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Witnesses dispute officers' account of Florida dog shooting incident

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A couple who witnessed the fatal shooting of a German shepherd in St. Petersburg, Fla., has come forward to speak about what they saw, and according to Monday's WTSP News, their version of what took place differs from that of the police officers who were involved in the shooting.

Officers involved in last Thursday's shooting of a dog, named "Tazzy," claimed that they were forced to shoot after his owner, 21-year-old Kenneth McNeil, dropped the leash after being confronted and the dog tried to attack.

Joe Madrid and his girlfriend, Carmen Palmer, the couple who claims to have watched the situation unfold, saw something different.

Palmer told WTSP News:

He was maybe six feet away from us,

He didn't even have time to give his leash to someone or anything, what was he going to do with his dog? I would have taken it, but then one of the officers jumped on him and the other one pointed his gun at the dog, and I thought what are they going to do, they better not hurt the dog!"

The couple claims that McNeil never released the dog's leash - in fact, they claim that the leash was still tight after the dog fell over after being shot.

Palmer described the terrifying scene:

"It is still ingrained in my head. The leash was still tight. Whatever the police said about him letting go of the leash never, never happened. The leash was still tight, the dog was on his hind legs, and the officer started shooting at him. He shot four times!"

Palmer describes what she saw as "the worst police brutality" that she has ever seen.

The officers involved in Tazzy's death maintain that the dog's leash was dropped and that they feared for their life.

The situation continues to be investigated.

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