A 7-month-old miniature bull terrier standing beside his owner in front of the owner’s gated home was deemed such a threat that a Chicago police officer felt the need to shoot it twice on a busy street.
Al Phillips said he saw police officers writing a parking ticket for his van and went outside to move it. The puppy, named Colonel Phillips and known to the neighborhood as “The Colonel,” followed Phillips out the gate.
“Then all I hear is boom! Boom! Two shots. You shot the dog!” Phillips told Fox 32 News.
Eyewitness Charlene Dezengo said she heard the officer warn Phillips about the dog being loose, but the officer never sounded as if he was in danger.
“All of a sudden I heard him say, ‘get your dog,’ and the next statement was ‘get your dog,’ and then he just pulled his gun and shot twice,” Dezengo said. The badge-wearing enforcer and self-styled protector of mankind from dangerous puppies then holstered his weapon and continued writing the parking ticket.
“I’m 100 percent certain [the dog did not lunge at the officer],” Todd McClay said. “That dog wasn’t concerned with anybody. He was sniffing at the ground and wagging his tail.”
Three days later, while Phillips was talking to a television reporter, police officers drove by. They returned 90 minutes later and asked Phillips why he had been talking to the media. In an act that appears to be simply out of retaliation and to intimidate the public, they then wrote Phillips a ticket for not keeping his dog on a leash on the day of the shooting.
A Chicago police spokesman told Fox 32 News that he wouldn’t discuss the shooting while it’s under investigation by an independent panel. The Colonel underwent five hours of surgery and survived the shooting, but because of the injuries and scars the owners will not be able to enter him in shows, which was their plan. The dog is the son of a prize-winning show dog.
The Phillips family filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday.