Dog shooting update: Lawsuit filed against cop found not guilty, Commerce City

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Original post, 6;50 a.m. October 3: In November 2012, Commerce City Officer Robert Price shot and killed a dog named Chloe in an incident caught on video. Afterward, Price was charged with animal cruelty in a move his supporters said was motivated by public pressure.

Nearly a year later, Price has been found not guilty. The decision was cheered by Commerce City but slammed on a Facebook page that had demanded justice for Chloe. Photos, videos and details below.

As we've reported, Chloe was being temporarily kept at a house in Commerce City when she snuck out of the garage. A neighbor, Kenny Collins, called the authorities and recorded law enforcers' actions on a cell-phone camera. The video he shot shows Chloe being tased by a policeman and snared on a catch pole by a community service officer -- the equivalent of animal control in Commerce City. But the policeman, subsequently identified as Price, felt Chloe remained out of control and fired his weapon multiple times, shooting and killing her.

Most viewers of the video didn't see evidence that Chloe was a threat to the public, as the police maintained. As such, community outcry over the shooting was considerable at venues such as the Justice For Chloe Facebook page, which currently has more than 4,700 likes. Several weeks later, the Adams County District Attorney's Office filed an animal cruelty charge against Price. But while this move was cheered by many observers, it was denigrated by the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, which decried what it saw as a lynch-mob mentality fueled by the video. Here's an excerpt from its open letter:
Under public and political pressure the department suspended its administrative review and sent the matter to the Adams' County DA's office for review. We know that District Attorney Don Quick and his office were inundated with outside complaints about the incident from certain interested groups. In this caustic atmosphere his office found itself under the eye of the media on what had fast become a controversial politically sensitive event.
Dave Young, the current 17th Judicial District DA, who took over for the aforementioned Don Quick, subsequently issued a statement in reply to the police group's implications about bowing to the public's will in the matter. "Our office makes decisions on the filing of criminal charges based upon thoughtful consideration of the evidence, not based upon outside influences or the status of the offender," he maintained.

Assistant District Attorney Jess Redman echoed this assertion in a January interview with Westword. While he couldn't comment directly about the facts of the Price prosecution, he said, "What I can tell you is, we handled this just as we handle every case. We're provided information from a law-enforcement agency or conduct our own investigation, and any filing is based on evidence. And we're going to let the evidence speak in a court of law."

In the end, though, the jury was not convinced.

Continue for more about Office Robert Price's not guilty verdict, including photos and videos.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts