Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank is crying foul over all the public outcry that arose from one of his officers shooting and killing a dog last week. Two-year-old Geist was shot when an officer entered his owner’s backyard while looking for a missing three-year-old child. 2News KUTV reports the officer said that he felt threatened by the dog.
Geist’s owner, Sean Kendall, recorded his confrontation with the police and uploaded the video on to Facebook. The story has since gone viral, and resulted in a slew of hate calls and messages currently burying Burbank’s department. Burbank believes that it’s an unnecessary and extreme reaction.
While speaking at a press conference, Burbank read some of the hate mail: “I can honestly tell you if a cop where to shoot my dog I would find a way to shoot that cop. That pig that shot the dog needs to be executed.”
While admitting that the situation was tragic, he said that it has gone too far: “after 23 years in law enforcement, I haven’t seen this type of public outcry when certain human beings have lost their lives.”
He emphasized the desperate situation the officers were in: “Most missing children who are ultimately killed are killed within the first half hour of their abduction.”
The officer in question, who 2News didn’t name because he hasn’t been charged yet, was one of the heroes of the Trolley Square shooting, and has “tremendous experience and has in fact been under fire and preformed very well,” according to Burbank.
Sean Kendall disagrees:
The owner of the dog, Sean Kendall, told 2News Dan Rascon that he doesn’t agree with the hate messages, but says this officer, who 2News is choosing not to name because he has not been charged, broke the law by going into his backyard without permission and his dog was only reacting as any dog would.
“He is a criminal, because he broke the law,” said Kendall. “It’s like someone killed my child. Geist was like a child to me”
A public rally over the case is scheduled to take place at the police station on Saturday at 10 a.m. Kendall says 2,300 people have already signed up to come.
Watch Salt Lake City’s police chief defend the dog shooting.
h/t: 2News KUTV