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Police brutality is the wanton use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer. Widespread police brutality exists in many countries, even those that prosecute it. It is one of several forms of police misconduct, which include: false arrest, intimidation, racial profiling, political repression, surveillance abuse, sexual abuse and police corruption.
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Charge and Suspend the Collingwood Officer

Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:08 am

Charge and Suspend the Collingwood Officer who brutally killed an innocent dog

On October 19, 2015 a 21 year old, blind and deaf elderly dog had her life ended in a unforgivable manner. A Collingwood OPP officer was caught on video running over the dog multiple times with a police cruiser and then shooting her. This was someone's best friend, companion, and was loved unconditionally. The owner watched a video of his loyal little girl having her life be ended. This is no way to treat our furry friends. The Collingwood Animal Rights Advocate Group is deeply saddened to see the choice of action taken out on the dog, which was originally reported as a coyote.

The officer responsible has not been relieved of duty. There is no reason that any animal should die this way. How could a 21 year old, blind, deaf elderly dog pose a danger to the community. This is animal cruelty and the Collingwood OPP Officer needs to be held accountable for his/her actions.

Our goal is to promote an educated management and coexistence plan between people and wildlife in Collingwood, Ontario and the surrounding area. Our basic principles are as follows:

1. Human safety is a priority in managing human-coyote/wildlife/domestic animal interactions.

2. Coyotes/wildlife serve an important role in ecosystems by helping to control the population of rodents, Canada geese, rabbits and other urban mammals.

3. Preventive practices such as reduction and removal of food attractants, habitat modification and responding appropriately when interacting with wildlife are key to minimizing potential interactions with coyotes/wildlife.

4. Solutions for coyote/wildlife conflicts must address both problematic coyote/wildlife behaviors (such as aggression towards people and attacks on pets) and the problematic human behaviors (intentionally or unintentionally feeding coyotes and letting pets outside unattended) that contribute to conflicts.

5. Non-selective coyote/wildlife removal programs are ineffective for reducing coyote population sizes or preventing human-coyote/wildlife conflicts.

6. A community-wide program that involves residents is necessary to achieve coexistence among people, coyotes and domestic animals.

Positive change for the benefit of both human and wildlife cohabitation are needed. The current method that is being used for coyote control by the Collingwood OPP is not only inhumane, it is not conducive to maintaining the balance of natural animal population control.

We are requesting legal action be taken against the Collingwood officer who committed this act of animal cruelty. Moreover, we call for the establishment of a wildlife management and coexistence committee consisting of local residents and local authorities. The committee would address specific procedures for dealing with wildlife management for the Town of Collingwood and the surrounding area.

Petitioning Mayor Sandra Cooper to charge and suspend the Collingwood Officer who brutally killed an innocent dog:

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-susan-ma ... nocent-dog

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Vigil held for dog killed by OPP officer in Collingwood

Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:53 am

About 20 people and their dogs took part in a vigil in Collingwood on Wednesday night to remember a dog that was killed by police.

The vigil was held near the spot where Merrick was run over and shot.

The group has created an online petition calling for new policies to manage problem wildlife in Collingwood.

On Monday night, police received a call about a coyote in a neighbourhood but it turned out be an aging, blind and deaf family pet.

The dog’s owner, Karen Sutherland, says Merrick was more than 20-years-old, deaf and suffered from dementia. The dog slipped out of their backyard through a gate that had blown open during a storm that night.

The killing of the dog was captured on cell phone video and is now being investigated.

On Wednesday Insp. John Trude, detachment commander for Collingwood OPP, says the force's professional standards bureau will look into what happened.

“It appears obviously at this point there has been a tragic mistake and the appearance of a coyote was in fact not true,” Trude says. “The officer and the people in the neighbourhood were acting on that belief and they were acting in their best interests.”

http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/vigil-held-for ... -1.2622330

Hold cop who killed dog accountable: PETA

Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:20 pm

A Collingwood OPP officer who hit a dog with his car multiple times and then shot the animal to death must be held accountable for his actions, PETA says.

Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice-president of cruelty investigations for the U.S-based animal rights organization, says the officer should face the same punishment as a regular person for such a violent act.

The OPP should suspend the officer, proceed with a criminal investigation and immediate audit of the current training procedures for officers, she said.

“Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard by the public for good reason,” she said. “When something like this occurs, and they’re not held accountable, that sends a very dangerous message.”

Public outcry has been growing since footage was posted online Monday night. It appears to show an officer hit a dog with an OPP cruiser multiple times and then kill the animal by shooting it.

An OPP statement issued earlier this week said the officer was responding to a call for an aggressive and possibly rabid coyote. The officer appears to have mistook the dog for the coyote.

The dog’s owner, Karen Sutherland, says Merrick, a German shepherd-cattle dog cross, was 21-years-old, blind and deaf.

The public outrage is understandable, Nachminovitch said.

“I can’t fathom what the officer was thinking regardless of the species of this animal,” she said. “Even if the animal was a coyote, there would have been no excuse to torture it.”

Nachminovitch lauded the people who took video and reported it to authorities. The footage has put pressure on the police to act, she said.

“The reason this case has gone viral is because someone was on their toes, got their cellphone out and began recording and yelling and trying to do something about it,” she said.

Meanwhile, a petition on Change.org is calling for the suspension of the officer and criminal charges. By Thursday evening, more than 13,000 people had signed in support.

OPP Acting Sgt. Lynda Cranney said she couldn’t comment on the petition or say whether the officer in question had been suspended.

“Because it is in the investigation stages now, I can’t speak to any of the dynamics around it,” she said.

Rosemary Parker, spokesman for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, confirmed the police watchdog had received approximately 50 complaints about the case. Once a complaint has been received, it normally takes the agency a few weeks to decide if there are grounds for further investigation.

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/10/22/ho ... table-peta

Complaints Against Collingwood Officer

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:03 am

Area citizens have launched a number of complaints in the police killing of a dog.

(Collingwood) An online petition calling for action following the police shooting of a dog in Collingwood is growing.

The petition on change.org has well over 17 thousand signatures now.

The page set up by a group calling itself the Collingwood Animal Rights Advocate Group is also asking for people to call town hall and ask for a council review of the wildlife policy and for residents to contact OPP Inspector John Trude to call for wildlife training for officers.

Citizens are also being encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

Spokesperson for the OIPRD, Rosemary Parker, tells us the organization oversees complaints about police in Ontario and they have received about 65 complaints about the Collingwood officer, whose name hasn't been released.

Parker says each complaint is screened to see if it is valid and if it is deemed valid it would move to an investigation. She adds the screening process usually takes a couple of weeks from the time the complaint is received.

She says the OIPRD can't comment on individual complaints.

And the town clerk and communications officer are meeting with a concerned citizen to talk about the municipality's role in dealing with wildlife.

A video surfaced showing a police officer running over an elderly dog before shooting it to death on October 19th because the animal was thought to be a rabid coyote.

And OPP have confirmed it was a dog and not a coyote that was killed.

http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news ... wsID=78940

Officer should be charged with animal cruelty

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:06 am

The video was horribly shot, but I still couldn’t believe my eyes.

Off in the distance, a vehicle can be seen striking an animal, then reversing and striking it again. And if that wasn’t enough, the animal is struck one more time before someone emerges from the vehicle and shoots the animal dead.

That person was an Ontario Provincial Police officer, and the animal was originally reported to be a “potentially rabid coyote.”

The animal, as it turns out, was not rabid, nor was it a coyote. The animal that was cruelly killed by a provincial police officer was someone’s elderly pet. That animal was Merrick, a German Shepherd-cattle dog cross that Karen Sutherland has owned for 18 years. “She’s just the sweetest little animal,” Sutherland told the Collingwood Connection. “I just feel so bad for my dog. After all this time I’ve had with her to lose her like that.”

