Officer Robert Price faces animal cruelty felony charges for shooting Chloe the dog
Edwards says that she's worked on many similar cases that have gotten nowhere. But this time, with clear footage and a thorough investigation, the DA's office recognized the seriousness of the officer's actions.
"Never have I experienced a police officer being charged, and never a felony," she says. "It's not a slap on the wrist like so many [other cases]. I really have to commend DA Don Quick."
She continues, "Frankly, I just didn't have a lot of faith in any DAs office or any police [department]...doing the right thing."
It's one thing to say that the shooting was not justified, but it's all the more meaningful that the DA's office is alleging that there was serious wrongdoing worthy of a felony charge, she says.
Michelle Halstead, a communications director with Commerce City, tells us that the city has authorized an independent administrative review of the case by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and that the city's incoming police chief will review the findings and see where there might be opportunities for improvement.
"We're taking this very seriously," she says. "We place the highest value on the safety and well being of the community, its people and their property."
The DA's office sats that the officer's first court date is set for January 24.
Edwards says that other law enforcement agencies should look to the Adams County DA in handling similar cases in the future.
"I truly hope that what DA Don Quick and what his investigators did and the findings will be a model for other jurisdictions to follow, and I hope that that sets the kind of precedent that we're not going to tolerate...police officers treating our family pets like this," she says.
Of her client, she adds, "It was a very, very emotional day for him yesterday.... He was just kind of speechless. He just couldn't even find the words to explain how he felt."
While he is glad that the officer is being charged, she adds, it just reaffirms the pain that his animal felt at the end of her life. "The other part of it...is this officer was very cruel to his animal and Chloe suffered.... To him, this is losing a member of his family."
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