The Los Angeles Police Department says it will investigate the shooting of a pit bull with a bean bag round by officers approaching a Winnetka home last week, following the dog owner’s criticism of the police response,
LAPD released body-worn camera footage from both officers who went to the 6700 block of Limerick Avenue last Thursday after a caller said they saw a pit bull chasing people in the neighborhood.
According to the footage released Sunday, when officers got there the dog was on its owner’s property. The officers spoke to a woman who was driving by who called police.
As the woman explained what she saw, an officer told her, “We’ll figure it out.” Then the other officer holding the bean bag shot gun can be heard racking the weapon.
The footage showed what happened next: Both officers approach the driveway, and the dog pokes its head out from behind a truck.
“There he is,” one officer says. The other whistles.
As the dog starts to bark, one officer tells it, “Get back, dude.”
They continue to approach, and the dog gets more aggressive. The officers walk forward onto the property as they whistle at the dog and tell it to get back. As the officers walk next to a truck parked in the driveway, the dog barks and runs forward, the officer with the bean bag shotgun fires, hitting the dog in the head. The dog whelps and retreats.
That’s when the owner comes out. The officers yell that he needs to secure his dog.
The owner, Cory Lennon, told ABC7 that he believed the officers acted inappropriately when they approached his property.
“They came up my driveway, guns drawn,” he said, noting from his security camera footage he could hear an officer rack his weapon while still across the street.
“I feel like they were hunting her. They didn’t even give her a chance.”
The officers’ body cameras show that the dog was not leashed and that the front gate to the property was open when they got there.
But Lennon told reporters the officers didn’t see his dog chase anyone. The body camera footage seems to support that, showing the dog was on the property when the officers got there.
It’s not clear whether any neighbors called police about the dog. The woman who called about the dog told officers she didn’t live in the neighborhood, according to the body camera footage.
According to LAPD’s statement, the woman “informed the officers of a dog that aggressively chased down people walking in the area.”
LAPD said they launched an internal investigation into the incident. All officer uses of force, including incidents when they use less-lethal weapons like bean bag shotguns and other projectile launchers, are investigated by the department and subject to reviews from the L.A. Police Commission.
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