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


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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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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