.austin
l.t.austin

I think these THUS with gnds need to lose either jobs - now. American is sick of these killer cops murdering our family pets! Sick of it. They are using our dogs for hunting practice and they think they can get away with it. SUE and DONT SETTLE!

semisweetwilliam
semisweetwilliam

Calling the police involves real risk. Vicious, incompetent thugs may show up who don't even have the presence of mind to disengage and close a garage door, having seen that a pet dog kept retreating to her provisions in the corner after each taser attack. That would have been too easy. Better to unload the weapon into the helpless animal around the feet of everyone there and in a high density neighborhood.  Stray bullets are being located in scary places.  These oafs aren't even smart enough to know that almost everyone has a video camera in their pocket these days.

Clifford Goose, there was much more danger from gunshot than dog teeth, hands down.

I found it ironic that the Commerce City dog trainer spoke on behalf of the CCPD, since evidence is piling up that dogs are easier to train than cops.

Further, CCPD doesn't seem to understand the essence of an investigation. They've advertised Chloe as "vicious" in every communication that states that they can't comment because they don't they don't yet have the facts. CCPD appears poised to back up the apparently false report of the officers to their own detriment.

I'm sure this officer has regrets already. It should be dawning on even the slowest-witted cop that there are plenty of others out there as sick as he is waiting for his name to be leaked. That testosterone-laced indulgence is likely to cost him and his family well beyond the legal problems.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Why I hate & distrust Law Enforcement !....

Reason 3,728 ;

Shot & killed a restrained family pet .....

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

If a cop shot my 'CLYDE',  he'd have to kill me too.

I would stalk til he got a bullet as well !

I LOVE & TRUST dogs more than I could EVER a cop !.....

I hope this NEVER happens & we'll just leave it at that ......

jayem
jayem

A screen capture does not provide evidence that the officers were in the wrong,

if this cannot/will not be provided, Ms. Edwards point is moot.

Go Save a Tree

Swatted
Swatted

When the officer says this is a one-sided story by the media, I can only say boo-hoo.  The media usually side with the animal control officers and "peace" officers because they are foolishly thought of as pillars of society, when, in fact, some of the biggest low lifes you can scrounge off the street are getting paid by us.  The State and the Dept. of Ag have bestowed "broad powers" upon them, and they know how to abuse it.  The Dept. of Ag is over animal control and they are utilizing Swat Teams to steal livestock/horses from ranchers and farmers under bogus animal cruelty charges.  After they financially and personally break the landowners, then the Ag Dept slaps Ag Liens on the land; in other words, another way to steal it (eminent domain).  Thank you Salazar boys. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

--  Only a lowlife gutless coward would shoot and kill a tethered dog.

Clifford Goose Adams
Clifford Goose Adams

Dangerous dogs that are on the loose need to be handled by any means necessary

Jon Giron
Jon Giron

that cop is joke and is in the wrong 100%

Jon Giron
Jon Giron

yes it is a case for the court

Liv Michaelson
Liv Michaelson

Yes. The officers should be charged with animal cruelty & dereliction of duty.

Joe Matrone
Joe Matrone

there is no reason to shoot a dog that is tased and restrained....WHERE IS THE HUMANITY...ppl are a little too quick to judge pitbulls.

Courtney Donaldson
Courtney Donaldson

Are they LEGAL in CC???? Although tragic and a disturbing situation and video, if they're NOT legal they have no case!

Naomi Wolinsky
Naomi Wolinsky

the ban on pitbulls is bull shit. the ban should be on asshole pitbull owners.

dplromano
dplromano

Also to this idiot Rasmussen it is completely obvious that you and your department didn't take your training seriously or even learn one damm thing about dogs in general. NUMBER ONE DOGS ARE AFRAID OF UNIFORMS NUMBER TWO ADD A COUPLE GUNS A NET AND BEING TAZZED AND NOW YOU HAVE A TERRIFIED DOG NUMBER THREE IF A DOG IS TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM YOU THEN IT'S NOT A THREAT CLOSE THE GARAGE AND GIVE THE OWNER A TICKET FOR A LOOSE DOG YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE DEPARTMENT APPEAR AS A JOKE RIGHT NOW AND YOUR IDIOTIC COMMENTS ARE NOT HELPING  DO NOT EVER COME INTO MY NEIGHBORHOOD ACTING LIKE THIS IS THE OLD WEST OR IT WILL BE

dplromano
dplromano

Also obviously this dog is not a pure Pitt Bull so quit refering to it as a PITT BULL  and Pitt Bulls aren't bad dogs they just run across some idiot humans that use them for sadistic pleasure.

