A family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and its police department, claiming that police permanently wounded their two service dogs and then tried to hide it.
The lawsuit stems back to an incident that occurred on July 8, 2017. Jennifer LeMay’s burglar alarm went off at 8:42 p.m. Just twelve minutes later, she called Xfinity to let them know there was an error.
Police officers Michael Mays and Daniel Ledman arrived to LeMay’s home at about 9:15 p.m. The lawsuit says that Lendman went to the front door and Mays jumped the fence into the backyard. Video surveillance shows LeMay’s dog Ciroc walking up to the officer wagging its tail. He shot the dog in the face. He then shot her second dog, Rocko.
The lawsuit states that Ciroc and Rocko, both American Stanford Terriers, were five at the time of the shooting, registered with the city and up to date on vaccinations.
The suit argues that May didn’t have a reason to see the dogs as a threat before shooting them. “The perception that a single dog presents a life-threatening danger to a healthy adult male who is wearing a thick uniform and bullet-proof vest, is objectively unreasonable, and it has been well-documented to be a false perception,” it states.
According to the lawsuit, the officers inflicted severe emotional damage on LeMay and her children. One of her kids had to spend several months in therapy at a county home school. The gunshot also permanently altered the dogs and they are no longer able to serve as support dogs. The police refused to pay the $6,000 veterinary bill, part of which the family had to pay upfront.
The family’s lawyer, Mike Padden, said that the officers involved in the incident haven’t been disciplined and the department isn’t properly trained on how to handle dogs.