The city of Richmond, CA has agreed to pay a couple $210,000 for the death of their pit bull, Blu. In 2005, two police officers shot Blu 12 times when they were trying to follow a drug suspect. The officers said that Blu attacked them when they opened the gate to Blu’s yard to pursue the suspect, but Blu’s owners said that Blu was just hopping around excitedly and not trying to attack. When Blu’s owner went up to the police officers to ask them why they shot his dog, they “pointed their guns at him, kicked and punched him and threw him to the ground,” and he was arrested but no charges were filed.
Blu’s owners decided to file suit and said the officers had insufficient reason to shoot Blu and nothing was done by police officers internally to investigate the death of their dog. The Richmond City Council decided to settle and pay Blu’s owners $210,000.
The Richmond Police Chief apologized to the couple and the police department has gone through extensive training on when police officers can use force on dogs and how to deal with dogs in general.