Now, Merrick is gone and support for both sides of the story has been voiced on social media. The video was shot by a neighbour who watched in horror as the scene played out in her Collingwood neighbourhood. She told my colleagues in Collingwood that she has been getting hurtful comments from people since sharing the video.

“I thought it was disgusting,” Kelly O’Neil said. “I knew what he was doing was wrong. I just wanted people to see that it was really inhumane and the wrong decision to make.”

O’Neil said the animal was wandering around with its head down. It showed no fear of the cruiser. And then, out of nowhere, it was run down, repeatedly, before a fatal shot was fired.

I understand that police have a duty to protect citizens from danger — be it a criminal at large or a rabid coyote on the loose. I also understand an officer not wanting to put themselves in harm’s way. But in this case, there was no danger, and the officer’s actions cannot be ignored.

Coyotes wander into neighbourhoods because we continue to encroach on their territory. They, and other species, have lost thousands of acres of forestland they once called home due to human progress. We have robbed them of their homes and we tend to overreact when they make an appearance.

Yet we sometimes make it easy for them to appear. Coyotes are much simpler than humans. They are drawn to one thing — food. And when food is easily accessible — from spilled bird feeders, heaping piles of compost or fallen fruit which attract delicious rodents — coyotes will happily indulge in the buffet. Then we freak out when they rear their heads, sounding the sirens.

Do coyotes pose a threat? Yes. Mainly to small children and animals. They are timid creatures which can be scared off by loud noises such as a car horn. Attacks on humans are extremely rare.

Rabid coyotes are a whole other story as rabies is a potentially fatal virus that can be spread from animal to human. A rabid coyote will display certain signs: foaming at the mouth, extreme aggression or erratic and lethargic behaviour. Merrick was an elderly dog and was reportedly deaf. At first glance, the dog may have displayed the latter symptom but even if it had been a rabid coyote and not someone’s elderly pet, the officer’s actions were inhumane.

The officer had a gun and if they felt the animal posed a threat, it should have been his first line of defence. But the officer chose to use another weapon, his car. With it, they inflicted unnecessary pain on an innocent animal, repeatedly, before finally doing the humane thing and putting the animal out of its misery.

The facts are black and white. The officer was inhumane and should be charged as such.

If I were to have done the same thing under those same circumstances, I am sure the officer would have been happy to slap a set of cuffs on my wrists and haul me off to jail. The officer was under no threat. In fact, no one was under any threat even if there had been a coyote wandering the street.

There was time to assess the situation. If the officer had paused just a moment, he may have realized the animal was not a rabid coyote, but an elderly dog, someone’s best friend. There were more humane options available to the officer, but they chose instead to use their cruiser as a weapon to inflict what can only be imagined as immense pain on a helpless animal.

The OPP have stated they have launched a professional standards investigation into the matter. The officer in question has not been relieved of their duties. While the officer’s actions should be looked into, an animal cruelty investigation should also be launched. Perhaps we should also take a look at how wildlife matters are handled by police and adapt policies to prevent further tragedies like this from happening in the future.

Rest in peace Merrick. May you find peace on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/opinion- ... l-cruelty/

Police watchdog receives 50 complaints about Collingwood dog

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:10 am

Police watchdog receives 50 complaints about Collingwood dog killing

About 50 complaints have been made to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) regarding last week’s incident in which a Collingwood OPP officer killed a dog.

“We have had a number of complaints about this incident,” said spokesperson Rosemary Parker.

The OIPRD is an independent civilian oversight agency that handles complaints against police officers.

Parker said complaints that are received are screened, and either discarded or an investigation is ordered.

“It goes through a screening process. Complaints are looked at to determine whether or not a complaint falls within our jurisdiction and who is making the complaint … If people see things on television and send in complaints, they are too far removed, it’s not affecting them, even though they may be upset by it.”

Dog owner, family outraged by police response to Collingwood dog killing

Parker said an investigation could be completed by the OIPRD or it could be forwarded to the police organization (OPP or municipal service) for action.

