A Northeast Baltimore family sued the city and police department Monday after their dog was fatally shot earlier this year by a police officer who had chased a suspect into their backyard.
Kincaid, a three-year-old pitbull mix, was shot three times on the morning of January 1 after a suspect in a domestic dispute jumped a fence and hid in the backyard of Stacy Fields and her stepfather, Ed Augustine.
Police have previously said the dog lunged at an officer, who then shot the dog to protect his safety. Augustine and Fields dispute that account, saying the dog was barking at the officers but not otherwise acting aggressively and that Augustine was reaching over to restrain the dog at the time.
Baltimore police officials declined to comment on the lawsuit in Baltimore Circuit Court. The lawsuit also lists the state as a defendant, along with two officers who are not identified by name.
An officer fired six shots, hitting the dog three times — twice in the head and once in the body. Augustine was just two feet away and was "fortunate" to not be struck by the gunfire as well, according to the lawsuit.
Augustine and Fields also argue that after Kincaid was shot, the police officers joked with each other and told them the dog had to be buried outside of city limits. One officer congratulated the other officer on his marksmanship after the shooting, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs are asking for $450,000 and attorney fees, though state law caps claims against municipalities at $200,000.
"The three year story of Kincaid's happy and carefree existence was punctuated abruptly by the harsh staccato of [an officer's] sidearm," the lawsuit states.
A Facebook page launched by the family called "Kincaid. Killed by Baltimore City Police." had more than 10,000 likes as of Monday.
Fairfax County cops execute another unarmed man
The Fairfax County Police shot an killed an unarmed man who was alone in his home. The police caused the situation, they escalated the situation and they handled it poorly and are expected to take several weeks to develop their justification story.
Police said they were responding….in force with a tank, a helecopter, a SWAT team, K-p units, and no less than 23 cops to a “Domestic dispute” but Geer was alone in the house. The victim of this police shooting this time was John Geer, age 46, a kitchen installer with no history of violence had to end in death. He left behind two teenage daughters.
According to Geer’s father, Geer had been throwing his estranged wife’s belongings, she is 24 years old, into the front yard because she was leaving him, so she called the cops who marked the call as a domestic dispute. She was asked if there were guns in the house and she said there was. The weapons were under lock and key
There's a Maura Harrington listed at the same address where the killing took place.
Neighbors recalled him as even-keeled, outgoing and helpful. A search of police records in Fairfax County showed that Geer was found guilty of drunken driving in 2010 but no convictions for violent crimes or more serious offenses. A neighbor said he talked to Geer in the minutes before the police encounter. He said that Geer didn’t say anything suicidal but he was deeply shaken about the impending breakup.
For forty minutes the cops demanded that Geer, who stood at his front door, for forty minutes "They just continued to tell him: come out, come out, come out," said one witness.
Geer had not showed the cops any sort of weapon nor had he advanced toward them. He made no mention of harming himself or others. Geer’s hands were up in the air, seconds before he was gunned down because they were on top of the storm door. He as shot in the chest while slowly lowering his hands. He had no weapon in his possession and there was no weapon within his reach.
Shot in the chest, Greer pushed his way back into the house and bled to death. The heros from the SWAT team entered the house by way of tank one hour later and found Geer dead.