Owners of dogs shot by Mpls police wait for change

- It's been almost six months since the controversial shooting of two dogs by a Minneapolis police officer.

After the incident, then-Chief Janee Harteau promised training and an internal affairs investigation, but has anything been done? Fox 9 looked into the case.

In July, there was a burglary call that had been canceled. About a half hour later, police showed up anyway and in that response ended up shooting two dogs. Jennifer LeMay, one of the dog owners, says the pets are therapy dogs. She says she's still waiting for change on how the police handle interactions with dogs.

Ciroc took a shot to his face, while Rocko had four to five shots to his body. After multiple surgeries and likely more to come, physically they look pretty good, but emotionally there’s still quite a few scars.

“He has to be in visible view of individuals at all times otherwise he goes into full-fledged anxiety attacks – shaking,” said LeMay. “He’ll go on food strike. I mean, yeah, it gets pretty bad.” 

The controversy began after Officer Michael Mays jumped the fence to their yard. Police body camera video and the dog owner’s surveillance video show the dogs go down. Officer Mays says in his report that the dogs were growling and showing aggression, but the dog owner says tails were wagging and the dogs were being friendly.

“Something has to change and that’s really where I’m at with it,” said LeMay. “Something definitely has to change because if we can’t trust those who are sworn in to protect and serve, then what are you here for?”

Harteau promised mandatory training for police-dog encounters. So far, only fifty officers at the police academy have actually received such training, leaving 800 still waiting. Fox 9 was told that more officers will be trained as part of the next annual in-service training, but when that will be isn't clear.

What was also promised was a use of force review by internal affairs. It's not known if that has happened. According to Officer Mays' employee card, there is one open investigation, but it doesn't reveal what it's about.

“We do expect the city to keep us posted or the police department to keep us posted as to what the status is on that, we haven’t heard anything,” said Mike Padden, LeMay’s attorney.

Padden does say overall the police department and the city have been cooperative and he is expecting to come to some sort of resolution in the near future.

Padden says with the new police chief, a new mayor and several new council members, he understands that it's a process that can't be hurried. However, he also says he expects them to ultimately, "do the right thing."

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