A dog owner is filing a lawsuit against three Commerce City Police officers and the city for the shooting death of his dog.
Chloe got loose from a dog sitter on Nov. 24, 2012. Officers responded when a 911 caller reported an aggressive pit bull loose in the neighborhood.
Officers said they spent 20 minutes trying to find a person responsible for the dog before deciding the dog needed to be caught and taken to the animal shelter. When officers approached Chloe inside an open garage, they said she continued to be aggressive.
Neighbors watched the encounter and one recorded a video that went viral online. It showed a female animal control officer put a catchpole around Chloe's neck and then struggle to control the dog. One police officer shot Chloe twice with a stun gun in the driveway. Finally, Office Robert Price came from behind and fired five shots at the dog.
Chloe died. Hundreds of residents protested.
Prosecutors charged Price with cruelty to animals and aggravated animal cruelty. During Price’s trial, prosecutors said the case was about accountability.
"Did that dog have to die that day? No. The evidence shows that,” Adams County prosecutor Ed Bull told jurors.
However, jurors found Price not guilty.
Now Chloe’s owner, Gary Branson, and his attorneys at the Animal Law Center are filing a civil lawsuit.
“It’s very important that we pursue justice for Chloe and Gary,” said Jennifer Edwards, attorney and founder of The Animal Law Center. “Last month’s not guilty verdict for Officer Price on animal cruelty charges was a shock, especially given that video evidence of the incident shows Chloe trying to flee and not acting aggressively toward officers. We have to correct this travesty.”