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No video footage to view in death of Coeur d'Alene dog killed by police

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According to an August 15 report by the CDA Press, there is no video footage to view in the death of a Coeur d'Alene dog killed July 2014.

This is the case where an officer of the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Police Department was answering a call about a suspicious van when he came across a "viscous pit bull," who turned out to be a 2-year-old lab mix named Arfie.

Craig Jones, Arfie's owner, had parked his van in the shade while he had breakfast at Java on Sherman nearby. He rolled his window halfway down so Arfie would remain cool and get some air. Arfie was shot through the window, and later died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The officer, whose name hasn't been released by the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, didn't have his body camera turned on when he shot and killed Arfie.

Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood has confirmed the camera worn by the officer wasn't turned on at the time of the incident. The officer involved said Arfie 'lunged' at him from inside the parked vehicle.

Sgt. Wood has declined to comment on whether the officer violated department police by not having his body camera on. This would have provided backup to his tale he was being attacked by the dog. Without proof, this officer has hurt himself more than anyone else.

This case is far from over, as it's difficult to believe a dog behind glass inside a vehicle could be much of a danger to the officer. A lawsuit is expected, as Craig has already consulted with an attorney.

The policy manual for the Coeur d'Alene Police Department gives examples of when a body-worn camera should be activated. These include

* Traffic stops
* Vehicle pursuits
* Foot pursuits
* Building searches
* Investigations inside a business or residence
* Interviews with suspects and/or victims
* Suspicious person or vehicles
* Arrests
* Immediate arrival at an in-progress call where the video recording may aid in the apprehension and/or prosecution of a suspect.

Once turned on, the camera should remain on until the conclusion of the incident. An officer isn't expected to endanger his life in order to turn the camera on, but turning it on before approaching a suspicious van should have been a given.

If the camera isn't turned on, the officer is expected to state the reason when completing an incident report.

The case of Arfie is expected to go before a shooting review board within the next few weeks. This board is comprised of law enforcement officials from agencies in the area, and department supervisors. A review by a third party selected by the city attorney's office is also chosen as part of the investigative team.

Information requested for public records under the Freedom of Information Act have been denied on the basis this is an "active investigation."

The officer's name most likely won't be made public, as threats against his life have been made.

For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.

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