Commerce City Police dog shooting: Owner devastated, confused by pit bull label


chloe pit bull cropped.jpg
Pics, video below.
Update, 9:09 a.m. November 30: Yesterday, we reported that Animal Law Center attorney Jennifer Edwards' services had been retained in the case of Chloe, a dog shot and killed by a Commerce City police officer during an incident caught on video; get details in our previous coverage below. Edwards provides additional details about her clients, the facts of the case and the strong possibility that she'll be filing suit against Commerce City, a community she sued over a 2010 dog shooting.

The story revolves around Chloe, who's widely reported to have been a pit bull -- a designation that frosts Edwards. She describes Chloe as a "mixed-breed dog," and accuses Commerce City of engaging in "puppy profiling" by calling her a pit bull, presumably because the average person will automatically assume she was vicious because of her breed.

As we've reported, Chloe was being temporarily kept at a house in Commerce City, which instituted a pit bull ban several years ago, 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.

In a release, the Commerce City Police Department stresses that the decision to shoot the dog was made in order to protect the public. But Edwards questions this claim.

jennifer edwards facebook.jpg
Jennifer Edwards with a previous client.
"If you watch the video from beginning to end -- the longer version we have -- you see the officers standing around with complete and total disregard to an animal that's supposed to be so vicious," she says. "Chloe is just sitting in a garage not paying any attention to them -- certainly not paying the sort of attention that would justify shooting off five rounds where there are witnesses nearby and letting stray bullets fly around."

No one other than Chloe was injured by the gunshots. However, it appears that one bullet ricocheted and struck the community service officer's vehicle. And Edwards says a Fox31 crew member found another shell at the scene, suggesting that officers didn't successfully account for all of them.

In addition, Edwards says, a dog named Jack was also in the garage at the time of the shooting, inside a wire kennel. But when the gunfire sounded, she goes on, "Jack broke out of the kennel and took off, and he was left to run the neighborhood. They did nothing to secure Jack and put him back in the residence -- a dog that was clearly running scared and might have reacted negatively out of fear."

She sees this lack of action as another example of profiling -- assuming that Jack wouldn't hurt anyone, because he isn't a pit bull.

Still, Edwards sees the other elements of the video as being even more damning. "In the minutes before the shooting, we see the officers standing with their backs to the dog, which was less than ten feet away. They show no concern about safety that would rise to the level of shooting a dog -- and Chloe is just sitting there, paying no attention to them. If this dog was such an imminent threat and so vicious, you'd think you wouldn't be able to take your eye off her, but the officers are there for several minutes -- and during that time, she doesn't do anything that would warrant what ultimately happened to her."

While Edwards declines to name her clients at this point, she notes that they include Chloe's actual owner, who was out of town on vacation when the shooting occurred ("He's still trying to deal with this horrific tragedy," she says), and the family members watching the dog in his absence. The latter face a series of allegations involving having a vicious or dangerous dog, allowing a dog to run at large, lacking a dog license and a rabies vaccination, and allegedly violating the aforementioned pit bull ordinance.

Each of these counts is "highly defensible," Edwards says, and she's hoping Commerce City "does the right thing" and drops them. Yet she's also keeping her options open about suing over the incident, in part because she believes the community's police force has a culture of mishandling such situations that needs to be addressed. While an officer she sued after killing a dog in 2010 was found to have acted within the parameters of her duty in an August trial (details below), she continues to maintain that officers didn't take subsequent dog training seriously -- an allegation denied by a Commerce City police spokesman in an interview also included in previous coverage found here.

"This is a real problem with Commerce City," Edwards allows. "They had this mandatory training as a result of the last lawsuit we filed, but they joked about it in the training, in the depositions. We have it on record; they thought it was a joke. And now, it has manifested itself in the murder of a dog. And that was someone's family pet."

Continue for our previous coverage on the shooting of Chloe, including photos and videos.


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90 comments
Kayla_Sassy
Kayla_Sassy

these tree idiots clearly do not know how to do their jobs. they backed the dog into a corner making it feel threatened so of course it world react negatively, I can't believe what   I just saw they should all lose their job.

