Police Officer Shoots Two Family Dogs In Disturbing Facebook Video

A Minneapolis woman posted a video to Facebook that appears to show a police officer shooting her two dogs.

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A Minneapolis woman posted a home surveillance video to Facebook on Saturday that appears to show a police officer shooting her two dogs after responding to a home burglary alarm.

The woman, Jennifer LeMay, said one of the dogs was shot in the jaw, and the other in the side, face, and shoulder. Both survived the shooting, LeMay said in follow-up Facebook posts on Sunday.

The silent video posted to Facebook shows a police officer in the backyard of a home. The officer goes off camera for a moment as he apparently steps toward the home. He is then seen walking backward away from a brown and white dog, who meanders toward the officer with his tail wagging.

In the video, the dog, whom LeMay identified as Ciroc, appears to be about 10 feet away from the officer when the officer fires his gun. The dog seems to fall down, and then get up and run away. A black dog, identified as Rocko, then runs in view of the camera, and the officer shoots several times before the dog flees. After about 20 seconds, with no dogs visible, the officer turns around and climbs over a fence.

In a statement on Sunday, the Minneapolis Police Department said it was aware of the shooting. On Monday, the police department released a new statement from Chief Janeé Harteau saying that Internal Affairs was reviewing the use of force.

"I’ve watched the video, and as someone whose family has included dogs most of my life, I can say that it was difficult to watch," Harteau said. "This was an outcome that no one wanted."

Harteau added that they would be updating mandatory training for police and dog encounters to "prevent similar outcomes in the future."

BuzzFeed News reached out to LeMay for additional details, but did not immediately hear back.

Police responded at LeMay's home after her daughters, aged 13 and 18, accidentally set off the home security alarm, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Two officers showed up about 20 minutes later, LeMay told the Star Tribune. Neither officer knocked on the door, she said, and one of the officers instead jumped over a 7-foot fence in the backyard. LeMay added that her two daughters witnessed the entire incident from the house.

Expressing her anger at the incident on Facebook, LeMay wrote that she would get "justice for my kids."

"There is no penny or dollar value," she wrote in all caps, for "what these babies mean to my family."

LeMay also told the Star Tribune that the dogs are emotional support animals who were prescribed by a physician to her two sons, who suffer from severe anxiety.

After the shooting, LeMay said, another officer knocked on the front door, and told the family that "animal control" was on the way to the house. As a result, she claimed, the family delayed taking the dogs to the vet, but eventually did take them to an emergency veterinarian when the city officials did not arrive.

Ciroc, who was shot in the jaw, underwent surgery, according to the Star Tribune, while Rocko was shot in the side, face, and shoulder. According to LeMay, the dogs have already racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills, and will require additional surgery and care. A crowdfunding page was launched on Sunday to help pay for the pets' surgery and rehabilitation.

On Monday, Harteau's statement said that the police department was reaching out to the family in order to help "with the veterinary care bills to ensure that both dogs are adequately taken care of."

Police use of force against dogs has been a longstanding issue across the country, even prompting the Department of Justice to conduct a study and devote educational resources to the subject.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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