She said the agency fields about 3,000 complaints a year, with about half being investigated by the OIPRD directly.

In addition to its own investigations, the OIPRD also handles appeals.

If a complainant is not happy with an investigation completed by the police service, it can be appealed to the OIPRD.

“If the complainant doesn’t like the outcome, they have the ability to ask us to review it,” Parker said.

Currently, there is no OIPRD investigation into the dog killing in Collingwood, but there is an investigation being led by the professional standards bureau of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Acting OPP Sgt. Lynda Cranney couldn’t offer any details regarding the potential length of the professional standards investigation.

Collingwood OPP Insp. John Trude couldn’t speak to the investigation, but said the officer at the centre of the matter is working a regular shift. He said any complaints should be forwarded to the OIPRD.

He also said threatening comments have been made against the officer who killed the dog.

“There have been some comments made by people that are very passionate about their beliefs,” he said. “Hopefully the comments made, which are threatening in nature, are made in the heat of the moment.”

Collingwood police confirm it was dog, not coyote run over by OPP cruiser three times

The Ontario SPCA said it is talking to the OPP about the investigation but couldn’t comment on its status.

“We are communication with the OPP regarding the situation in Collingwood and we are keeping that communication open for training opportunities in the future,” said spokesperson Alison Cross.

She said the OSPCA offer training to police organizations and has worked with Toronto Police Services and municipal forces in Guelph, Windsor and London but has not worked with the OPP.

The agency offers training on the Ontario SPCA Act “and how to work with it and addressing situations,” Cross said.

OSPCA officers receive 14-week training, both classroom and in-field instruction.

“I know our officers receive quite extensive training when they deal with all types of training,” she said. “They do receive training regarding wildlife. They do receive training regarding domestic animals. It’s quite extensive.”

Police officers do receive some training on dealing with animals at the Ontario Police College, according to Greg Flood, manager of issues and media for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service.

Any potential recruit to policing in Ontario has a 60-day stint at the college, which includes instruction on dealing with animals.

“Given that this matter is under internal investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police, it would be inappropriate to provide comment on this specific case,” he said.

“Generally, in their studies at the Ontario Police College, recruits are taught that under the Use of Force Regulation (O Reg 926), if an animal is potentially dangerous or is so badly injured that its suffering must be ended, they may discharge their firearm to put down the animal. This regulation applies province wide, however individual police services may provide additional training and/or employ specific operational policies.”

Flood said the basic constable training curriculum is constantly reviewed and updated as changes to case law, legislation, inquest recommendations and technology enhancements occur. The curriculum is reviewed by instructors, subject matter experts and, in some cases, by a Crown Attorney and managers.

Timeline of events

Oct. 19

9:30 p.m. Karen Sutherland notices her dog, Merrick, is missing from the backyard. The gate has blown open and a portion of the neighbour’s fence had blown over.

She and boyfriend Scott Klinck search nearby streets for Merrick by car until about midnight.

10:30 p.m. A Collingwood resident, who lives near Walnut and Seventh streets, calls OPP to report what she thinks is a coyote wandering the street.

According to Christine Soti, a resident and one of the witnesses, OPP arrived but the coyote (later identified as a dog) was not at the scene anymore. The officer spoke with one resident, then left. Soon after the officer returned to find the dog in the area, but this time did not exit the vehicle, and mistook the dog for a coyote. The officer nudges the dog with the cruiser, then is filmed running over it two more times before shooting it.

Oct. 20

Early morning: Sutherland and Klinck worry that Merrick has not returned. They call the local pound, Georgian Triangle Humane Society, animal control and the OPP. Sutherland visits the horse barn where she volunteers and where Merrick often visits with her.

8 p.m. Sutherland calls OPP again.

8:30 p.m. OPP officers visit Sutherland at her home to tell her it was her dog, Merrick, a 21-year-old German Shepherd and not a coyote killed the previous night.

