In Cleburne, Texas, a city near Dallas with a population of roughly 30,000, a police officer responded to a 911 call from motorists stuck in a car on a residential street. They reported three snarling dogs were preventing them from getting out.
Once on the scene, a friendly looking pit bull ran up to the police officer with its tail wagging. The dog was secured. "The officer was attempting to secure the other dogs until animal control arrived when one dog became aggressive," the City of Cleburne said in a statement about what happened next. The Cleburne Times Review quotes a short passage from a police report filed by the officer: "An officer was called out to an aggressive dog call in the 1500 block of Lindsey. The dog was later located in an alleyway. The dog was shot when it charged the officer.”
The dog was shot when it charged the officer.
That sounds defensible. Until recently few would've questioned the police officer's version of events. After all, there are dangerous dogs out there and instances when police are justified in using lethal force to protect themselves from bared teeth and a strong jaw. But this police officer was outfitted with a body camera, and the owners of the dog requested the video from the police department. Be warned that the video is difficult to watch. Here is what happened:
Additional context and an even clearer version of the video is included in this local news report: