The Cities Blog

Minneapolis police shoot ‘Obama’ … the dog

Darrell Williams sued 10 officers and the city of Minneapolis after the officers broke down his door with guns drawn around noon on July 9, 2009. According to the complaint, the officers served a search warrant on Williams' south Minneapolis home. Williams claimed that he and his wife were upstairs when they heard a loud explosion and then gun shots coming from downstairs. He came downstairs and asked the officers what was going on. Williams alleges the officers threw him to the floor and kicked and punched him, leaving him with a black eye, bruised face and two injured ribs.

Then they shot Obama. His dog.

"In some of their answers to interrogatories, they [officers] claim that the dog was coming at them. Which if you look at where the blood was, it wasn't even close to where they were," says attorney Paul Applebaum.

Applebaum says Williams was not arrested and officers didn't find any contraband in the home.

Police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer declined to comment on the settlement, but he says sometimes officers who show up unannounced to homes encounter aggressive dogs. Palmer says often the dogs are doing what they're trained to do.

So far this year, officers have shot and killed 13 dogs. However, Palmer says in most of these cases, the officers were called to respond to 'threatening dog calls.'

Today, the Minneapolis City Council's Ways and Means Budget committee approved a recommendation by the city attorney to agree to a $24,500 settlement. The full council will vote on the settlement Friday.