A Richmond Hill family is seeking answers as to why a police officer, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), shot and killed their two-year-old mixed breed dog on December 31, Old Yearâs Day.
According to the dogâs owner, Shevorn Trimmingham, at around 5.30 p.m., she was in her porch hanging out clothes, when she looked into the road and saw a young man running towards her house. She said when she looked closely, she realized that two other men, wearing civilian clothes and armed with guns, were chasing the young man.
Trimmingham said the man being chased ran into her yard and was pursued to the back of the property by one of the armed men. She said that her yard is not fenced and as the two men ran through, the third man shot the dog, which was in its kennel at the front of yard.
âI saw one the man stand up and then I heard âpowâ,â recalled Trimmingham, who noted that up to that time, none of the men who she later learnt were police officers, had identified themselves or said anything to her.
âI was in shock because Max (the dog) was in the pen and it did not do anything to deserve getting shot. The leash was on and it wasnât threatening anyone.
âThey went around the house, search, and when they were leaving my mother ask why you shoot the dog and we still did not know it was police, because no one said nothing, no identification shown, nothing like that,â recalled Trimmingham.
She said that soon after she saw a vehicle come down the road and she recognized it as a police vehicle and at that point, realized that the men were police officers.
âWhen my mother ask him why he shoot the dog, he watch she and screw up he face … but they jump in the transport and just drove off without saying anything,â explained Trimmingham, who added that the animal did not die right away, but suffered.
She added that what is even more troubling than the shooting of the animal is that a five-year-old child was about five feet away from where the officer discharged his weapon and the youngster seems to have been traumatized by the entire incident.
She said that the same day, they called the CID and were told that it was a holiday, so they must come to the Central Police Station on Tuesday, January 3.
Trimmingham said that when they went to the Central Police Station in Kingstown, they asked the sentry to direct them to the Police Public Relations Department and he responded rudely.
âHe (the sentry) asked us where we were going and when we said public relations, he asking what we going there for and asking who we going to report.
âIn my opinion, he was just supposed to direct us to where we wanted to go and not ask us those kind of questions. If we were doing something out of the way, then you could afford to deal with it that kind of way, but the thing is there were other officers there who just watch him and ainât even rebuke him,â opined Trimmingham.
She, however, noted that the officers at the Public Relations Department dealt with the family very professionally and promised to look into the matter and get back to them.
âI think that when police do things wrong they need to be corrected. The dog was not aggressive; you could carry he way how he calm,â said Trimmingham, who is waiting to see if they would be given an explanation by the police.
âThey say they would do an enquiry and we still waiting for the call,â said Trimmingham.
She said that the family would like to have the animal replaced or they could be compensated, so that they could replace Max, because even though the animal was not aggressive, it would alert them of any strange presence in the area, as they also run a shop and currently have building materials in their yard that may attract thieves.