Officer Chris King was on call at 220 W. Grand Ave. on an unrelated matter when the next-door neighbor, Jessie Regina Burton, stepped outside, according to authorities.
She let her dog, Rocky, a boxer-and-blue-heeler mix, off its leash to use the bathroom in the yard. Rocky then galloped to the neighbor’s yard, said Burton, 52.
JPD Deputy Chief of Operations Barry Michael said as the dog approached, King attempted to retreat, but the dog was running too fast. King fired one shot, killing the dog.
Michael said he felt the officer’s actions were justified, and King will not face disciplinary action.
“Department policy allows an officer to protect themselves from injury by shooting an animal that poses a threat of harm,” Michael said. “Any bite from a dog, regardless of the size of the dog, can cause injury to a human, not only from the bite, but also from potential diseases.”
Since the dog did not have a restraint or leash, the officer’s actions were justified, he said. Burton received a leash law citation, a misdemeanor offense.
But Burton said the dog was playful, not aggressive, and the officer’s actions were not right. Rocky was going to play with the neighbor’s chihuahua, Tiny, she said. “Before I could say his name, he had pulled his revolver and shot him in the head,” Burton said.
She said officers should be more careful and questioned the speed at which the entire incident occurred, about 10 seconds total.
“He barely was a year old, and he was just galloping,” Burton said. “He couldn’t mean anything, and he (King) didn’t give me a chance to call him.”
Burton said she is thinking of getting a lawyer. “I felt like he murdered him,” she said.