Cops Justified in Shooting Pit Bulls

Chester's Mayor investigates why police officers opened fire on three dogs in the middle of the day and in a very public place

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police shoot two dogs to death in Chester and it's all caught on cell phone video. The police chief is investigating to see if proper procedure was followed as residents question why it happened. (Published Monday, Jan 28, 2013)

    Chester police officers who shot three dogs in broad daylight this week were not out of line, according to the city's Mayor, John A. Linder.

    "While no one wants to bring harm to an animal, and certainly it is not the intent of our police to do so, after careful review of the investigation conducted, I believe that our Police Department acted in the best interest of the public safety," Linder said in a statement five days after the shootings.

    The dogs were shot dead last Friday, in the middle of the school day, steps away from Chester High School on Barclay and 9th Streets. Police said the three pit bulls were violently attacking another smaller dog in the back of a pick-up truck. The people inside the truck couldn't control the dogs and Mayor Linder said the pit bulls had a violent history.

    "I don't care how bad they try to make Chester seem, this is not a war zone," said Tehran Freeman, who recorded the shootings with his cell phone. "I shouldn't be able to stand on my front porch and record that," Freeman said. "You just should not do stuff like that."

    Freeman said police should be held to a higher standard and should not have opened fire in a busy, public place. "The area probably should have been more secure."

    We brought those concerns and the video to the Mayor, who as promised, looked into whether the officers followed department procedures.

    "All protocol was followed and no subsequent injury or damage to property occurred," Linder concludes in his statement.

    Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail, Jr. said his officers assessed the situation and decided the dogs needed to be shot immediately because of the danger to people in the area.