dplromano
dplromano

This incident only proves that some people get into law enforcement to be a good law abiding and law promoting citizens and others get into law enforcement because they are mental. They have some emotional need to push thier power around any chance they get and anyone human or otherwise that gives such a low specimen of life a reason to display this power is doomed. I am so glad that we live in a time where univolved people can film this kind of bull and put it up for all to see. This nexy comment goes out to the crazy lady that said what if that were your child that got it's leg chewed. First of all after Jessica Ridgeway what paren allows a small girl to play outside unsupervised. Also the IDIOT officer that was shooting wildly had bullets bouncing around and I am sure that this LADY wouldn't be in support of officer dumb ass if her or any of her loved ones were caught in the crossfire. Yes the dog owner is responsible for the loose dog. LOOSE DOG!!!! Not KILLER DOG just a dog scared to death by a bunch of low quality human beings and then shot to death just to be sure. Hell if this is acceptable then I guess it's ok to shoot anyone or anything I or anyone percieves as a threat. We'll just call it "The Zimmerman Effect" THAT OFFICER SHOULD BE FIRED AND NOT ALLOWED TO RETURN TO LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!!

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

@Laurlen I am sure had that dog went around the corner AND CHEWED ON YOUR KIDS LEG..YOU WOULD THINK DIFFERENTLY! THE COPS WOULD HAVE NOT EVEN BE THERE AND ALSO SUBJECTED TO BEING BITTEN! HAD THE negligent DOG OWNER CARED ENOUGH ABOUT THIS DOG AND OTHER PEOPLES DOGS AND BODIES, THEY WOULD HAVE MADE SURE THE DOG WAS NOT LOOSE.. AGAIN! I HATE THAT THE DOG WAS KILLED! BUT KNOW IT WAS THE OWNERS FAULT..HAD THE DOG NOT BEEN LOOSE THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED..yoowho! YOU ALL SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED that I saw Jessica Ridgeway 2x 10-05-12 and it was ignored! SIGG did not act alone..MORONS YOU ALL ARE!

ArtB
ArtB

@Deborah Watts There seems to be something which you "loose regularly", my dear.

nokillcolorado
nokillcolorado

@mmjfreedomusa Chloe never attacked, watch the video.  People should have control over their dogs.  Any responsible owner would agree with that.  But this dog was not hostile in anyway if you watch the video.  She was afraid of these officers, and the chain of events justify her fear.

danny_l_thompson
danny_l_thompson

@jayem And when you get done in traffic jump off a bridge. You must be in law enforcement to make comment's trying to justify what this cold blooded cop did, you sir are a jerk and represent everything wrong in law enforcement.

ArtB
ArtB

It's not a screen capture, it's a video recording. Go play in traffic.

danny_l_thompson
danny_l_thompson

@Naomi Wolinsky I fully agree with you. I have a pitt who is the most loving dog i have ever owned. It's how they are raised that make's all the difference.

danny_l_thompson
danny_l_thompson

@Deborah Watts The cop could have closed that door, the dog was sitting in the garage scared and cowerin, it was not the owner's fault that the dog tripped the sensor to the door. The cop wasn't smart enough to close it and they pulled the dog from the garage with a noose and shot it when in fear it tried to keep away from them. You obviously didn't watch the video or read the story.

cataholicfrenzy
cataholicfrenzy

@Deborah Watts lol i hope a cop shoots your child one of these days maybe then you'd take them abusing their power a lil more seriously.

ArtB
ArtB

@mmjfreedomusa You haven't seen her other comments, have you?

PS Somehow, I am sure you have.

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