In the early morning hours of November 22, 2013 in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan police answered a disturbance call of a dog excessively barking. Lexie, a Labrador mix. Lexi is described by her owner Brittany Preston, as "friendly, loveable, playful". Ms. Preston was working a graveyard shift. Lexie had been left in the care of Brittany's grandfather, whom also lives in the home. Brianny's grandfather has dementia and sleeps with a C-PAP machine for sleep apnea. He had forgotten he let Lexie out to go to the bathroom. With his C-PAP machine running, he did not hear her crying and barking on the porch to come back into the house - where she was when law enforcement arrived.
Preston's grandfather attempted to get Lexie back in the house. Police officers surrounded her. At that point an already agitated Lexie exhibited signs of fear and aggression. The officers opened fire, stating Lexie "charged" at them. Witnesses said that the officers continued to fire on the dog after she was cowering against the house in bushes.
As Lexie lay bleeding, it is reported that the three officers discussed their personal hunting experiences. Animal control officer failed to remove the still alive dog from the scene for at least 45 minutes. It is further alleged that the police report involving the shooting was falsified. Lexie sustained reportedly 15 bullet-related injuries. The police maintain she was shot five times. The necropsy/autopsy report indicates there were eight bullets fired into her body. Witnesses have corroborated the five shots. It is alleged that the three additional shots were administered by the police at the police station - where Lexi had arrived alive.
News story by WXYZ Police Reactions To Excessive Barking Complaint Results in Dog's Death
On March 3, 2014, as a result of a city council meeting, two officers involved with the shooting received minor disciplinary actions. One officer was counseled on some verbal comments he had made and another had a letter of discipline entered into his file concerning his control of the scene. Training and policy changes are to be implemented. Animal Control Officer Tom Massey was suspended for 30 days without pay. See Animal control officer suspended after dog shooting for more information.
Justice For Lexie Facebook page - including a letter from Brittany Preston and several more videos.
The following videos capture the shooting.
Eric Smith is the Macomb County Prosecutor, where the shooting took place.If you would like to send him your comments, he can be reached at email@example.com.
Some other dogs shot by cops under questionable circumstances:
As these stories continue, it has spurred a Documentary entitled Puppycide. Puppycide will feature dogs and owners involved in these cop-led shootings and follow their battles for justice.
What are YOUR thoughts? Please leave your comments below.
Written by Kim Venturo, Editor and Content Curator, WA2S.org