St. Clair Shores woman files lawsuit over shooting death of her - KMSP-TV

St. Clair Shores woman files lawsuit over shooting death of her dog

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ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - In November of 2013, a barking dog complaint brought out police to a street in St. Clair Shores. The canine said to be causing all the commotion was Lexie, a 44 pound mix breed.

Attorney Chris Olson explains what happened when police pulled up, which he says was also caught on police dash cam.

"Neighbors complained of a dog that was barking. [Police] showed up. The first thing that they said out of their mouths was they don't like dogs; they don't do dogs; they're going to shoot the dog anyway. And that's exactly what they did," Olson explains.

VIDEO: Click on the video in the video player above to see some of the dash-cam footage in Fox 2's Andrea Isom's report.

"Then they shot the dog again, instead of trying to take care of the dog, getting some care of the dog to prevent it from dying, they did what they intended to do. They made sure that the dog died. They shot it again, and then the dog walked into the animal control van and then when we picked up the dog it had extra bullet homes," Olson says.

Lexie's owner, Brittany Preston, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of St. Clair Shores, two police officers and an animal control officer as well for the shooting death of her her dog.

"We filed a complaint in federal court alleging that the police violated our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable seizure of the dog, in this case killing it, and we're asking for money damages and, ultimately, also what we've already asked for, was for police to train their officers so that there's not another incident where they respond to a barking dog complaint by killing it," says Olson.

Isom reports the dog's owner was at work and the dog was under the care of a grandfather, who forgot to let Lexie back inside during a cold night. Isom was told the dog was in the yard barking, but whether it lunged or seemed threatening to police is unclear at this time.

Fox 2 understands police did conduct an internal investigation but found no wrongdoing.

St. Clair Shores city attorney Robert Ihrie issued this statement to Fox 2:

"We're saddened when anyone loses a pet, but since the city and its employees are being sued, the city will certainly defend the lawsuit. The complaint that was filed is filled with innuendo, speculation and half truths, and I have no doubt when it's held up to the light of day, the truth will bear itself out in court. We did not intend to try this case in the news media. We will allow the court process to work and we trust that, in the end, the city will be vindicated."

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