Police Union Defends Dog Shooting

The Omaha Police Officer's Association President defends the action of officers who shot and killed a dog. Channel 6 News spoke to the President in a follow up to an exclusive video that was aired in October.

The incident happened near 35th and Vinton. A man was walking a relative's dog, on a leash, and ignored orders from police to stop. Officers arrested Chris Schulte and shot the dog, Teela, who they claimed was acting agressively. The entire incident was caught on tape by a neighbor's surveillance camera.

Omaha Police Union President Sgt. John Wells told Fact Finders, “Based on the video, I don’t see that the officers acted inappropriately.”

Union President Wells said, in his opinion, the night vision video from the security camera doesn’t tell the whole story. Wells said, “Just seeing the officers immediate reaction, it seems to me he back peddled for a second thinking the dog is coming at him and made a split second decision by deciding 'I have no choice, but to put this aggressive dog down.'”

According to the Nebraska Humane Society, Teela, a labrador retriever mix had a clean record and was current on all vaccines. Schulte, who was walking the dog, said, “Not threatening, the dog wasn’t being aggressive.”

The report filed by Officers Schuster and Clements stated the dog was aggressive, growled, and showed its teeth. The Union President points out that officers reported Schulte was arrested for having an open container of alcohol and obstructing police.

Officers had the area sealed off to search for a suspect in a shooting. Wells said a police canine was being used in the area, so the man entering with a pet could be in danger himself. The union president insists that the responsibility for the shooting of the dog rests with the 22-year-old man walking it, not officers. Wells said, "it’s unfortunate someone’s family pet was killed, but officers were left little choice but to protect themselves.”

Omaha Police commanders can’t comment on an internal investigation. Police had told Fact Finders when an officer discharges their weapon, while on duty, an arduous review takes place.