TPD releases video of officer shooting, killing pet; announces new policy

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- In light of the dog attack on Thursday afternoon and the shooting of a pet last month, Topeka Police Chief James Brown is releasing the body camera video of the incident on SW Shadow Lane.

Brown said the shooting of the dog was justified under current police policy and Officer Michael Cruse was not placed on administrative leave.

He also extended the department's sympathies to the dog's family.

“Our condolences go out to the Macnish family,” Chief Brown said. “While our officer acted within the means of existing policy, we are using this incident as an opportunity to improve our department’s policies."

Harriette MacNish told 13 NEWS that she and her husband believe the video is important, so we posted the raw video in its entirety. WARNING: It is graphic and does show the dog being shot.

Brown said the Topeka Police Dept. will engage with the Thomas & Means Law Firm, which is already doing a comprehensive review of all department policies. He said changes are meant to reduce the number of incidents in which pets are injured or killed by law enforcement officers.

The new requirement will be "...that officers can only use lethal force against an animal when necessary to defend against a vicious animal when it is reasonably believed the animal poses an imminent threat of significant injury and no other reasonable means of protection is available."

Brown went on to say TPD will require all officers to undergo mandatory training to deal with dog encounters. He said any time an animal is killed, there will be a mandatory investigation by the department's professional standards unit.

Topeka City Manager Jim Colson said he supports Brown's decision to update police and practices regarding dog-related incidents. Colson describes himself as a dog owner who knows the pain of losing a pet.

“This new police and training program should reduce the number of pets seriously injured or killed by police officers, while still placing the safety of our officers and the public first,” he said.