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Salt Lake City police officer shoots dog in owner's fenced yard

Geist was shot in the head and killed while in his own backyard by a Salt Lake City police officer.
Geist was shot in the head and killed while in his own backyard by a Salt Lake City police officer.
Facebook Justice for Geist

A man's "best friend" was shot in the head and killed when a Salt Lake City police officer entered the dog's owner fenced in backyard on Wednesday on the 2500 South and Filmore Streets of Salt Lake City reported

The Salt Lake City Police Department received a report late that afternoon that a three-year-old child named Kelby was missing from his home. As authorities searched the neighborhood, an officer knocked on the door of Sean Kendall; he was not at home. Police have the authority to enter a citizen's private yard in case of an emergency.

In this particular event however, as the officer entered the fenced yard, Kendall's 110 pound Weimanraner, Geist was there. According to the officer, he shot the dog because he thought the dog was going to attack him.

Kendall stated his dog was just a "goofy" and friendly big guy. Devastated Kendall stated his dog has never been aggressive to anyone and,

"the idea that he attacked an officer — it just doesn't make sense. I believe my dog came out of the dog kennel to see what was going on, who was here, stopped right here, and those were his last moments."

Kendall wrapped the dead body of his dog in a blanket, placed Geist in the back of his truck and was preparing to bury his best friend. According to Fox 13, Kendall said:

“He was my best friend. He was kind of like a child. I went through raising him, training him.”

Internal Affairs is now investigating the shooting, however local attorney, Robert Sykes, says it is the fault of the police officer that Geist is dead. After all there was no reason to believe the child had entered Kendall's yard. Police officers are not allowed to just knock on someone's door and demand to search a person's home without a warrant.

"Going into the backyard, a fenced backyard, it’s like walking in someone’s home without a warrant: It’s illegal, it’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights,” stated Mr. Sykes.

The child was found a few hours later asleep in his own home hiding in the basement.

A Facebook page named Justice for Geist can be found by clicking here. The page is advocating for the following:

"We are asking for the officer who shot and killed Geist to be held accountable for the inappropriate misuse of power and for the Salt Lake City Police Department to re-train officers on how to interact with dogs. Firearms should be used as last resort, not the first."

A rally has been planned for Saturday, June 28 at 10:00am in MDT at 475 South 300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.

Rest in peace Geist. What a senseless death.

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