The Los Angeles Police Department says it will investigate a shooting of a pit bull with a bean bag by officers visiting the Winnetka home last week, following criticism of the dog’s owner’s police response,
The LAPD released body-worn camera footage of the two officers who went to the 6700 block of Limerick Avenue last Thursday after a caller said he saw a pit bull chasing people in the neighborhood.
According to footage released on Sunday, the dog was at its owner’s property when officers arrived. Officers spoke to a woman driving the vehicle who called the police.
As the woman described what she saw, an officer told her, “We’ll figure it out.” Then another officer holding a bean bag shot gun can be heard racking up the weapon.
Footage shows what happened next: Both officers approach the driveway, and the dog sticks its head out from behind a truck.
“There he is,” says an officer. Other whistles.
As the dog starts barking, an officer tells him, “Go back, man.”
They continue to make contact, and the dog becomes more aggressive. As soon as the dog whistles, the officers proceed to the property and ask him to return. As officers walk next to a truck parked in the driveway, the dog barks and moves on, the officer hitting the dog in the head with a bean bag shotgun. The dog whispers and backs away.
Then the owner comes out. The officers shout that he needs to secure his dog.
The owner, Corey Lennon, told ABC 7 that he believes officers acted improperly when they approached his property.
“They came over my driveway, pulled up guns,” he said, looking at his security camera footage where he could hear an officer racking his weapon across the street.
“I feel like they were hunting him. They just didn’t give him a chance.”
Body cameras of the officers showed that the dog was not leash and when they got there the front door to the property was open.
But Lennon told reporters that officers did not see his dog chasing anyone. Body camera footage appears to support that the dog was on the property when officers arrived.
It is not clear whether a neighbor called the police about the dog. According to body camera footage, the woman who called about the dog told the authorities that she did not live in the neighborhood.
According to the LAPD statement, the woman “notified officers of a dog that aggressively chased people walking in the area.”
The LAPD said they had launched an internal investigation into the incident. All officer use of force, including incidents involving the use of less-lethal weapons such as bean bag shotguns and other projectile launchers, is investigated by the department and subject to the reviews of the LA Police Commission.