The family of a dog shot in July by a Coeur d’Alene officer has filed a claim with the city, The Spokesman-Review News reported October 21.
Craig Jones, the owner of a black lab named Arfee, who was shot by Officer David Kelley, has filed a lawsuit for $350,000 for the “loss and pain from the unjustified police shooting.”
Jones and his attorney will file a federal lawsuit alleging illegal police seizure of 2-year-old Arfee if the city refuses to settle within 90 days. Arfee died from a gunshot wound to the chest after being shot through a van window.
Adam Karp, a Bellingham attorney who specialized in animal law, stated
“I do think it’s a very reasonable offer given the history of other cases around the country, given the epidemic of police killing people’s companion dogs, and the failure of police departments to take this seriously as they should and to rectify it.”
City Attorney Mike Gridley said the City Council will discuss the claim in an executive session, and added
“I look forward to talking with Mr. Karp regarding this and the damages in the case.”
The city, the Coeur d’Alene police department and Officer David Kelley are all listed in the lawsuit. A review made by a city board, as well as an external review committee both determined Kelley violated department policy for using deadly force.
Karp has won several lawsuits, including one for $100,000 for a family whole Newfoundland was shot four times while running loose by a Des Moines, Washington police officer.
The amount asked for is based on the value of Arfee, along with psychic totaling of the vehicle. Since Craig would relive Arfee’s shooting in his mind each time he entered the blood stained van, it basically totaled the vehicle.
Damages for emotional distress make up a substantial part of the damages. Craig’s life has been wrecked because of this one careless police officer.
Punitive damages are being asked for since errors were made by police, including Kelley firing his weapon in a manner it could have endangered anyone nearby. Kelley put his partner, anyone who could have been inside the van, and any pedestrians in the area.
Karp has advised Craig not to comment on the case, but has faith the legal system will rule in their favor.
“Honestly I don’t think there’s any dispute that this was unreasonable (seizure). Internal and external investigations both confirm.”
Personally, I’d like to thank Adam Karp in the lawsuit won for the family of the Newfoundland named Rosie. Rosie is the case that got me involved in reporting dogs shot by police.
When the officer responsible for Rosie’s death yelled “NICE!” after shooting a retreating dog, I made it my mission to expose as many of these cowardly officers as possible.
Prior articles on Arfee are listed below.