Target: Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank
Goal: Punish officer who shot and killed dog in gated backyard because he felt “threatened” by him
A Salt Lake City police officer recently shot and killed a dog named Geist in a gated backyard. The officer allegedly entered the yard without permission from the owner during a search for a missing child, felt “threatened” by the dog and killed him.
Sean Kendall released a heartbreaking video of the confrontation he had with two Salt Lake City police officers immediately after learning his dog was cruelly shot and killed in his yard. The offending officer was identified by authorities as Salt Lake City Police Officer Olsen in the video, and had already left the scene by the time Kendall arrived. The officers in the video said Olsen felt “threatened” after he entered the backyard in search of a missing child and made the decision to fatally shoot the dog. The child was discovered sleeping in the basement of his family home shortly after Geist was killed.
As Kendall makes very clear in the video, the officer had entered his private residence without his permission and the yard was properly gated. It is not uncommon for dogs to be protective of their homes when a stranger enters without the owner. The officer had no right to enter the yard in the first place, let alone take the life of the animal who was properly and responsibly contained within it. Denounce Officer Olsen’s cruel, rash decision and demand he face serious consequences for his actions. Demand justice for Geist.
Dear Chief Burbank,
I am appalled to learn that a Salt Lake City police officer recently shot and killed a dog in a gated backyard he entered without permission from the owner. It is completely unacceptable for police to enter a private residence and so cruelly take the life of an animal who is properly and responsibly contained there.
In a video released by the owner, Sean Kendall, two Salt Lake City police officers identify the offending officer as Salt Lake City Police Officer Olsen. According to the officers in the video, Olsen had entered the yard in search of a missing child, felt “threatened” by the dog, and made the heartless decision to fatally shoot the dog.
It is quite common—and natural—for a dog to feel protective of its home if they see a stranger enter without their owner. Even if it is necessary for a police officer to enter a private residence without permission, they have no right to take the life of an animal they find there. I implore you to ensure justice for the dog and his owner and prevent such a tragedy for occurring again in the future by imposing serious consequences for Officer Olsen’s actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson via Flickr