A Detroit woman filed a federal lawsuit against the city today after police shot her dog and left it in a neighbor’s trash can.
IN complaint filed against the city of Detroit and an individual Detroit police officer, Tiffany Lindsay says her Fourth Amendment rights were violated last September when an officer entered her gated yard without a search warrant and shot her pit bull, Jack.
As Reason previously publishedDetroit police were looking for a carjacking suspect on the night of Sept. 4 when the officer and his K-9 unit went into Lindsay’s yard, peered into the doghouse and, unsurprisingly, found the dog.
According to a police report filed in connection with the incident, Lindsay’s dog lunged at the officer and the K-9 unit, biting the officer on the forearm and ripping his pants. It also bit his K-9 unit. The officer hit the dog several times with a flashlight before pulling out a gun and killing the animal.
But what happened next forced Lindsay to apologize to the police. The next morning, Lindsay’s neighbors informed her that her dog Jack had been dumped in their garbage can.
In an interview with Detroit TV news WDIV Local 4, Lindsay He said she wanted an apology and answers from the police. “That was my K-9, my protector, my best friend,” she told the news outlet. “He was my emotional support dog.”
Police records obtained Reason show that a Detroit police investigation after the shooting cleared the officers involved of any violation of department policy. According to the investigation summary, a lieutenant at the scene knocked on Lindsay’s door to try to contact her, but was unsuccessful, and also attempted to call the Department of Public Works to remove the dog’s body, also unsuccessfully because it was after hours.
“Instead of leaving the destroyed animal in view of the public, specifically the owner, Lt. Guntzviller decided to place the destroyed animal in the Courville garbage container,” the summary says. “The destroyed animal would remain there until the Department of Public Works is open/operating.”
The police arrived the next day to collect the dog’s corpse.
However, Lindsay’s lawsuit states that officers never knocked on her door that night. Her lawsuit alleges that the search of her yard without a warrant, the shooting of her dog, Jack, and the dumping of the body in a neighbor’s trash can were violations of her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Lindsay’s case is the latest in a series of lawsuits against Detroit police over the wanton killing of dogs. In 2015, the city granted a $100,000 settlement to a man after police shot his dog while it was tied tightly to a fence.
And in 2016 Reason investigation revealed that Detroit police had a record of killing dogs during drug busts. Public records obtained by Reason showed that one narcotics officer shot more than 80 dogs during his career.
In 2018, Detroit paid 225,000 dollars to settle a lawsuit filed by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin, who claimed Detroit police officers shot their three dogs while the animals were confined behind an 8-foot-tall fence — all so officers could seize several potted marijuana plants in their yard.
In 2019, Detroit agreed to pay 60 thousand dollars Nikita Smith, whose three dogs were shot by Detroit’s narcotics unit during a marijuana raid in 2016. That same year, Detroit police shot the family dog in front of a 9-year-old boy and a woman filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming that Detroit police busted open her door and then shot her two dogs when they ran outside.
In 2020, the city awarded another one 75,000 dollars to settle a lawsuit over the shooting of a dog after body camera footage contradicted the officer’s claims that two dogs lunged at him and barked when he shot them during a drug bust.
However, Detroit is not alone in creating such suits. Just browse the “puppy murder” tag. Reasonwebsite, which has decades of stories about police killing pets.