Met Police dogs shooting: Petition to hold force ‘accountable’ reaches one million signatures
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A petition to hold the Met Police accountable, following an incident in which the Met Police shot two dogs dead in East London, has reached one million signatures. The change.org appeal argues that the killing of Louie Turnbill’s dogs was “barbaric” after distressing footage of the incident was shared on social media.
The incident took place in Limehouse on May 7. The dogs’ owner Mr Turnbull, who lived on a boat with the pets who were named Marshall and Million, has expressed his sadness at the loss.
The 46-year-old, was arrested and charged with being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control, which he has since pleaded not guilty to, and being in possession of a dog while disqualified from owning one, which he has pleaded guilty to.
Mr Thurnbull spoke of his sadness in a Facebook Live video broadcast onThursday (May 18) following his appearance at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (May 16). He said: "I'm totally traumatised. It's disgusting what they (the police) have done, man, it is f****** disgusting, man."
His case was adjourned to Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 6.
Met Police statement
Following the incident, the Met Police’s Department of Professional Standards conducted a thorough review which included the available body worn footage. It found it was satisfied that there were no concerns around officer conduct.
A spokesperson for the force said: “We are aware of the video being shared on social media showing part of an incident in Limehouse where two dogs were destroyed by police officers responding to a report of a woman being attacked. Police were called just after 5pm on Sunday, May 7, to a woman being attacked by a dog in Commercial Road, E14.
“Officers attended the location where the aggressive behaviour of two dogs was of considerable concern and posed a significant threat to them. A man was arrested in connection with the incident for having a dog dangerously out of control and assault offences.
"A taser was discharged by police. No person was taken to hospital. Both dogs were destroyed by police at the scene.
“This is never an easy decision for any officer to take, but police have a duty to act where necessary before any further injury is caused. The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards have conducted a thorough review of the incident, including all of the available body-worn footage, and are satisfied that there are no concerns around officer conduct.”
Campaigners call incident “barbaric”
Campaigners who created the appeal on change.org have called the killing of Mr Turnbull’s pets as “barbaric”. Sadie Geoghegan-Dann, who started the petition, wrote online: "In a statement, the Met Police claim the 'aggressive behaviour of two dogs was of considerable concern and posed a significant threat to them'. And yet, concrete video evidence all over social media shows these dogs to be under control and on leads with their owner."
One million people have since signed the petition, calling the incident an “outrageous abuse of power” and “bullyboy heavy-handed tactics”. The creator of the petition added: "Yes, these dogs are barking and reacting to the police, but any normal dog would do the same when being approached by multiple armed, vocal people in uniform, surrounding them in such a threatening manner.
"They continue to claim in their statement that these dogs were ‘dangerously out of control’ and, yet again, video evidence shows this not to be the case. The dogs even immediately calm down when their owner asks them to.
"So why, then, is it acceptable for the police to not only taser their owner, but SHOOT AND KILL BOTH DOGS AT CLOSE RANGE?! One of which seemingly doesn't die straight away, either, and is left to suffer on the canal path while shocked onlookers are left screaming. And why, too, does one police officer, who has one of the dogs secured in a catch pole, then choose to release that dog and let it run back to its owner, only to be shot as it runs away?"