Dogs & Laws

Detroit Police to Pay $100k in Wrongful Shooting of Family Dog

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Detroit police officers, responding to reports of an active shooter, surrounded the home of Darryl Lindsay. When they arrived, Lindsay’s dog, Babycakes, a Dogue de Bordeaux, was standing in the driveway, tethered to a 10′ long steel cable.

Dashcam video captured Detroit police Officer Darrell Dawson approaching Babycakes, stopping just beyond her reach at the end of the tether, aiming his department-issued handgun, and shooting her twice in the chest, killing her.

Not only did Lindsay cooperate with officers, he specifically asked if he could take the dog inside the house when officers arrived. No shooter was ever found in the area and Lindsay was not charged with any crime.

“Defendant’s dash cam audio recordings reflect a female police officer remarking that ‘that dog got shot and had nothing to do with it!'” the suit said.

“On top of that, police never saw or could even describe the person that they were looking for that day,” said Lindsay’s lawyer, Chris Olsen of Royal Oak.

“A well-developed body of federal law holds that police unreasonably killing a dog violates the owner’s Fourth Amendment rights,” said Lindsay’s attorney. “In particular, where the dog does not pose an imminent threat, or the officer is not surprised by the dog and has had time to make alternate plans to control the dog, other than shooting; the shooting of the dog is an unreasonable seizure that violates the Fourth Amendment.”

Darryl Lindsay filed a lawsuit against the department and was awarded a settlement of $100,000.

Officer Dawson was “verbally counseled” regarding more appropriate ways to enter private property to perform a search.

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