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$210,000 Settlement For Execution Of Dog By Richmond, California Police

Richmond (California) residents Cynthia Peters and Mark Parr brought a federal action against Richmond police who shot their dog while pursuing a suspect. The suit settled for $225,000.

Two Violence Suppression Unit police officers were pursuing a suspected drug dealer. The assailant fled into the plaintiff's building and, when police opened a gate to enter the area, the dog reportedly "hopped about excitedly." The police officers opened fire, shooting the dog 12 times. The plaintiffs had asked the police officers prior to the shooting if they should put the dog inside. The plaintiffs submitted statements from witnesses corroborating their version of the events, but the police did not verify the statements. This caused City Councilman Tom Butt's to question police administrators about the incident. Parr was arrested and booked into the City Jail during the escapade but was released without charges.

Assistant City Attorney Soublet verified the settlement and referred questions regarding the settlement to a "contract attorney" who did not return reporters’ calls. $210,000 was agreed to be paid to the plaintiffs and $15,000 was to be given to an injured bystander because a bullet casing struck her in the neck during the shooting. Police Chief Chris Magnus offered his condolences. The police department's policy was allegedly changed and training on how to handle animals was implemented. The settlement was the second largest in Richmond's history. Source: Contra Costa Times, "Plaintiffs Get $210,000 For Dog That Police Shot," May 31, 2007.

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