The Colorado police officer responsible for the death of a family dog named Chloe has been acquitted by a jury, the Denver Post reported October 3.
An Adams County jury deliberated for around three hours on Wednesday before handing down their verdict: Commerce City Police Officer Robert Price was acquitted. Examiner reporter Penny Eims covered the story here.
Price had been on paid leave since the November 24,2012 incident.
What image has this verdict projected for other cases yet to go to trial? This was a "special" case, where fortunately there was video evidence of everything that happened at Chloe's home that fateful afternoon.
The video showed how Chloe was secured on a catch pole, yet officer Price decided to end her life.
Prosecutors argued that officers who testified that Chloe was vicious and aggressive couldn't be trusted because the video showed Chloe as frightened and submissive.
Defense attorneys had another story to tell. They said a video showing five minutes of a half hour confrontation with Chloe wasn't enough to show she wasn't aggressive. They reportedly showed still images from the video showing Chloe moving toward the officers.
Chloe was on the end of a catch pole. How close could she have gotten at the end of a long stick? Why was it necessary to shoot this dog not once, but five times, resulting in her death?
Arica Bores, the female officer shown with only one hand on the catch pole to control Chloe, later testified she had no control over the dog.
This is a case where video should have brought justice for Chloe. Instead, it has shown how unfair our justice system can be. Unfortunately, the acquittal may clear officers facing the same charges in the future, since a picture (or video) obviously ISN'T worth a thousand words.
Chloe's guardian Gary Branson commented on the verdict saying
"In my opinion he was guilty, but the jury saw it different and we have to live with that."
We all have to live with that decision along with Gary. Dog lovers have to live with the fact more officers will likely be cleared of any wrongdoing, based on this verdict. And the jurors will have to live with future acquittals for the same crime, based on the outcome of the case where, thanks to them, justice for Chloe clearly was not served.
Based on the video presented here, what do the readers believe the outcome should have been? Your comments are welcome.