Officers Sued for Deliberately Shooting Innocent Puppy

“They had a premeditated intent to kill the dog and that is exactly what they did,” Brittany’s attorney Chris Olsen said.

 

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You may already be familiar with the tragic story of Lexie, the mix puppy who was cornered on her own property and gunned down by Michigan police officers, one of whom said “The only thing I’m gonna do is shoot it, anyway.  I do not like dogs.”  Now the officers, the city of St. Clair Shores, and the animal control officer are being served with a lawsuit for violating devastated owner Brittany Preston’s Fourth Amendment rights.

“They had a premeditated intent to kill the dog and that is exactly what they did,” Brittany’s attorney Chris Olsen told the Huffington Post.

On July 15th he filed a federal lawsuit against St. Clair Shores, officers David Jacquemain and Jeremy Moskwa, and animal control officer Tom Massey.

The officers were called about a report of a loose dog that had been barking and crying all night.  They did not handle the situation carefully, and went into it knowing they weren’t going to do all they could to just get Lexie back inside.

“I don’t do snares, I don’t do dogs … I’ll shoot the f–king thing,” one of the officers said on the dashcam.

After Lexie was shot three times, she hid in the bushes to get away from her attackers.  One of the officers said, “Just die, dog,” and one of them walked over to the bushes and shot her several more times.  Later they discussed how to finally kill her.  One of them asked the animal control officer if he would, “choke it out,” and another suggested using a shovel.

AC officer Massey said that it wasn’t a good idea because, “you know this s—t is going to be all over Facebook in an hour,” and an officer responded, “yeah, unfortunately.”  Still alive, Lexie was snared and forced to walk and get into the van, where she slowly and painfully bled to death sometime between one and two hours later.

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(For the full account of the incident as stated in the formal complaint, CLICK HERE.)

The following is Brittany’s story, as told on Lexie’s Facebook page:

Hello, my name is Brittany Preston. On Friday 11/22/13, early in the morning, the St. Clair Shores police shot and killed my dog Lexie while she was on our front porch desperate to come inside.  Below describes the entire story in detail of what took place according to my grandpa, witnesses, the police report, and the necropsy report.

 
On Friday November 22, 2013, I left for work around 6pm. My grandpa whom I live with and take care of had let my puppy Lexie outside sometime around 1am when he woke up to use the bathroom. He is in the very early stages of dementia, so he had went back to sleep, forgetting he let her outside. She was let out into the fenced back yard, but the fence must have blown open while she was out there, and she got out, and walked around to the other side of the house where she sat on the porch and barked to be let back in. It was freezing that night. Witnesses say she barked for several hours.

 
My grandpa sleeps with a C-pap machine, so he can’t really hear when he has it on, plus his hearing isn’t the best with his age and health condition. One neighbor states that she kept looking out the window and saw that Lexie never left the porch, just paced back and forth while barking and crying. Around 6am a different neighbor across the street called the cops saying there was a dog that had not stopped barking all night. My grandpa knew how a lot of people are prejudice against Pit bulls (which she was a pit bull/Labrador mix), so we chose to keep her in the back yard when we let her out because he didn’t want any problems with neighbors. The neighbors only recognized our other dog who is a big black fluff ball named Casey; she and Lexie were buddies.

 

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So the cops arrived and saw Lexie on the front porch. She went to the side door to avoid them and sat there looking at the side entrance. An officer knocked on the front door asking my grandpa if she was his dog. He said no, but she is my granddaughter’s dog. My grandpa then walked through the house to the side door, where the cops walked outside to the side door. My grandpa then opened the door trying to let Lexie inside the house. She had stopped barking at the cops, and calmed when my grandpa came to the door. He kept calling her name, and trying to let her in, but she got on the defense when three strange, intimidating men began to approach her, trying to catch her. What dog wouldn’t?

 
When she started growling, the police yelled at my grandpa to shut the door in case they had to shoot her. He refused to shut the door, and continued to stand there trying to let her in. Finally after them yelling at my grandpa to get in his house multiple times, he shut the door. Right after he shut the door, Lexie became defensive and upset, according to police she lunged at them. They then started shooting at her. Four shots were fired, but one hit the cement. Two bullets penetrated her side and one in her face. The third cop shot her again at close range. She let out a cry, she stopped, and she went to the front entrance door where she hid behind the shrubs against the house. She laid down and didn’t move, but she was still alive. In the police report, this is where they neglected to document the additional four more shots that were fired at close range.

 
Animal control showed up, Lexie was dragged into the street and forced to walk to the truck where she was then picked up and placed in the truck like a piece of garbage (this is on video). The door was then shut.

 
According to a witness the police officers and animal control officer stood around talking about their personal lives (hunting season) while Lexie was heard whimpering in the truck still hanging on to life, dying slowly, bleeding out. That same witness said the crying eventually ceased. The witness expressed concern to Tom the animal control officer, but he didn’t have a reply. Instead, he changed the subject. That’s disgusting. How could you stand around listening to a dog die in agony while you just talk about your social life?

 

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The police department held onto her body for three days. I was finally allowed to get her frozen body back Monday morning. Those final memories of her bloody body will remain in my mind forever. I had to keep her body in my garage in a freezer over night before transferring her to a professional veterinarian Tuesday afternoon where she is being held now.

 
The final necropsy report is eight pages long with photos and measurements, but the condensed version from the doctor is below.

 
“In summary, a total of fifteen traumatic wounds were found on the dog’s body; seven of these appeared to be “Pass through” wounds and only one appeared to be an entrance wound with no exit (hole #4). One bullet appeared to be inside the abdomen per an x-ray post-mortem but it was not found during the necropsy. A likely cause of death is “bleed out” from the chest and the abdominal wounds, mainly from the liver lacerations causing hemo-abdomen and/with a contributing chest wound resulting in collapsed lung/hemothorax.”

 
I need justice for Lexie. I need to be the voice who makes a difference for my Lexie girl. She was a princess. She was a lovable cuddle bug. She was healthy, happy, sweet, young, vaccinated, dog friendly, kid friendly, and she was my baby. She was MY girl, and every morning when I would get home from work, I would say “Okay bed time princess.” And even though it is just me and her in a queen sized bed, she insisted on sleeping wrapped up in my legs. What those police officers did to her is horrific. She bled to death in that truck alone, scared, cold, hurt, painful, and this is not by any means OK.

 
Be a voice that stands out. Help me get justice for my girl Lexie. Life is not the same without her. Please… this has to stop.  My mission now is to initiate making a change in policy that contains strict rules and consequences for those that choose to ignore it. Carry a tranquilizer gun instead because what is happening now is disgusting, wrong, and inhumane. I don’t care what it cost or what it takes, but I’m not giving up until it happens.

Brittany

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More from Brittany:

The police report is inconsistent throughout which makes me really question their accusations when describing Lexie’s behavior.

1) They refer to Lexie as a pit bull throughout the entire report. She was a mix of Labrador and “possibly” pit bull. Couldn’t they have said the “mixed breed dog” not having a clue what she was, really? Instead they try to make her sound like a monster.

 
2) They say my grandpa said his daughter owned the dog, then they said he claimed the dog wasn’t his. Yet, they describe how my grandpa opened the door and tried to let Lexie inside.

 
3) They claim there were two large dogs inside the home when police were on the property. There was only one dog inside, a black Labrador.

 
4) They try to justify shooting Lexie because they were afraid for kids walking down the street going to school that day, and there was NO school scheduled for that morning.

 
5) Why didn’t the police get a statement from my grandpa who was forced to watch Lexie die? Were they afraid it would complicate their story?

 

 

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6) Most importantly, they report there were a total of five shots fired, and four shell casings found. Per the officer one of those shots missed the dog and hit the cement. The necropsy report identifies fifteen bullet holes in the body meaning a total of eight shots fired because only one bullet was found in her abdomen. That’s a pretty big deal that four holes in Lexie were unaccounted for? What does that say for the police? This was only a 45-pound dog!

 
Therefore, I feel that it’s very safe to assume that the aggressive behavior stated throughout the report was very exaggerated and false. She probably did exhibit fear, growling, showing teeth, hackles raised, and an assertive stance. That’s what an animal does when threatened, cornered, and surrounded by men in uniform with a pole and absolutely no clue on how to handle an animal. Maybe a can of dog food would have been a good start? The bottom line is she did not bite anyone.

Here are the facts: Lexie was a pit bull/Labrador mix, she had a collar, she was up to date on vaccines, she was good with kids, animals, people in general. Lexie was on her own property and there is no solid proof she ever left her property. She did not bite anyone and she is sorely missed.

I would also like to add that the police went to three witnesses for statements asking them to write down that the dog showed aggression. The witnesses that disagree and are disgusted by this horrific scene are afraid to speak up because they live there. The one witness lives way down the street and didn’t see anything, but she decided to add her opinion which is absolutely irreverent.

