A North Philadelphia woman is speaking out against the police officers who shot and killed her dog, claiming their actions were unnecessary.
“You killed my dog and then are carelessly, recklessly shooting your guns,” Michelle Nieves told NBC10. “This isn’t target practice. He’s not a target for you.”
The incident began Tuesday around noon when Nieves’ two pit bulls began fighting each other in her backyard on the 2900 block of North Leithgow Street. Surveillance video obtained by NBC10 shows neighbors hitting the dogs with a rake, shovel and even a kitchen sink to stop them from fighting. Nieves claims she never met those neighbors and didn’t ask for or need their help.
At the same time, police say they were in the area when they heard yelling from Nieves’ home. Witnesses told the officers the dogs were attacking a small child. Nieves told NBC10 the dogs were only fighting each other however and that the child was safe.
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“The only little boy here was that one right there and he’s perfectly fine,” she said.
Police say the officers approached the dogs as neighbors continued to throw objects at them. They then told the neighbors to back away. One of the dogs then turned toward the officers, police said. One officer pulled out his weapon and fired, striking the dog which ran behind a small structure, reemerged and ran toward the second officer, investigators said. Both officers then fired their weapons, striking the dog again.
“I’m screaming at them, ‘Don’t shoot my dog.’ He won’t bite. He’s not vicious,” Nieves said.
Nieves brought her wounded dog to a private veterinary hospital and the animal died from his wounds.
A day later, Nieves doesn't believe her neighbors nor the officers should have gotten involved.
“I didn’t give anyone permission to jump my fence or tear it down,” she said. “This is private property. If I needed help, I would have called 911.”
Ivan Otero, a neighbor, told NBC10 one of the bullets went through his window and struck his ceiling during the shooting. No injuries were reported however.