A petition to hold Met Police ‘accountable’ for shooting dead two dogs has over a million signatures (Picture: @mariaalcoptia)
A petition to hold the Metropolitan Police officers who shot dead two dogs ‘accountable’ has gathered over a million signatures.
Campaigners have rallied around a petition on Change.org which rails against the ‘barbaric killing’ of Louis Turnbull’s pets, who were gunned down by police in Tower Hamlets, London on May, 7.
Footage of the shooting caused outrage after going viral on social media, prompting widespread condemnation, vigils and a protests outside Limehouse police in response.
In a video broadcast online since the shooting, Mr Turnbull, who lived on a boat with the dogs, expressed his sadness at the losses.
Footage of the killing sparked widespread outrage (Picture: Shutterstock)
Sadie Geoghegan-Dann, who started the petition, wrote online: ‘In a statement, the Met Police claim the “aggressive behaviour of two dogs was of considerable concern and posed a significant threat to them”.
‘And yet, concrete video evidence all over social media shows these dogs to be under control and on leads with their owner.’
She added: ‘Yes, these dogs are barking and reacting to the police, but any normal dog would do the same when being approached by multiple armed, vocal people in uniform, surrounding them in such a threatening manner.
‘They continue to claim in their statement that these dogs were “dangerously out of control” and, yet again, video evidence shows this not to be the case. The dogs even immediately calm down when their owner asks them to.
‘So why, then, is it acceptable for the police to not only taser their owner, but SHOOT AND KILL BOTH DOGS AT CLOSE RANGE?!
‘One of which seemingly doesn’t die straight away, either, and is left to suffer on the canal path while shocked onlookers are left screaming.
‘And why, too, does one police officer, who has one of the dogs secure in a catch pole, then choose to release that dog and let it run back to its owner, only to be shot as it runs away?’
A petition on Change.org demands the officers face consequences for the shooting
‘This is easily one of the most disgusting, abhorrent and totally unjustifiable videos I have ever seen and, once again, the Met Police need to be held criminally accountable for their unlawful actions and their unacceptable abuse of power.’
One million people have signed the petition, expressing similar sentiments as Ms Geoghegan-Dann.
Mr Turnbull, 46, was also tasered and arrested by the canal, and was eventually charged with possession of a dangerously out of control dog.
He appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and his case was adjourned to June 6 at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Speaking in a Facebook Live video, broadcast last Thursday, an emotional Mr Turnbull said: ‘I’m totally traumatised.
‘It’s disgusting what they (the police) have done, man, it is f****** disgusting, man.’
The Met referred itself to its own independant watchdog following the incident, but later concluded there were no concerns around officer conduct.
A police spokesperson told Metro: ‘As part of their enquiries to safeguard the public, local officers supported by specialists from Dog Support Unit and Specialist Firearms Command, spoke to a male in the vicinity who was in possession of the two dogs.
‘Following this interaction, which failed to bring the dogs satisfactorily under control, police firearms officers destroyed the two dogs at the scene.
‘The owner of the dogs was arrested at the scene. Police Taser was discharged. He was taken into custody and was later charged as above.
‘Two public complaints forwarded from the IOPC to the MPS were voluntarily referred back to the IOPC on Wednesday, 10 May.
‘The officers concerned have been informed. They remain on operational duties.’
IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said: ‘We understand the public concern regarding this incident and it is appropriate that it should be independently investigated. We will examine whether the actions of the officers involved were reasonable and proportionate in all of the circumstances and in line with relevant policy and procedure.’
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