 

To see the complaint against the defendants in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

 

 

24 thoughts on “Officers Sued for Deliberately Shooting Innocent Puppy

  1. What in the hell is wrong with law enforcement? Do they not get psych evals when they are hired? Do they not have any training on how to handle loose animals? I’ve seen all sorts of stories about the abuse that our law enforcement officers are dishing out to helpless dogs and it’s sickening. Two officers held down a lost dog and cut the dog’s throat because it was “loose & aggressive”. Try LOST & AFRAID. If it were truly loose & aggressive you wouldn’t have been able to hold it down. Another officer looking for a missing kid, went into a man’s back yard and shot his dog to death for no reason, other than it probably barked at him. This poor dog was shot to death by officers while she was trying to get back into her own house! WHAT THE F*CK!

  2. I can only pray that one day a cop who hates children is not called because one is crying. A dog is a companion animal and there are laws in place to protect THEM as well. If the owner had shot her own dog for barking, SHE would have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty and held accountable. None of these officers were. A write-up in their employment record and further training is NOT enough.

  3. Anyone that shoots down a dog as their first option when it does not pose a danger does not need to be working in law enforcement. That poor excuse for a animal control officer also needs to lose his job. What was the purpose of killing this companion animal? It wasn’t endangering anyone, if anything, the complaint was about barking. I hope this girl can sue the pants off of this city and erects a monument stating Lexie’s story in honor of her beloved companion. One has to wonder how many other animals this badge toting vigilante has executed. This sicko gives cops a bad name. He’s a danger to animals and the public.

  4. This is totally appalling! Law enforcement abuse the power they are given. In this case a poor puppy who was someones beloved pet paid the price of the arrogant obviously UNTRAINED idiots they call polixe officers. I sincerely hope the owner gets justice and these worthless cowards get what they DESERVE

  5. I have had, large German Sherpards for over 10 yrs.. Yes a well know agrissive breed. I personally trianed it,carry $7,000.00 of accidential insurence as well..Never used it!! In some southern sates it’s nessary.

    Now I have a med shepard & 174 lb lg bull mastive bull dog..again noted on the agrissive dog breed list.. when I walk them they equal over 250 lbs ..IF you have one train EM. if I can’t handle my dogs ..then they don’t deserve me.
    Be responcible for all & any adctions .As us humans know our dogs & can not read there minds, all the time.
    My own child was mauled by a gressive breed dog,who was one of my own family member pet…point is you need to teach animlas so intern we as humans learn from our pet’s socilalization patterns,This is key at a young age.Which was why my child was hurt. the dog was always confined & didnt have the proper training. Just cause yr dog doesnt bite..doesnt mean it won’t ever..
    I’ve reviewed these video’s & really clearly question alot of issues with human behavior & socialization here… Just talking from an experienced loving dog owner.

  6. tragic and the cops are jerks. But a “neighbor” across the street calls the cops, what do you expect. They have no clue, make a quick assessment and shoot to kill. There is no current retribution for cops doing their duty so they are protected. Better to ask yourselves to STOP asking for an even bigger government to create even more stupid laws. If we can’t even have a society where the neighbor across the street doesn’t even know your dogs and calls the cops, what’s the point. Yes that’s you I’m talking to, that has to legislate everything and crucify your neighbor. The same people that condemn the cops will turn around and want legislation to control their neighbors. We have a nanny gov’t and a whiny population that can’t even go help a poor little dog get in his house or give him shelter. What do you expect.

  7. Absolutely the neighbors fault that called the cops, could have just walked over and banged on the door since they were up anyway. Same thing happened to me, dog was left out and the neighbor complained to me the next morning, but no cops. I said it’s the middle of summer, close your window or better yet come bang on my door. Stuff happens, why does everyone have to have someone rescue them from life all the time, that’s the problem. You ask them to come and they will come ready to do business, they are trained to kill not be your buddy.

  8. We can only hope karma will be true and some Detroit gangster will return the favor to these specific cops.

  9. Why were these cops not reprimanded in any way? I hope they get fired, get sued, lose everything, and live in squalor until they catch a disease.

  10. I was nauseated by the time I finished reading your story and to be honest I couldn’t even make it all the way through it. How awful that there are people who are sworn to protect and serve the community would slowly kill an animal. A non rabid animal in their own yard. I would say I hope they burn in hell but that would be to kind. I hope there supervisor realizes that they are a danger to the community and take them off the force and strip of their band and gun. I would not feel safe in my own home knowing that there is an officer patrolling my streets with a loaded weapon who clearly has anger issues that is not capable of controlling them. My heart goes out to you.

  11. They wanted that dog dead from the get go. Where do cops get off thinking they can come on to private property and tell citizens what to do, shoot their dogs in a neighborhood and think they can get away with it. It was a barking dog!! It hurt no one! They antagonized that dog until they had an excuse to shoot it! The neighbor who called police is an idiot! You couldn’t knock on the door and try to get the neighbor to put the dog away? I hope you feel good about yourself!!

  12. disgusting- i know that those cops and most of their dept. will stand behind the killers and they will all justify what was done. i think some of the cops have dogs they love,but won’t stand against the bad guys. hopefully the dog owners will get a big settlement.

  13. This is ridiculous — if this were one of my dogs – the officers wouldn’t have to wait for a trial … I’d take out my own revenge. This is the most revolting thing I have ever read/seen. That poor dog. These officers should be fined and fired — the ACO should be as well. I think jail time would be warranted. What a bunch of monsters!

  14. Absolutely disgusting. If this happened to my pet you’d better believe it would be all over Facebook and the nightly news. My father was a cop and would never dream of doing anything remotely similar to this. These cops and the animal control officer need to go to prison. I feel awful for the family and worse for poor Lexie.

  15. This is so awful I’m so sorry for you Brittany and for lexie.I pray you get justice.It is so scary to think monsters like this are allowed to walk around freely because they have authority to do whatever they want under the protection of the LAW.They give Law Enforcement a bad name and then wonder WHY the citizens they are supposed to protect KILL them.

  16. These stories have made me fear cops, bad. We camp at at state beach reservation and no alcohol is allowed. We were at camp with the dogs last week and the weird guy camping in a van at the site behind us ended up having the state police called on him because someone saw him throwing empty bottle in the camp dumpster. I had my 2 dogs with me and I hid them in the camper and had a huge anxiety attack that they would let out a bark and the state police would come over. It was awful. I begged my boyfriend to go home right there because I was scared of them coming back around and my dogs barking because they were strangers near the camp. Which is ok for dogs to do, it’s their jobs to protect. I wasn’t mad at the guy for drinking I was mad at the people who called the cops on him. I know I sound completely crazy but all these stories about cops doing this kind of stuff has made me fear so much for my poor dogs. It’s sick and needs to stop.

  17. I hope there is justice done for what happen to this beautful dog that did not want to die!!!!! Why does God put pieces of shit like them on this earth????? I hope when they are dying on there death bed the only thing they can see is the look of fear in the dogs eyes . Only because the dog was barking really you pieces of shit burn in HELL!!!!!! I hope you feel the pain that you put this poor dog through just like she did….They need to have there badges taken away forever!!!!! Do you really want someone like them to protect our childern not me…..

  18. This is a very sad story but don’t let it paint a picture of all police officers. What the officers did here is horrible but there are good dog loving police out there in the world. I live in Niagara Falls and one cold rainy spring night my dog, also a pit/lab mix got out of my yard. I posted pics on fb with my number in case anyone found her. My friends shared the post. The next morning I got a call from the police dispatcher. She had seen my post and showed my dogs pic to all the officers going out on patrol that morning. One of the officers had spotted her. I told the dispatcher I was at work and was not able to leave to try and get her. I told her I would contact a family member and send them to the area they saw her so they could get her. Well about a half hour later I got another call from the police. Apparently they didn’t wait for my family member and called in back up. It took six of them to catch my cold wet scared little dog but they did it. With no harm to her and the officer wanted to know where to drop her off. With nobody home the officer drove her to my work, in another town. When he got there all he said was man is she fast. It took six of us to catch her.

  19. I was amazed at the use of profanity by “our public servents”, the laughing, snickering, chuckling as if this were another day at the office, the standing around getting their stories straight, several times….they are a lot like the criminals they are suppose to be out catching. My heart goes out to the owner. Poor Lexie did NOT deserve that. My heart sinks for the country we have become, when you can’t even believe in or trust the “public servants” that are suppose to protect us and our property. CRUCIFY THEM!!!

  20. “Law enforcement” is a joke itself. Residents pay taxes for a group of uneducated individuals to enforce mostly traffic violations and when these morons step out of that comfort zone this type of stuff happens. Stop and consider how often you call 911 throughout your life and then consider if they’re all that helpful when you do call. Over paid, useless, and cruel misfits…so glad they’re protecting us.

  21. Horrible! Those ignorant and cops should lose their jobs and be hit with a large civil suit! This must stop!

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