The police chief in Racine, Wisconsin has promised an internal review after a bizarre neighborhood dispute ended with a SWAT team killing a family pet.
Resident Kim Polk told WITI that it all began when a neighborhood man’s dog had crapped in her yard on Saturday afternoon.
“His dog proceeded to soil my grass and I asked him you are going to pick that up because I don’t want that sitting on my grass,” Polk recalled.
She said that the man responded by kicking the dog poop into a pile of leaves she was raking, and then threatening her family’s dog with a bow and arrow.
When Polk’s husband went to talk to the man about the confrontation, she said that he came to the door armed.
“He closed the door and came back to the door with a machete in his hand, a very long machete so at that time my husband backed up off the property and I had my daughter call the police,” Polk explained.
Disturbing cell phone video posted to YouTube shows tactical officers taking cover behind an armored vehicle, when a small dog runs out of the suspect’s home. The dog appears to turn and head back to the home after spotting the armored vehicle, but officers quickly fire at least two shots and the dog falls to the ground.
“Oh my God!” a person watching from a nearby home can be heard screaming. “They shot the dog. You f*cking a**holes!”
In a statement to the Racine County Eye, Racine Police Chief Art Howell expressed his regret for the dog’s death.
“On a personal level, I am saddened over the loss of a domestic pet that more than likely, had no malice against anyone,” he said. “During this standoff, the dog owner threatened to use a body armor piercing crossbow to kill officers, and this subject threatened to use his dog as a weapon against officers as well. After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff.”
“Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time.”
Howell added: “Additional review is in order; however, judgement relative to the actions taken should be reserved until the matter has been thoroughly reviewed and all facts are known and considered.”
A Facebook page titled “Justice 4 Angle” encouraged supporters of the dog to lodge complaints with the Racine Police Department.