Kayla_Sassy
Kayla_Sassy

these tree idiots clearly do not know how to do their jobs. they backed the dog into a corner making it feel threatened so of course it world react negatively, I can't believe what   I just saw they should all lose their job.

The Body Restore
The Body Restore

Just horrible. These are not trained people or they would have known a dog that is suddenly collared by strangers is going to have a moment of panic. They didn't give him even an instant to realize it was just a collar and to calm down. So sad for the owners.

Ephen Stephens
Ephen Stephens

Doesn't matter how they spin it. The footage speaks for itself. Only a coward shoots a retreating dog on a containment pole. He doesn't deserve a badge.

Don Finley
Don Finley

my son was told by a dog park enforcement person that his pure bred boxer was a pitbull...

Peace Will Win
Peace Will Win

I own a catahoula pit mix, and law enforcement better hope they never dome to my house and do this.....

Justin Harned
Justin Harned

My deepest condolences to the owner of this dog. That video was very hard to watch. Talk about an overreaction...that's just trigger happy.

jay26mc
jay26mc

Best dog I've ever had in my life was a pit bull when I was a kid. Back then nobody ever said pit bulls were bad. Pit bulls actually have plenty of loyalty, smarts, trainability, and willingness to please. Unfortunately, these are the same traits that make the breed so attractive to criminals, as well as to dog fighters. I just read an article recently by the American Temperament Society and Pit Bulls have continuously tested significantly higher in temperament testing than the average score for all breeds. Pit Bulls passed the test 82.5% of the time compared to 77% which is the all breed average. This is the fourth highest passing rate of all 122 breeds that were tested. Basically they put the dog through a series of stressful and confrontational situations and if the dog shows any sign of panic or aggression they fail. The truth is a dog, is a dog, is a dog. There are no bad dogs, or bad breeds, there are only bad owners (not always out of malice mind you, ignorance can often be even more dangerous). Many times, before a bite occurred, there were many signs given by the dog that something was not right. By not right, I mean under-nourished, abused, tethered to a tree or in the yard at all times, etc. Regardless of the breed, if any dog is treated in such a way the results will often be no different. The sad truth is, with pit bulls and many other “aggressive breeds,” the offender is usually the one on two legs holding the leash.

crazydoglady
crazydoglady

Hey Stupid Coward Cops! Stop shooting dogs! Shooting dogs simply does not make you look manly okay? It is not sexy! What are you trying to prove by shooting innocent, defenseless pets? Ya really think it makes you look like a tough guy? disgusting. Act like a real man! oh, you were fearful of your lives..... pathetic.

Poor Chloe. She never looked like a pit bull. She looked like a sweet, goofy, cute dog, almost looking like a cow :( I am so sad. I hate, hate it when sweet innocent, human loving dogs are killed by deranged cops. Just so sad. 

padfan2003
padfan2003

@rebtris and all the other pit bull haters, obviously you hate animals, and before you say you don't, shut the f up! you know nothing other than what is published about the breed, I have had them for over 20 years and not one incident.  They have never been aggressive, have been around dozens of kids, hundreds of other dogs.  Any dog will behave as their master trains them, if they train them.  An irresponsible dog owner will often lead to misbehaved dog, breed has nothing to do with it.  Seen plenty of aggressive dogs that were not pit bulls.  Personally never seen an aggressive pit bull, and I have known dozens.  So until you can PROVE(which you will NEVER be able to do because you obviously lack any sort of intelligence or follow through), move onto another story.  Chloe was wrongfully killed.  If it was yours, you would feel the same as me or the other people who are simply offering their condolences or support.  Show some damn support you POS!

ArtB
ArtB

Within past few days, there has been an unprovoked police shooting of dog in Chicago. Nothing new by itself for that PD, except an unusual (yet) level of depravity. The dog lived, thanks to extraordinary emergency care the owners were able to obtain. But what also makes that story interesting is  that the hateful, gloating misfits immediately started calling the puppy a pit bull in their comments on the breaking news stories -- until the pictures came out. After that, the misfits disappeared into thin air.

