On May 11, 2018, officers with the Newark Police Department in Delaware were seen getting into their patrol car and intentionally running over two dogs who were loose in a commercial area. Both dogs, a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull, survived being hit by the SUV, but, tragically, that was not the end. While the German Shepherd managed to run away, the Pit Bull was not so lucky – and, already injured, was shot multiple times and killed by one of the officers.
On the following day, the department, which is also investigating the incident, released a statement claiming that the dogs “were aggressive towards the officers by sprinting towards the officers, baring their teeth, growling and foaming at the mouth.” But this version of events was not supported by the two witnesses, employees at a local SPCA, who tried to capture the dogs and bring them to a shelter.
According to the witnesses, the animals were not aggressive at all, Delaware Online reports. One of the people trying to help was even able to pet one dog and got close to leashing the animal but was disturbed by an officer. “He told us we needed to stop, and they threatened arrest multiple times if we did anything,” said Ashton Cleveland, an employee at the Delaware SPCA.
The SPCA employees proceeded to watch the scene from their car and saw the officers yell at the dogs and chase them before the final abuse. “The dogs started barking loudly, but they were just afraid for their lives,” Cleveland shared. “It escalated really quickly, and they could have been rescued. The fact that dogs were shot and run over is excessive and inhumane.”
Cleveland has filed a complaint against the officer who had shot the dog and the other who had struck the animals.
Senseless violence is unacceptable behavior for police officers, and it should immediately deprive them of their jobs. Animal abuse is strongly connected with human abuse, and aggressive, reckless behavior by individuals in positions of power cannot be tolerated. Click here to sign a petition urging Chief of Police Paul Tiernan to hold the officers accountable and make them lose their jobs for their cruelty.
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