This body cam footage released by the LAPD shows a cop shooting an unrestrained pit bull in the head with a beanbag gun.
The incident took place on Limerick Avenue in the Winnetka neighbourhood of Los Angeles, in the western US state of California, on 4th November.
The footage was shared online by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and shows a police officer approaching a house with one of his colleagues, in front of which a dog can be seen barking at them.
The police officer orders the dog to stay back and whistles at it, before brandishing his baton at it and apparently commanding it to “come here”.
The two police officers continue to approach the dog, which continues to bark at them. The dog then appears to approach the police officers, before stopping and barking at them again.
The second police officer is then seen firing his beanbag gun at the dog, hitting it in the head and causing it to flee.
A man then appears at the door to the house and the police officers inform him that his dog “needs to be secured”.
They order him to “go secure your dog”.
One of the police officers then orders a woman apparently carrying a baby to go back inside the house after she appears in the doorway.
The footage then ends before showing the same incident from the perspective of a body cam worn by the other police officer, who can be seen carrying the beanbag shotgun. The footage shows the police officer firing on the dog and hitting it in the head.
The LAPD has also released a statement, which said: “On November 4, 2021 Los Angeles Police Department officers were handling a call for service involving a ‘vicious animal’ when they encountered a white pit bull. During the incident, one officer fired a Less Lethal Bean Bag round, striking the dog on the head.”
The statement added: “At approximately 2:30 p.m., Topanga Division officers responded to a radio call of a ‘vicious dog’ near the 6700 Block of Limerick Avenue in the Winnetka neighborhood. The officers met with the reporting party, who informed the officers of a dog that aggressively chased down people walking in the area.
“After being directed to a possible location where the dog ran into, the officers approached a home near the 6700 block of Lurline Avenue.”
The statement also said that the dog charged at the police officers, adding: “As they approached the driveway, in an effort to make contact with the occupants, the dog aggressively charged at the officers while barking.
“To protect themselves from the approaching dog, one officer fired a Less Lethal Bean Bag round, striking the dog on its head. The dog retreated and officers were able to make contact with the resident who was able to properly secure the dog. The dog suffered injuries to its head and Animal Regulations was contacted and informed of the incident.”
The statement also said that the owners of the dog disagreed that the use of the shotgun had been necessary. The police statement said: “The Department learned of news media reports where the resident called into question the officers’ conduct during this call for service and alleged the Bean Bag discharge was not appropriate.”
The LAPD said that as a result, it had launched an internal inquiry. The statement said: “An internal investigation has been initiated into this matter and the Department is reviewing all aspects of this incident, including a thorough review of the available Body Worn Video. As we investigate this occurrence, the Chief of Police wishes to share a Body Worn Video clip as a means to promote trust and transparency into this incident and inform the public.”
The investigation is ongoing.