A black and white dog, adopted by a Nebraska couple a week earlier, was shot and killed by a Lincoln police officer on Sunday, April 12, when it pushed through a screen door and charged the officer who was standing on the sidewalk, the Journal Star reports.
Capital Humane Society President Bob Downey admitted to the JournalStar.com that staff at the shelter knew the dog "had issues with police" but did not divulge that information to the adopters.
He said this created a "perfect storm" situation when Officer Jason Brownell went to the home of John and Lynette Markey at 6508 Leighton Avenue in Lincoln regarding a minor car accident that Lynette had been involved in the day before.
Downey said the mixed breed dog, called Max, was impounded as a stray by Animal Control. When his owner was later identified, he did not want to reclaim the dog, advising a shelter employee that the dog hates police officers.
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Downey explained that, although Max had not been specifically trained to attack the police, the dog had witnessed his prior owner having encounters with officers which caused Max to “associate police with a tense, unpleasant atmosphere.”
Police Chief Jim Peschong called the incident “unfortunate.” He described how Officer Jason Brownell went to the Leighton Ave. address at 6:48 p.m. on Sunday to follow up on the accident report.
He said that Officer Brownell was waiting on the sidewalk while John Markey went inside to get his wife. According to the Chief’s report, the dog suddenly bolted out the door and charged the officer.
When the dog hit his chest, the officer stumbled backward, Chief Peschong said. At that time Officer Brownell pulled his service weapon and fired twice, striking the dog in the neck and shoulder areas and killing him.
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The officer sustained a scratch on the back of his neck and marks on his left arm where he was bitten and clawed by the dog, according to Chief Peschong.
John Markey told JournalStar.com that they would still have adopted Max, even knowing what happened, but they would have handled things differently.
Humane Society President Downey did not find fault with the fact that Max was in the shelter's adoption program, but said that the information about Max disliking the police needed to be passed along to the adopter so that they could control situations in which the dog was placed.
Downey told the JournalStar.com, “The only thing we really told them was the dog came to us as a stray (and that) we don’t know a lot about the dog."
Downey said the shooting was not the officer’s fault and expressed remorse that both Officer Brownell and the Markeys had to endure this trauma.
John Markey said that he is not angry with the officer and feels “kind of bad for what he had to go through there."
A recorder in Brownell’s pocket captured the audio. First there were sounds of distant barking which becomes louder. The officer yells, “Hey.” Then there are two quick pops and the officer orders, “Stop.” The officer is then heard calling dispatch and saying he had fired shots at a dog. He asks for a supervisor and tells them to send Animal Control.
Brownell is heard apologizing several times and saying, “I’m sorry, sir. He went after me.” He also says, “I hate that this happened.”
A woman is heard defending the officer on the tape, confirming that the dog came after him.
A neighbor is also reported as witnessing the shooting, Lockerdome reports.
Chief Peschong advised that an internal investigation will be performed to confirm that Officer Brownell followed policies and procedures.
Photo: Provided, 1011Now.com