GRAPHIC: Dog owner posts video of talk with officers after dog killed
Warning: Some content in this video may not be appropriate for all audiences.
Salt Lake City, UT (KSTU) — Eight days after a Salt Lake City Police Officer shot and killed a man’s dog during a search for a missing child, the pet’s owner has released a video showing his first encounter with police.
Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, Sean Kendall said internal affairs investigators took a look in his backyard and Kendall said the officer was about 20 feet into his backyard when he fired two shots, killing his 2-year-old weimeraner, “Geist”
Salt Lake City police said they were searching Kendall’s neighborhood in Sugar House June 18 for a missing 3 year old when the officer went into Kendall’s backyard and felt threatened by Geist, causing the officer to open fire.
In a video recently posted, Kendall records himself right after he’s heard the news.
“About 15 minutes ago, I got a phone call from Utah Animal Control calling to tell me that an officer had shot and killed my dog. He was inside the backyard in a fenced off area,” said Kendall in the video.
He filmed himself driving home to question Salt Lake City police. Once at home, in the area of 2500 South 1500 East, Kendall says to a few officers standing outside his home, “I’m asking why you guys went on my property and why he felt the need to kill my dog.”
The officer who pulled the trigger was gone by that point, so Sgt. Joseph Cyr talked with Kendall.
“We entered the yard looking for a lost child. He was threatened by the dog and shot the dog. That’s as simple as it gets,” Sgt. Cyr said.
“So I get to bury my dog because an officer couldn’t back up and close the f—ing gate,” Kendall said during the exchange. “Something’s gotta change, and I know it wasn’t you. I’m sorry but i’m f—ing pissed.”
Salt Lake City Police aren’t saying what specific threat Geist posed to the officer, adding that it would be premature to comment during an open investigation.
Meanwhile, all seven Salt Lake City Council members sent a letter to police chief Chris Burbank Wednesday, saying the department needs to “educate” the public on police procedures when a child goes missing and how a search of nearby properties should be conducted.
The council also said Wednesday it wants a police civilian review board to independently review the case, “…to determine if appropriate force was used, and if the entry to the private property was appropriate. We request that both investigations be thorough and deliberate with results released to the public as soon as possible.”
The full letter is available as a PDF, here: Salt Lake City Council letter regarding Geist
Carly Arky, director of communications for the Humane Society of Utah, spoke about the issue.
“Within the community at large there’s a lot of people who have animals and have pets and are guardians of pets, they want the answers too,” he said.
While the council said it applauds the police department’s efforts to work with the Humane Society to give officer’s additional training to deal with animals, the Humane Society’s spokesman said there’s been no communication.
“I think we’re suited to work with the police department, but that’s up to them to contact us,” Arky said. “The story’s building. The story is building, and I think the frustration is building.”
FOX 13 News has made multiple attempts to get more details on the officer’s side of the story. We’ve been told there will be no further comment until the investigation is complete.
The Humane Society of Utah thinks this public relations nightmare is only going to fuel a “Justice for Geist” rally scheduled for Saturday.