El Monte police silent on dog shooting video

EL MONTE — El Monte police had no comment Saturday regarding the controversial shooting of a police dog in which the department’s version of events appears to contradict video of the incident captured by the residents security camera.
Police have launched an internal investigation into the incident, however the two involved officers remained on-duty, said Valerie Martinez of the city’s hired public relations agency, VMA Communications.
The video captured the arrival of two officers and the shooting of a family’s pet German shepherd which took place Wednesday at a home in the 4700 block of Maxson Road. The officers were there to meet with Cathy Luu and her husband Chi Nguyen to regarding their teenage son, whom they had reported as a runaway over the weekend.
Capt. Dan Buehler said Thursday that the police reports indicated the officers noted the “Beware of Dog” signs on the property and took precautions, such as shaking the gate to make noise, to make sure there were no dogs present in the yard before entering. Only after checking for dogs did the officers enter the yard to knock on the family’s front door.
A pit bull emerged from the back portion of the yard, followed by a German Shepherd which charged toward a female officer standing on the porch, police said. The officer then shot 2-year-old German shepherd once. It ultimately had to be euthanized.
But video footage provided by the family shows the officers walking opening the gate and entering the yard and entering the gate without taking the precautions described by Buehler.
Additionally, the family alleged that the department failed to get prompt medical treatment for the wounded animal, rescinded an offer to pay for medical treatment and treated the rudely in the wake of the incident.
Martinez said it was too early for the department to make any officials comment regarding the shooting, and the apparent discrepancies between the department’s official version of events and the video footage.
“The investigation is still underway,” she said, adding that it remained in its early stage.
Chief Steve Schuster did not return a request for comment, instead referring the request for comment to VMA.
Officials have urged patience, saying the situation is being investigated as an officer-involved shooting.
But since no people were injured, the shooting does not automatically trigger parallel investigations by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office or the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review, as is the case in officer-involved shooting in which a person is injured.


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