Detroit woman sues city after police shot her dog and left it in a trash can

A Detroit woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city today after police shot her dog and left it in a neighbor’s trash can.

A complaint In a lawsuit filed against the city of Detroit and a Detroit police officer, Tiffany Lindsay says her Fourth Amendment rights were violated last September when the officer entered her fenced backyard without a search warrant and shot her pit bull, Jack.

as because As previously reportedDetroit police were looking for a carjacking suspect the night of Sept. 4 when an officer and his K-9 unit entered Lindsay’s backyard, peered into a doghouse and surprisingly found a dog.

According to a police report filed in the incident, Lindsay’s dog lunged at the officer and the K-9 unit, biting the officer and ripping his pants. It also beats his K-9 unit. The officer struck the dog several times with his flashlight before pulling his gun and killing the animal.

But it was what happened next that Lindsay demanded an apology from the police. The next morning, Lindsay’s neighbors inform her that her dog Jack has been dumped in their trash can.

In an interview with Detroit TV news outlet WDIV Local 4, Lindsay said He apologized to the police department and demanded answers. “That was my K-9, my protector, who is my best friend,” she told the news outlet. “He was my emotional support dog.”

Police records obtained because Show that a post-shooting investigation by the Detroit Police Department cleared officers of violations of department policy. According to the summary of the investigation, a lieutenant at the scene knocked on Lindsay’s door to try to contact her, unsuccessfully, and tried to call the Department of Public Works to remove the dog’s body, which was also unsuccessful because it was several hours later.

“Rather than release the destroyed animal in public view, particularly the owner, Lt. Guntzwiller decided to place the destroyed animal in a Courville trash container,” the summary says. “The destroyed animal shall remain there until such time as the Department of Public Works remains open/operating.”

The next day the police came to recover the body of the dog.

However, Lindsay’s lawsuit says officers never knocked on her door that night. His suit alleges that the warrantless search of his backyard, the shooting of his dog Jack, and the dumping of the body in a neighbor’s trash were all violations of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Lindsay’s case is the latest in a series of lawsuits against Detroit police for killing dogs. In 2015, the city allowed A $100,000 settlement was awarded to a man after police shot his dog while it was securely tied to a fence.

A 2016 because investigation Detroit police found to have a track record of shooting dogs during drug busts. Public records obtained by reason showed An officer in the department’s narcotics unit has shot more than 80 dogs in his career.

In 2018, Detroit paid off $225,000 To settle a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin, who claimed Detroit police officers shot three of their dogs while the animals were enclosed behind an 8-foot-tall fence—allowing officers to seize several marijuana plants in their backyard. .

In 2019, Detroit agreed to pay $60,000 To Nikita Smith, whose three dogs were shot by the Detroit narcotics unit during a marijuana raid in 2016. That same year, Detroit police A family dog In front of a 9-year-old boy and a woman File a civil rights lawsuit Detroit police allegedly opened her door and then shot her two dogs when she ran outside.

In 2020, the city did one more thing $75,000 Body camera footage used to settle a dog shooting case contradicts an officer’s claim that two dogs were lunging and barking at him when he shot them during a drug raid.

Detroit is far from alone in making these kinds of suits, though. Just browse the “puppycide” tag becauseIts website, which has decades of stories of police killing family pets.