Oct. 21

Morning: Scott Klinck goes to Bellbrae Animal Hospital to identify and pick up Merrick’s body.

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/604734 ... g-killing/

Online dog petition collects more than 18,000 names

Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:48 am

An online petition over the killing of a dog by a Collingwood OPP officer earlier this month has collected more than 18,000 names.

The petition launched by the Collingwood Animal Rights Advocate Group calls for the officer involved to be charged and suspended.

Last week’s incident, caught on camera, happened after police were called about reports of a coyote neighbourhood.

The video shows the officer running over the animal and then shooting it. It turned out the animal was actually someone’s family dog.

Members of the petition group me with Colllingwood’s mayor and the Collingwood Detachment Commander on Wednesday to discuss the incident, including ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.

The officer involved is still on duty while the OPP’s Professional Standards Bureau investigates.

Learn more about the petition here.

http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/online-dog-pet ... -1.2633973

There’s no justification for mistreatment of dog

Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:49 am

I'm writing in response to your Oct. 22 article, Owner 'feels sick' after OPP kill her dog in error.

Anyone would be devastated with the death of a pet. Anyone would be furious if their pet was repeatedly run down by a vehicle and then shot. Killing a strange animal that appears rabid may be justified. Running repeatedly over such an animal, especially a pet, cannot be justified.

The report stated that the dog in this case, mistaken for a coyote, appeared rabid. A rabid animal is capable of bringing great harm to everyone around it. This dog was reportedly lurking and wandering around with its head down. Merrick, the dog, was old and had just experienced a wind storm, which likely made her look like a dishevelled canine — a coyote. She was also old. Staggering and disorientation could be linked to either age or disease. It is understandable that concerned calls came in, and that the OPP killed the animal.

What is not understandable is that the officer could not simply shoot the dog and have that be the end of the report. Instead, the pet had to be run down three times by a cruiser, and then finally shot when it wasn't dying. To get out of the car to shoot certainly was not too risky — the animal was moving slowly and parking far away would ensure enough time to get in the vehicle if the 'rabid' canine came toward you. I cannot fathom what made the officer do what he actually did. This would have surely been a sickening sight to witness.

My condolences go out to the owner of Merrick. May you receive comfort while grieving the loss of your beloved pet.

Jocelyn Jonker


http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-st ... nt-of-dog/

Peaceful protest planned for dog shot by OPP officer in Coll

Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:39 am

It has been a hard three weeks for Karen Sutherland and Scott Klinck after their dog, Merrick was killed by an OPP officer responding to a call about an aggressive, rabid coyote in a Collingwood neighbourhood the night of Oct. 19.

Public outcry quickly grew when video footage was posted online that night. It appears to show an officer hit a dog with an OPP cruiser multiple times and then kill the animal by shooting it.

The couple want closure on the incident so they have planned a peaceful protest for Merrick, Thursday in front of Collingwood Town Hall from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"The first few days were the hardest because there was finding out it was her, then trying to finding her body," said Klinck. "And then there was trying to get past all of the reporters, it was just a lot to happen all at once."

The worst part for Klinck was waking up and watching the video on television.

"I thought that they were just going to talk about it, I didn't know that they were going to show it," said Klinck.

What is upsetting after the fact for Klinck is the personal hatred against the police that is being directed to him.

"It was just one officer who did a really stupid thing," Klinck said. "But it is really hard to separate all of your anger to what people are doing about this, I want to keep separate how you treat people and how you treat animals."

No apologies have been offered to the couple, but they have been interviewed by officers from the OPP Professional Standards Branch based in Orillia which is investigating the matter.

"We have to have some type of meeting, at least a way of saying that this isn't right," said Klinck. "And we figured that the best way to do it was at town hall, not the police station because we don't want to make this totally against the police."

For Klinck he just wants everything to quiet down.

"It's been a lot of attention," said Klinck. "You know this is a small town, everybody knows you, and if a person dies it takes a couple of weeks to get over."

"But you don't see them run over by a car on the television, we just want some closure."

