Disabled Man Sues Police for Tasering and Shooting His Therapy Dog to Death

Video of the police shooting the dog went viral and sparked outrage in Commerce City, Colorado.

Photo Credit: shutterstock.com

The disabled owner of a dog shot to death by Colorado police officers is now suing law enforcement officials.  Courthouse News Service reports that Gary Branson is suing the Commerce City police for tasering the therapy dog and then shooting it to death.

The whole entire incident was caught on video.

On November 24, 2012, a neighbor of Branson’s in Commerce City called the police about the dog Chloe, who was allegedly on the loose. While the police said it was a pitbull, the owner says the dog is not that breed. According to the ABC affiliate in Denver,the police said they spent 20 minutes trying to gain control of the dog.  They claimed Chloe acted aggressively towards them when the cops approached the dog.

But the owner, Branson, disputes that story.  His lawsuit claims that the four-year-old dog was “a captured, wounded, defenseless dog that had not ever attacked anyone, had not bitten anyone, and never moved aggressively toward the officer.” The dog was hit by a taser, but then got back up.  After that, the police tasered her again.  But after an animal control officer named Arica Bores was capturing Chloe, Officer Robert Price shot the dog and killed Chloe. The whole incident was caught on tape by a 12-year-old neighbor. The video sparked outrage in the neighborhood.

The lawsuit says that the police lied about the shooting. “Officer Price deliberately lied when reporting that Chloe 'charged towards me in an aggressive manner and stopped 15 feet away.' This did not happen,” said Branson in the lawsuit.

In October, Office Price was acquitted in a criminal trial.  Branson wants compensation over the incident, which he says caused him emotional distress.  


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.