Chicago Family Suing Police After Officer Shot Their Puppy
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UPDATED: 12/04/2012 – 3:56 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Al Phillips wants to know why a Chicago police officer shot his dog while writing a traffic ticket outside his house.
“My neighbor called and told me I was getting a ticket on my van. When I opened the fence, my puppy ran out. That’s when I heard two gunshots and the officer shot my dog,” Phillips said.
Phillips said he had parked his van in the driveway, but it was blocking part of the sidewalk.
When he came out of his house to talk to the officer writing the ticket, his 7-month-old, 30-pound miniature bull terrier, named Colonel Phillips, was right behind him.
“The little puppy dog followed me out, went a bit ahead of me, and all of a sudden, ‘boom-boom.’ They shot the dog. The officer shot the dog,” he said.
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The Colonel survived, but had a bullet in his leg, and fragments in its abdomen.
“Luckily he’ll survive,” Phillips said. “We were going to show him but now we can’t. He’ll never be the same.”
His daughter, Morgan Phillips, said Colonel never acted in a threatening manner, and never attacked the officer.
“No, Colonel was running around wagging his tail. He’s a puppy. He’s 7 months old. He’s around five kids all the time,” she said.
Morgan Phillips said police returned to her parents’ home after the story of the shooting made it on the local news.
“Last night, when reporters were here, when the cops found out about it, they came here, they went to my parents’ door, knocked on the door, and said, ‘Why did you go to the press? Why did you go to the media?’” Morgan Phillips.
She said her mother wanted to know why police had showed up to the house, and then “they wrote them a ticket for the dog being off a leash.”
“I think its harassment. I think it’s crazy. I mean, an ‘I’m sorry’ would have been more sufficient than coming to write another ticket,” Morgan Phillips said. “Sometimes people just have to admit when they’re wrong, and this is wrong. This is wrong; beyond wrong.”
Al Phillips has filed a lawsuit against Chicago police for excessive force. The suit names Officer Brandon Pettigrew as the cop who shot The Colonel.
“It’s totally absolutely irresponsible for the guy to shoot his gun,” Phillips added. “One could’ve ricocheted and hit someone. There were a lot of people walking around.”
He has also filed a complaint with the Police Department, and is seeking sanctions against the officer who wounded The Colonel.
“That this person is allowed to carry a gun, I believe is absolutely irresponsible,” he said.
Police said the shooting was being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.