Klinck hopes that the demonstration Thursday brings them a little peace.

"We can't stop people hurting people, but we can stop people from hurting animals." Kinck said.

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2015/1 ... ollingwood

http://www.theenterprisebulletin.com/20 ... ollingwood

Dog protest held in Collingwood

Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:21 am

A peaceful protest was held in Collingwood Thursday night for the dog that was killed by an OPP officer last month.

About 20 people, including the dog’s owner, are protested outside town hall.

There was public outcry after video footage was posted showing a police cruiser hitting the dog several times before the officer shot and killed the animal.

Police were called to the Collingwood neighbourhood after receiving complaints of a coyote in the area.

The Professional Standards Branch of the OPP is investigating the incident.

The officer at the centre of the investigation remains on regular duty.

The owners of the dog say they have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/dog-protest-he ... -1.2655949

Residents protest Collingwood dog killing

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:00 pm

It’s been a little more than three weeks since Merrick the dog was run over and shot by a Collingwood OPP officer.

And it’s still hard for owner Karen Sutherland.

“Anger and sadness, big time. It’s horrible,” she said. “It’s been very hurtful how they dealt with it.”

Sutherland and her boyfriend Scott Klinck organized a protest outside Collingwood Town Hall on Thursday evening.

“So many different people have been voicing their opinions since this happened,” he said.

More than 18,000 have signed a petition calling for action in the case. Klinck would like to see a new protocol when it comes to how police deal with animals.

“What we really want here is to raise awareness over the fact the OPP are not equipped to deal with animal situations,” he said. “We’d like to challenge their protocol. We can’t bring our dog back but maybe we can change the protocol so better-suited people can show up.”

Sutherland said she’d at least like an apology.

“I would like them to say yes, we messed up, we made a bad decision,” she said.

Merrick’s death was national news and resulted in an internal investigation of the officer.

But, says Sutherland, she would still rather have her dog.

“I’d still rather have my dog,” she said. “It’s been publicized but I miss my dog. I shouldn’t have to watch my dog run over three times and then shot.”

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/611634 ... g-killing/

Police watchdog now handling Collingwood dog killing investi

Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:27 pm

Police watchdog now handling Collingwood dog killing investigation

The investigation into the actions of a Collingwood OPP officer after Merrick the dog was killed is now being handled by a provincial organization.

Collingwood OPP Detachment Commander Insp. John Trude told the Police Services Board, the Office of the of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) is now handling the investigation into the October incident.

The investigation was launched after widespread public outrage on social media, after a video showed a police officer running over a dog originally thought to be a coyote, before shooting it.

The professional standards branch had been tasked with the investigation.

“The OIPRD said we’re going to exercise our jurisdiction,” Trude told the board. “Which is actually better.”

Trude said a professional standard investigation is a more internal investigation while the OIDRP will be more of a public process.

“It’s more of a public process, there will be much more clarification,” Trude said.

“When I saw much more clarification, I hope you know exactly what I mean. There is a whole lot more to it than one 30-second video. Hopefully, they understand what has been explained to them and they hurry that process up.”

Rosemary Parker, OIPRD spokesperson said the organization has received 86 complaints regarding the incident.

Parker couldn’t release details of the investigation but did say 86 "is a large number of complaints.

“Normally, we don’t receive that many complaints about an incident, so it’s a lot,” she said.

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/616338 ... stigation/

Dog Death Review Will Be Long

Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:52 am

Independent Police Review Director receives 86 complaints about dog's death.

(Collingwood ) - It will be about four months before the results are released from an investigation into the actions of a police officer in Collingwood -- who repeatedly ran down and killed an elderly pet dog in October.

The office of the Independent Police Review Director says it received a total of 86 complaints about the events of October 19th, and have opened an investigation.

But, a spokesperson with the office says the report that will be prepared will not be released to the public.

The Collingwood OPP officer responded to a call about a rapid coyote and ran over the animal three times before shooting what turned out to be someone's pet dog.

The person who's complaint is being investigated will receive a copy of the report, and so will the OPP commissioner.

The spokesperson says most investigations take about 120 days to complete.

http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news ... wsID=80208

Owner of dog killed by OPP upset about secrecy of investigat

Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:59 pm

The owner of an elderly dog who was run over twice by police, then shot to death, remains in the dark about an incident that sparked nearly 90 official complaints and resulted in an investigation by officials who may never publicly reveal its findings.

Karen Sutherland’s 21-year-old deaf dog, Merrick, got out of her backyard in Collingwood, Ont., during a storm in mid-October and ended up wandering around the neighbourhood.

Neighbours a few streets over thought the dog was a coyote that was acting “in a daze” and they eventually called police.

An officer showed up around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. Video of the incident captured by a neighbour shows him running over the dog twice with his cruiser before getting out and shooting the dog to death, which police later admitted was a dog and not a coyote.

Sutherland says she was only interviewed once by Ontario Provincial Police, who told her they were conducting an internal investigation.

OPP refuse to discuss details of that investigation, but said the case was initially handled by its internal professional standards bureau before they handed the investigation over to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. That office also refused to discuss the case, adding details would only become public if the police officer’s actions were deemed “serious.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e28315791/

Owner of dog killed by police upset about secrecy of investi

Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:32 am

The owner of an elderly dog who was run over twice by police, then shot to death, remains in the dark about an incident that sparked nearly 90 official complaints and resulted in an investigation by officials who may never publicly reveal its findings.

Karen Sutherland's 21-year-old deaf dog, Merrick, got out of her backyard in Collingwood, Ont., during a storm in mid-October and ended up wandering around the neighbourhood.

Neighbours a few streets over thought the dog was a coyote that was acting "in a daze" and they eventually called police.

An officer showed up around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. Video of the incident captured by a neighbour shows him running over the dog twice with his cruiser before getting out and shooting the dog to death, which police later admitted was a dog and not a coyote.

Sutherland says she was only interviewed once by Ontario Provincial Police who told her they were conducting an internal investigation.

OPP refuse to discuss details of that investigation, but said the case was initially handled by its internal professional standards bureau before they handed the investigation over to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. That office also refused to discuss the case, adding details would only become public if the police officer's actions were deemed "serious."

The OIPRD is responsible for investigating complaints about officers' behaviour, but it cannot lay criminal charges.

Rosemary Parker, a spokeswoman with the OIPRD, said their office received 87 complaints about the dog's death.

"The only way the public will find out about it from us is if any misconduct is found that is serious and sent to a police service act disciplinary hearing," she said.
If there is any other finding, nothing will become public, she added.

Meanwhile, Sutherland remains devastated about losing Merrick, a German shepherd-cattle dog cross.

She said she has no idea which officer killed her dog, and cannot look any officers in the eye when she sees them in her small town.

"I don't know what's happened, it's like it was just swept under the rug," she said. "I never thought I was going to get anywhere with police. I mean, my dog can hardly walk, she can barely bark. She's never bit anyone and it kills me the way she died."

Sutherland said police told her the officer followed protocol when dealing with what they thought was a wild animal.

"Show me that in the handbook," Sutherland said. "No one showed me."

Police refused to answer questions about their protocol with wildlife, but previously said the force remains "committed to the humane destruction of wildlife that present an imminent threat to public safety," according to acting Sgt. Lynda Cranney.

"I'm really mad about the whole thing," Sutherland said. "I want something to be done or someone to be held accountable."

The Ontario Society for Prevention and Cruelty to Animals, which is mandated by the province to enforce animal cruelty laws, said it is taking a wait-and-see approach to the current investigation because it involves a law enforcement agency, according to OSPCA Insp. Brad Dewar.

http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/owner-of-dog-k ... -1.2746833

http://globalnews.ca/news/2469294/owner ... stigation/

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2016/0 ... pp-officer

http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/6 ... stigation/

http://reportca.net/2016/01/owner-of-do ... stigation/
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