Friday, September 5, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Police Officer Named in July Dog-Shooting, Review Panel Finds Actions Violated Policy

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Coeur d'Alene city officials released the name of the police officer whose shooting of a 2-year-old black lab in July sparked widespread protest, and announced the findings of a review board at a press conference this morning.

Coeur d'Alene Police Officer David Kelley, a seven-year veteran of the department, shot and killed the dog, named Arfee, through the window of a van parked outside a Coeur d'Alene coffee shop. While Kelley maintained that he was afraid of being bitten by the dog—initially reported by police as a "vicious pit bull"—a review of the incident concluded that his decision to fire on the animal violated the department's deadly force policies.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the panel found that Kelley indeed feared for his safety but failed to consider that he was firing his weapon in a crowded area.

"The potential for injury to citizens, including a potential suspect in the vehicle, does not appear to have been factored in to the decision prior to using deadly force," the report stated.

The panel, composed of three members of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and a member of the Kootenai County Sheriff's department, also found no evidence that Arfee was a threat to Kelley. What's more, the officer also violated policy by failing to turn on his body camera when approaching the van, wrongly suspected of being connected to reports of prowling.

Outrage over the dog shooting spilled beyond the North Idaho city onto the internet, where the Facebook page Justice for Arfee served as a hub for anger. Earlier this summer, Internet activist group Anonymous issued a pair of threats to the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, demanding a full investigation into the incident.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that no comments were made by officials related to disciplinary actions. According to the Spokesman-Review, Arfee's owner, Craig Jones, will pursue a claim against Kelley and the city of Coeur d'Alene.

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