Thursday, April 24, 2014

Filer Residents Gathering Signatures to Unseat Mayor, City Council Following Police Dog Shooting

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Filer police officer Tarek Hassani face-to-face with Hooch, a black Labrador retriever, moments before the dog was fatally shot in February. - FILER POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Filer Police Department
  • Filer police officer Tarek Hassani face-to-face with Hooch, a black Labrador retriever, moments before the dog was fatally shot in February.


Filer residents have been gathering signatures this week to unseat the small Idaho town's Mayor Rick Dunn and the four members of its City Council, Boise State Public Radio reports.

The effort follows the February police shooting of a pet dog—video of which went viral—and the city's decision to keep the officer responsible on staff. Responding to a loose dog complaint in a residential neighborhood, Officer Tarek Hassani shot a black lab, Hooch, in his owner's front lawn, killing it. 

This is the second step in the recall effort that began earlier this month, after more than 20 signatures had been gathered for a petition against the mayor and each member of the City Council. The recall effort now needs to gather 201 signatures on a full petition to trigger a recall election.

An investigation into the incident determined that Hassani shot the dog in self-defense, though the investigator noted that the shooting could have been avoided. That hasn't stopped citizen outrage.

"If somebody's first inclination is to reach for their gun and start shooting, I don't think that's something that a PR training is going to do any good for," recall campaign organizer Josh Wallin told BSPR. 

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