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St. Paul police kill 2 family dogs in front of children during SWAT drug raid

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According to a July 9 report by Fox 9 News, two more family dogs are now dead, shot by police this past Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota. Two children witnessed the death or their pets, and fortunately suffered no injuries.

St. Paul police executed a no-knock search warrant Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. Larry Lee Arman and his girlfriend Camille Perry were inside the home with their two children. Larry and the kids were sleeping on a mattress in the floor, and Camille was in the bathroom getting ready for work when police barged through the front door of their home.

Larry told Fox he thought his family was being murdered. The first thing he recalls seeing was the family dog, who staggered and fell.

"One was running for her life, and they murdered her right here. I was laying right here, and I really thought I was being murdered. I don't want to say by who. I thought it was like, the government."

The couple told TwinCities.com his two pit bulls, Mello and Laylo, were sleeping by the front door when police rammed their way in. He says the dogs only barked at the officers, and didn't attack.

The blood of their dogs is still staining the carpet and Larry's shoes. Camille says the children were right in the line of fire when officers shot the dogs. At eight months pregnant, Camille threw her body over her children, all the while begging officers to stop shooting.

John Elder, a spokesperson for St. Paul police explained police have the right to eliminate potential threats using lethal force, and the search was legit since a judge had sighed off on a warrant to search the home for weapons and drugs. He declined to comment further, due to the nature of the case.

Officers involved in the Wednesday morning raid claim the two dogs acted aggressively, and they were forever to protect themselves using deadly force.

Larry admits he's a recreational pot smoker, but doesn't like the way the SWAT team handled the search on a small time drug used. The only items seized were a water pipe, a grinder that may have had marijuana residue and some clothes. No one was arrested.

Neighbors are upset as well. Shawn Miller told Fox 9

"All of a sudden, we see the dogs thrown out like pieces of meat, like they were nothing," Shawn Miller said. "We teared up because they are like family to us. Those dogs are real good dogs."

Larry, you're fortunate you weren't murdered by the government. A dog is shot approximately every 98 minutes in the United States, and the number is growing over time.

Consider yourself fortunate your kids weren't injured. The recent case of a 10-year-old being shot and a baby being critically injured by a flash grenade come to mind.

This isn't the first time St. Paul police have come under fire for their behavior during a drug raid. Back in August 2012, police were sued after a St. Paul, Minnesota family claims in a lawsuit that police officers conducted a raid at the wrong address.

This wrong-door raid on their home on July 13, 2010 ended with the family dog being shot, after which their three handcuffed children were forced to sit near the dead pet while officers ransacked the home.

The lawsuit, which named Ramsey County, the Dakota County Drug Task Force, and the DEA, and asked for $30 million in civil rights violations and punitive damages after a wrong-door raid, also claims that the officers kicked the children and deprived one of them of her diabetes medication.

Back in 2006, Hells Angels vs Santa Clara, ended with close to a $1 million settlement when it was determined police were found negligent for killing three dogs. The courts said a planned drug raid should have taken into account family dogs could be on the premises.

Please leave a comment on whether police should be allowed to bust into a persons home and endanger the lives of all inside for a small amount of marijuana. These children will most likely remain traumatized from watching their pets be shot to death.

Good job, officers. Turn even more young children against you. Your actions seem a bit much, especially since you endangered a family with two young children and a woman who's eight months pregnant.

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

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