Roughly a year ago, an off-duty Chicago police officer shot and killed a pit bull puppy while it was running in its yard. The officer shot the four-month old pit bull eight times. The owner’s five-year-old daughter was also playing the in front yard when the shooting occurred, just feet of where she was playing. The off-duty police officer claimed that his son was riding his bicycle nearby and the puppy was chasing him.
Now, the pit bull’s owner is suing the Chicago police department for the loss of her dog and for the emotional damage inflicted upon her daughter from watching her puppy die. In addition to the emotional damage, the pit bull’s owner contends that the police covered up the shooting. She also claims that one of the officers directed racial slurs at her. She was in a low-income housing situation, and she believes that the officers did not want her family or her puppy in the neighborhood.
The off-duty police officer claimed that he was protecting his son. Shortly after the shooting, the owner’s husband was cited for failure to have a dog tag and failure to keep the dog on a leash. The neighbor-officer had repeatedly asked the owner to keep their puppy on a leash. The owner did not see a child on a bicycle at the time of the shooting. Neighbors say that the child was nearly a block away when the shooting occurred. Neighbors also state that the dog did not even bark at the child. The owner stated that the dog was “a big baby” and that he liked to sit in the front yard to watch the neighborhood and listen to the birds.
The owner’s lawsuit names several officers and the Chicago Police Department. As part of her suit, the pit bull owner is alleging several causes of action, including: negligence, excessive force, aggravated cruelty to animals, criminal trespass to property, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She is also alleging that the killing amounts to a hate crime against the owner and her daughter. The owner’s claim amounts to $1.35 million.
This is a classic personal injury lawsuit. McCarthy, Callas & Feeney has represented clients in similar personal injury cases. If you have questions about this case or if you have been injured, call McCarthy, Callas & Feeney today at 309-788-2800. We are happy to help with your legal needs.