A woman in Saskatchewan, Canada, says she is still awaiting resolution of a formal complaint she filed last year with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Public Complaints Commission after, she says, officers unnecessarily shot and killed her dog.
RCMP Officers shot and killed Justine O’Soup’s dog, Duke, on July 18, 2014, while arresting her boyfriend Adam Cote on the Key First Nation, north of Regina, CBC News reported.
Video of the incident (shown below) was shot by O’Soup’s sister and circulated online shortly after it occurred. Now, more than a year, it is getting attention again.
The disturbing video opens to show officers dragging Cote to a police a vehicle. There is a good deal of screaming and shouting.
The camera pans to show an officer with a police dog pointing and shouting, “Get a shotgun and put this dog down.”
He is pointing at a black dog laying in the grass nearby.
Another officer calmly walks to a police vehicle, retrieves a shotgun, and returns and fires a single shot. The woman filming the scene can be heard screaming before the man with the shotgun returns.
“You didn’t have to shoot my dog,” she yells.
“Poor Dukey,” she cries before the officer fires the shotgun at the dog.
O’Soup, who arrived at the scene shortly after the video was recorded, said her sister was upset by the event.
“She was freaking out, screaming and crying,” O'Soup told the CBC. "I could see my dog's body on the ground, and I just knew instantly what happened and I couldn't believe it. And she was crying and freaking out and she was like, ‘They just shot Duke.’”
The family filed the formal complaint shortly after Cote’s arrest.
The RCMP released statement following the incident saying that during Cote’s arrest a “a dog from the community was shot and killed after it attacked the RCMP Police Service Dog.”
As the story is again gaining press attention, the Saskatchewan RCMP released another statement last week further explaining the incident, BuzzFeed reported.
That statement suggests that Duke had attacked the police dog and already been shot before the video began.
“After the initial firearm discharge, the wounded dog was lying in the grass injured and out of compassion was euthanized by the RCMP member,” the statement reads.
O’Soup said that, based on what her sister said transpired before she started recording, Duke did not need to be shot.
“Duke wasn’t acting aggressive,” she said. “Even if my dog was attacking the [police] dog, shooting him seven times in the body isn’t the way to handle it. It’s cruel the way they shot him. Why did my dog have to die?”
O’Soup told the CBC she hopes the renewed interest in the video will bring about some resolution with her complaint.
“I am glad because I do want justice for my dog because I knew he didn't deserve that,” she said.
Photo credit: Screen shot from YouTube