BlackDaliah
BlackDaliah

Tell the moron to google "chocolate lab" please.Lies and more lies!  Pit bulls hurt people everyday, not in the way a chihuahua does or even in the way a lab does, Pit bulls are responsible for more child deaths than all other breeds combined.Google injury by pit, look what these dogs are capable of and quit whining. All the freaks out there who believe its the publics responsibility to deal with your dog, that you cant control, have some serious issues.Everyone knows what these dogs are capable of, You want to risk your own family, then that's sad but if you aren't responsible and it gets out.Its death and any it causes are on your hands alone!

hollonallison
hollonallison

@ rebtris, all I have to say to you is SCREW YOU!! I have a pitbull and I'd take a bullet for my boy anyday, as a matter of fact you'd have to kill me to get to him and I ain't going down easy!! It's people like YOU that should be BANNED NATIONWIDE!!! Sick Bastard!!

rebtris
rebtris

A Chocolate Lab??? Really?? Yeah right.. why didn't he just go totally ridiculous and call his dog a Chihuahua? The dog looks like a pit bull mix and acts like a pit bull mix. The dog was running at large and acting very aggressive. The officer did the right thing by shooting the dog in order to prevent it from running loose and attacking someone's pet or kid. The officer should be given a medal. Pit bulls should be banned nationwide. 

bullybob
bullybob

A pit bull is a type of dog not a breed.   Some people will say The American Pit Bull Terrier is the only real pit bull.. However over 20 other breeds will be called a pit bull..  I have read articles where a Dogo Argentino is called a pit bull, which they are not they were breed to hunt wild boars and to be a docile family dog.  This dog looks like some type of mix.. commonly known as a mutt.

The officer is a terrible example of a police officer.  He gives all police officers a bad name.  If he were a real man he would admit his mistake and resign.

ArtB
ArtB

To everyone: maxgold20 is a known kook, just look it up. Nothing else needs to be said. Do not feed the troll.

maxgold20
maxgold20

Why are Pitbull Nutters devoid of any sense of responsibility.  Too much too ask to keep your dog contained.  Oh, No, it's everyone else's fault when the dog escapes and presents a menace towards society.  The last thing a Pitbull Nutter will ever do is accept responsibility for their actions, best just to cry and moan and sue the City.  No wonder they are called Nutters!

rebtris
rebtris

@geefly12 oh pleeeez.. how about writing a ballad for all the LITTLE KIDS who have been KILLED by pit bulls? Oh I know, you don't care about them.. just the ill bred malicious POS dogs that kill  little kids, elderly and innocent pets on a daily basis. Pathetic.

crazydoglady
crazydoglady

@BlackDaliah 

The Media needs to stop the nonsense. I'm not a pitbull lover but I like all good behaving dogs. Those who ARE pitbull lovers/owners should start educating the MEDIA.  

rebtris
rebtris

@hollonallison I can promise you that if your pit bull or anyone else's EVER goes after one of my loved ones, including my pets, I will have NO problem doing what this officer did to the pit bull mix that was causing problems. Pit bull owners, either keep your ill bred maggots contained or bury them.. your choice!

crazydoglady
crazydoglady

@rebtris Do you know what pitbull looks like? Chloe was not a pit bull. She was a mutt.

BlackDaliah
BlackDaliah

@rebtris agreed If pit bull supporters are right why are they always lying? 

clayhund
clayhund

@rebtris 

troll a lot?? Spotted from miles away, and no one cares what lies you've got to say.

ArtB
ArtB

@rebtris Another sociopath troll that sounds familiar. Medal? I nominate the officer for 2012 Rebtris Medal, awarded for baiting, torturing and callously executing  a frightened dog.

clayhund
clayhund

@ArtB 

I beleive it. There is a small, but obnoxious group of trolls that make it their living to bash pit bulls on comment boards. The answer is though, make them known, and never respond directly to them with logic. if you do, you give them an opportunity to spew more nonsense.

novabunny
novabunny

@maxgold20 OH LOOK! The owner of a popular pit bull bashing and media fear driven website has appeared. Anything new from faux news on those vicious pit bulls? Tell us again how that dog dragged you but left only puncture wounds in your arm? So when did you guys start lumping boxers into the pit bull category? Please the world needs to know when you got your degree in animal behavior. I'm assuming this is her based on the term "nutters" she is using since that was coined and created by her. Or are you one of her blind followers?

