Public outrage over seemingly unjustified police-related shootings have sparked peaceful protests and violent riots alike in recent years. One recent incident evoked a strong public outcry for justice even though the victim was not human.
Four dogs owned by Lorain, Ohio, resident Tammie Kerns were reportedly frightened by fireworks a couple of days before Independence Day and ran away from the property. As she and her daughter attempted to retrieve the pets, a local police officer reportedly arrived at the scene.
As one of the dogs ran toward its owners, another began approaching Officer Elliott Palmer who, according to footage from his body-mounted camera, fired at the dog multiple times.
Dixie, a golden retriever-labrador mix, appeared to run away after the first shot, but three more bullets hit the animal. While the dog lay in the street dying, a distraught Kerns attempted to approach the officer and was instructed to “get back!”
The scene quickly drew a crowd of neighbors who were similarly ordered to back away as Palmer drove away from the scene.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 8, 2023
Kerns later said that she initially believed the officer had arrived to help her return the dogs to safety but soon realized that he had no qualms about shooting the beloved family pet dead in the street.
“She was paralyzed after one bullet, but he just kept shooting her,” Kerns explained. “He shot her four times.”
Instead of stopping after the first shot immobilized the dog and at which point the animal’s life could have possibly been saved, she said that the officer “continued shooting her as she was trying to come to safety, and he just kept shooting her three more times after the first time.”
Kerns described the “terrifying” experience as a clear-cut case of “excessive force,” adding: “He could have tased her or used mace, but he immediately reached for his gun. The dogs got out once before and that officer opened his back door to help me get them back.”
For his part, Palmer wrote in an incident report that he feared for his life. The police department confirmed that an internal investigation is underway and Palmer had been placed on administrative leave.
That was clearly not enough for Kerns, who is calling for the officer to lose his job. Many others agree, as evidenced by the more than 25,000 signatures on an online “Justice for Dixie” petition and a local rally on Friday that attracted attendees who also wanted to see Palmer fired.