Ohio Community Demands ‘Justice’ After Officer Shoots Family Dog

An Ohio community is demanding justice for the death of Dixie, a family dog that was shot multiple times by a police officer despite showing no signs of aggression.

Prior to the officer arriving on the scene, four dogs belonging to one family had become frightened by the sound of fireworks going off nearby — running out of the home.

According to the dogs’ owner, Tammie Kerns, Lorain Police Department officer Elliott Palmer arrived on the scene at around 1 p.m. on July 2, just as she and her daughter were attempting to get their dogs under control.

In the bodycam footage, one of the family dogs can be seen running toward Palmer and then returning to the yard. Another dog, a golden retriever-labrador mix named Dixie, then ran toward the officer — who almost immediately shot the animal. Dixie then ran away from Palmer, who fired three more shots at the retreating dog. The bodycam footage shows the severely injured three-and-a-half-year-old dog struggling in the street.

Within seconds, a crowd of neighbors descended upon the scene — angrily confronting the officer.

“Everyone get back!” Palmer shouts at the crowd.

Several officers soon arrive on the scene, and Palmer drives away. At this time, Dixie can be seen lying motionless on the pavement. The dog ultimately died at the scene.

Kerns later said that she had assumed Palmer was coming to aid her in retrieving her dogs, not to kill one of them.

“After she was shot one time in the street, he should have just let it go and let us get the dog and take her where she needed to be treated,” she told local news outlet WKYC. “But he didn’t do that. She was crawling – useless, helpless – in the street. He continued shooting her as she was trying to come to safety, and he just kept shooting her three more times after the first time.”

“This was excessive force. It was terrifying. He could have tased her or used mace. But he immediately reached for his gun,” Kerns added. “The dogs got out once before and that officer opened his backdoor to help me get them back.”

Palmer later claimed in his police report that he feared for his safety when he shot Dixie. He has since been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.

The Lorain Police Department released a statement to WJW, which read “While all the facts are not yet known, the investigation has been assigned to the Lorain Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards. … Chief McCann is also working with several outside expert consultants who will be assisting with and reviewing the facts of this case.”

The Kerns family have demanded “justice for Dixie,” with Tammie Kerns stating that she plans to file a lawsuit and arguing that Palmer should “lose his job” and “go to jail.”

After a “Justice for Dixie” rally in Lorain on Friday, Lieutenant Jacob Morris released a statement about the incident, which read: “I want to offer our condolences to the Kerns family. Regardless of the situation, they’re dealing with the loss of a family member. It hurts to even say that we were involved in that, but with that being said we can offer our condolences – and we certainly, certainly do. I’ve spoken to the family and trying to be a resource for them as the investigative process rolls out.”

A petition demanding the “immediate removal” of Officer Palmer has garnered more than 31,000 signatures as of Sunday evening.

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