ArtB
ArtB

@maxgold20 Not a pit bull, you doofus. Speaking of nutters and such. Go troll somewhere else.

rebtris
rebtris

@ArtB  Shut up moron.. we're NOT listening to your pit bull propaganda anymore!  The proof is in the deeds and the faces of over THREE HUNDRED people who have been KILLED by pit bulls are at www.fatalpitbullattacks.com  

ArtB
ArtB

@rebtris @hollonallison Look at you Reb: playing tough e-thug, issuing e-threats. Sound like your over-sized panties are all bunched up, and you're off your meds. Relax, no one will come anywhere near your gauche family, because it smells like refuse from miles and miles away. And your poor pets... Don't even get me started.

rebtris
rebtris

@clayhund Talking to yourself again clayhund, king of lies and trolling? LMAO

rebtris
rebtris

@ArtB Yeah right.. a frightened dog that was so aggressive and out of control that the animal control officer called for backup. GET REAL!

maxgold20
maxgold20

@ArtB @maxgold20 Oh that's right, everyone else is wrong, and a few nutters are RIGHT! The dog is clearly a Pitbull, it is in insult to the intelligence of others and also to Labradors to call a Pitbull a Labrador   Only Nutters think a Pitbull isn't a Pitbull, you are as delusional as the Pitbull owner in this story.  Good Luck keeping up your delusional belief system.

ArtB
ArtB

@rebtris Go on misfit, we know you're not done yet.

crazydoglady
crazydoglady

@rebtris the animal control obviously didn't know how to do her job. She should be ashamed of herself.

crazydoglady
crazydoglady

@rebtris @ArtB "THREE HUNDRED people" ??? You are a moron. Do your research before posting on public comment. 

rebtris
rebtris

@ArtB The families of over THREE HUNDRED people are grieving because their CHILD, GRANDPARENT, or other relative has been MAULED TO DEATH by a pit bull. Where's all the sympathy for them?  As for "tactless, classless, and brain dead" you are describing yourself to a tee, nutter!

ArtB
ArtB

@BlackDaliah

1. Not insults, but technically accurate characterizations.

2. It is not possible to insult something like you.

Next!

BlackDaliah
BlackDaliah

@ArtB @rebtris @maxgold20 you realize you yourself have done nothing but throw insults around, adding nothing to the conversation what so ever. Looks like you are the troll, art. 

rebtris
rebtris

@maxgold20  Typical nutters in total denial. The dog is obviously a pit bull mix. Calling that dog a Chocolate Lab is ridiculous. One look at the huge jowls, the high set small ears and the evil look in it's eyes confirms pit bull in it's blood. The aggressive way the dog was acting just confirms pit bull breeding. The officer did the right thing by killing the dog before it ran loose and hurt or killed somebody in the neighborhood or their innocent pet.

maxgold20
maxgold20

@ArtB @maxgold20 Wow, supporters of fighting breeds of dog and those who deliberately mislead authorities to avoid penalties and laws are angry! Try telling someone who cares, maybe some local criminals or some fellow Pitbull Nutters.

ArtB
ArtB

@maxgold20 @ArtB Wow, still more pre-recorded hogwash from a sociopath who has no compassion. Intellect, huh? You have shown enough of yourself, now wallow in your own filth. DIAF troll.

maxgold20
maxgold20

@ArtB You are obviously a Pitbull Apologist, your lack of intellect and overt arrogance and ignorance are a dead give away.  Also your concern over a fighting breed of dog that regularly maims, mauls and kills humans and animals rather than concern for human welfare is the truest indication of a sociopathic Nutter.  Dogs are animals, they are not children, they are not family members, they are animals.  If you actually care about animals, humans kill over 140 billion animals per year for human consumption, how many tears do you shed for those animals. Hypocrite. Not to mention the obvious deception the Owner is trying to pull with Animal Control, deliberately mis-identifying the breed of dog to avoid regulations, typical criminally minded Pitbull Nutter.

ArtB
ArtB

@maxgold20 @ArtB You are clearly talking about yourself, you tactless, classless, brain-dead hag. A family is grieving because scumbags tortured and savagely executed their beloved pet. And you still dare to come here, stick out your pop-eyed face, and proceed with your deranged ramblings.

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