Footage of dog being shot
(Viewers may find disturbing)
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
VIDEO footage has emerged of a law enforcement officer shooting a dog at point-blank range during what appears to be a home raid.
The incident was captured by four surveillance cameras which depict a home from various angles. Two videos show roughly 10 officers entering the premises. The third video captures a separate area where a dog can be seen wandering around. It is unclear from the video whether the dog is chained, however the animal stays within his partially enclosed area. An officer clearly walks in, draws his gun and shoots the dog twice.
In additional footage, an animal medic arrives on the scene. The dog has to be carried out to the medic’s ambulance while a second dog is also led to the ambulance.
Bahamas Humane Society President Kim Aranha confirmed to The Tribune that these videos depict the shooting of two “pit bull type” dogs that were shot by law enforcement earlier this month.
The Tribune reported on this incident on February 13. At the time, Mrs Aranha said: “Obviously I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened…But I do know…that our ambulance driver had to undo the leashes that restrained the dogs in order to put them in the ambulance. So I do know categorically that the dogs were tied up.
“I do know that the dogs were injured by being shot,” she continued. “I’ve been told that the shooters were the Royal Bahamas Police Force.”
Mrs Aranha noted both dogs were shot twice and both sustained injuries to their legs. A bullet remained lodged in the jaw of one dog, who had to receive surgery.
Yesterday, Mrs Aranha confirmed that both dogs have survived and are “recovering nicely”.
She added the Humane Society has written to Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson asking him to look into this matter.
Unfortunately, this was not the only incident this month regarding the shooting of a dog by law enforcement.
In a Facebook post on February 15, an owner alleged his dog was shot by an immigration officer, however this has not been confirmed by officials.
“Feeling heartbroken my dog was shot (and) killed today by (an) immigration officer chasing this Haitian lady,” the post reads. “All he had to do was give me two seconds to say ‘Pebbles in the cage’ (and) she would (have) done what I said – too much trigger happy people on the force… (sic)”
Mrs Aranha also spoke of this incident to The Tribune.
“I can’t understand - we’re told that we should have dogs to protect our property, therefore if the dog is contained in our property surely nobody can just come onto our property unannounced and shoot our dog,” she said.
“His dog was killed,” she continued. “Now, my understanding is that the immigration ran through the yard pursuing this Haitian lady that they believed was an illegal (migrant). They had their guns drawn. Now, the dog may well have confronted them, because they were in the dog’s property.
“That’s what we teach our dogs to do to keep us safe…How do we teach them the difference between an immigration officer and an intruder?”
When contacted yesterday, Immigration Minister Brent Symonette told The Tribune: “I’m not sure whether it’s an immigration officer or a police officer. That’s why we’re trying to get the — a dog was shot, yes. And I think the dog subsequently died, but this was like a week or 10 days ago. The police are looking into this matter and should issue a statement shortly.”
Mrs Aranha said these incidents are frightening.
“It’s smacks of the Tonton Macoute (special operations unit) of Papa Doc… It was Papa Doc’s militia in Haiti at the time that Papa Doc was in power. And they were heavily armed and (violent),” she said.
“The way some of the officers are behaving in the Bahamas right now…they frighten me. I think they’re too quick to pull out a gun, and they’re shooting, certainly in the first incident, animals that were of no danger to them. And I’m urging the (RBPF) to accept my offer to bring in someone to train the police on how to handle defensive dogs.”