6th Circuit Court Judge says in one case the dogs were, "an imminent threat to the officer’s safety."
According to a recent federal court ruling handed down on Monday, December 19, police officers may now shoot a dog if it moves or barks when they enter a home on a warrant.
In 2013, police officers entered Mark and Cheryl Brown’s home in Michigan on a warrant when they had to kill their two pit bulls, ABC 10 reports.
The Browns filed a petition with the Battle Creek court, saying the officers should be reprimanded for killing their dogs.
One of the officers said he had to shoot one dog after it moved in what he says was a “lunge” towards him.
Court documents say the dog then fled to the basement where it was shot one more time and died.
Another officer alleges that he shot the second dog in the basement after it barked. He says he saw, “there was blood coming out of numerous holes in the dog and…did not want to see it suffer so he put her out of her misery and fired the last shot.”
The plaintiffs were unable to prove that their dogs didn’t initiate aggressive behavior towards the officers.
Federal Court Judge, Eric Clay, said in his decision that the officer appeared reasonable and objective and the dog was, “an imminent threat to the officer’s safety."
He continued to say,“The standard we set out today is that a police officer’s use of deadly force against a dog while executing a search warrant to search a home for illegal drug activity is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when…the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety."