At a press conference on Friday, the Chief of the Salt Lake City, Utah, Police department delivered a stern warning to the public about the anger directed towards his officers following the shooting death of a resident’s dog, reported the Deseret News.
Police Chief Chris Burbank was unapologetic about the shooting at the press conference – instead, he expressed dismay and disappointment over the level of public anger that he and his officers were seeing in the aftermath of the dog’s death. Chief Burbank stated:
I absolutely demand that every single one of my officers treat the public with the respect and dignity they deserve. My officer, and officers, deserve no less,
The public anger stems from the June 18 incident in which Detective Brett Olsen entered Sean Kendall’s fenced yard and encountered Kendall’s dog “Geist,” a Weimaraner. According to the Olsen, Geist approached him aggressively – in response, the dog was fatally shot.
Olsen had been going door-to-door on the day of the shooting…a toddler had been reported missing and officers were in the area trying to find the child. The missing child was later found asleep in the basement of his own home.
Chief Burbank addressed Olsen’s decision to enter the yard, stating:
“It is our responsibility that we do all we can to bring a safe resolution to the circumstances we encounter. This is a seasoned officer who has tremendous experience and has, in fact, been under fire and performed very well,”
I cannot in my mind imagine an officer coming forward and saying we didn’t do all we could to find a missing child.
Specific details about what took place inside of the fenced yard on the day of the shooting are not being revealed because the official investigation is still underway. In the meantime, Chief Burbank has demanded that the threats of violence come to an end and that the officers in the city get the respect which they deserve.
Over 45,000 individuals have joined the Justice for Geist Facebook page since the day of the shooting. Over 41,000 people have signed a petition asking for the officer who shot the dog to be held accountable.
Prior story about this incident at this link.
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