CLEBURNE, TX — Body-cam video shows how an officer coaxed a family dog toward him with friendly kissing sounds before raising his weapon and firing.
The incident took place on August 10, 2014, when dogs belonging to Quinton Tatum and Amanda Henderson escaped from their fenced-in yard while the married couple was not at home. Some neighbors called the government to complain that the dogs were loose and interfering with them walking from their car to their house.
When a Cleburne police officer arrived at the scene, one of the pit bulls happily approached him, wagging its tail, and licked his face. This was included in the police report and can be seen on video from the officer’s body cam.
After the friendly interaction with the first dog took place in the front of the house, the officer then attempted to locate the other two dogs. They turned out to be playing in a nearby irrigation ditch between the homes, in a more obscured area.
As recorded on his body-camera, the Cleburne officer then began coaxing the dogs over to him by making kissing sounds, which can be heard in the video. The dogs respond by wagging their tails and exhibiting very friendly body language, video shows.
That’s when the officer raises his pistol and began firing. Three shots can be heard, along with a pitiful yelp.
One dog rolled over and died from the gunshots. The other frightened pet backed away, paused, then ran home.
View the moments of the shooting below:
Soon after, an animal control officer arrived on the scene with a catchpole to collect the remaining two dogs who were still alive. Video shows that animal control officer didn’t even need to use the catchpole, since speaking to the dogs in a friendly tone was all that was required to get them to follow her to a secure area with tails wagging.
The officer’s narrative is the subject of some speculation from witnesses and many who have viewed the video.
The official report states: “I raised my duty weapon to the ready position – pointed at the growling dog’s head. As soon as I lifted my pistol, the dog began coming up the hill, continuing to growl and display its teeth… I fired three shots at it.”
No growling or teeth baring is evident from the video at all. In fact, every angle of the dogs portrays them as friendly.
“Words can’t even explain that,” commented Mr. Tatum after viewing the video of the officer tricking his pet before opening fire.
The Cleburne police department is claiming that the video has been taken out of context and reiterates that the officer was only “assisting” the dog-phobic 9-1-1 callers, suggesting that they were “pinned” inside their vehicle by “aggressive” dogs.
The incident remains under department review, and the identity of the shooter remains without consequence. He has been identified as Officer Kevin Dupre.