A California resident claims in a lawsuit that police responding to a shooting killed his dog for no apparent reason. The suit, filed on July 10, alleges that Chico Blue, a 5-year-old pit bull, died a gruesome death, bleeding out after being shot twice.
According to the suit, plaintiff Arturo Gonzalez was home with Chico when officers with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a nearby shooting. Gonzalez, who according to the suit was not connected with the shooting, was held in a police car while Chico stayed in the yard.
Suit: Cop tormented dog
The suit claims that “one of the officers, apparently for his own amusement, picked up a lounge chair and threw it over the fence at Chico ... Shortly after, another officer opened the gate to the area where the dog was securely enclosed and tasered him twice in the face.”
“After being tasered, Chico Blue staggered through the gate an officer had left opened,” the complaint says. “Even though the dog was already dazed and injured, an officer near the sidewalk drew his gun and shot Chico Blue twice.”
“The dog attempted to flee by jumping into an officer's open car door, where an officer kicked the door closed and allowed Chico Blue to bleed to death.”
According to the suit, Gonzalez repeatedly begged the officers to let him bring Chico inside, but the police ignored his pleas. The suit names as defendants the City of Pico Rivera and the County of Los Angeles.
Lawyer: “One of the worst”
"My office unfortunately receives many calls from people who have lost a family companion due to an unnecessary and excessive shooting by police officers," the plaintiff’s lawyer, Jill Ryther told the Huffington Post. "Despite the many horrific stories I have heard, the shooting of Chico Blue is one of the worst I've encountered."
Ryther founded Expand Animal Rights Now (EARN), a group whose “primary objective is to use the legal system, education and outreach to end the exploitation of all animals.”
In a press release issued the day the suit was filed, Ryther says that “Chico Blue’s tragic death is part of a larger trend in which numerous animals have been harmed or killed by careless law enforcement officials.”
“Just last week a video published on YouTube showed Max, a Rottweiler, being gunned down by police in Hawthorne, prompting protests and outrage from countless citizens,” the press release says.