Detroit police accused of needlessly killing dogs while searching house

DETROIT – They came to serve a warrant on a suspected drug house, but what a lawsuit filed in federal court claims is Detroit police officers systematically shot and killed three family pets.

When police came to serve the warrant at a home on Sussex Street on Detroit’s west side, the owner claims she told them there were dogs in the house and she would put them away.  

Attorney Chris Olson says that’s important because it means police knew there were animals in the home before they entered.

“She did exactly what she was supposed to do,” Olson said.

Two pit bulls were put in the basement and the rottweiler was already in the bathroom. One of the dogs escaped from the basement and came to sit with owner Nikita Smith.

Smith claims an officer shot and killed her dog named Debo as he was sitting next to her.

Officers then opened the bathroom door, saw Smoke the rottweiler, closed the door and then fired multiple shots into the bathroom killing the animal, according to the suit.

The final dog, Mama, was in the basement. She was also shot and killed too.

Attorney Chris Olson who has handled several cases where police departments are accused of needlessly killing family pets filed the suit in federal court.  He told Local 4 that after filing a FOIA for records, DPD told him there is no audio or video of the incident.

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