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Bodycam video shows police officer shooting family's labrador/golden retriever mix dog, Ohio community demands 'justice for Dixie'
YouTube WKYC Channel 3 Video Screenshot

Bodycam video shows police officer shooting family's labrador/golden retriever mix dog, Ohio community demands 'justice for Dixie'

An Ohio community is demanding justice for the killing of a family dog by a police shooting caught on bodycam video.

Around 1 p.m. on July 2, four dogs became frightened by nearby fireworks and ran out of the house, according to the family that owns the dogs.

Owner Tammie Kerns said she and her daughter were attempting to get the dogs under control when Lorain Police Department Elliott Palmer arrived at the scene.

Bodycam footage shows one of the family dogs run toward Palmer and then return to the yard. A second dog, named Dixie, ran toward Officer Palmer, and he fired a gunshot that hit the animal. The dog ran away from the officer, but Palmer fired three more shots at the wounded dog that was retreating from him. The severely injured 3-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever and labrador mix is seen on police bodycam video struggling in the street.

The owner confronts the officer, who orders her, "Get back!"

Within seconds, a crowd of neighbors gathers to see the wounded dog in the street as Palmer instructs, "Everyone get back!" The neighbors angrily confront the officer.

Several officers appear on the scene, and Officer Palmer drives away.

Dixie is seen on the police bodycam footage lying on the pavement motionless. Dixie died at the scene of the shooting.

Kearns assumed that the officer was there to assist in retrieving the dogs, and not to shoot Dixie.

"She was paralyzed after one bullet, but he just kept shooting her. He shot her four times," Tammie Kerns told Cleveland.com.

Kearns told WKYC, "After she was shot one time in the street, he should have just let it go and let us get the dog and take her where she needed to be treated. But he didn't do that. She was crawling – useless, helpless – in the street. He continued shooting her as she was trying to come to safety, and he just kept shooting her three more times after the first time."

"This was excessive force. It was terrifying. He could have tased her or used mace. But he immediately reached for his gun," Kearns continued. "The dogs got out once before and that officer opened his backdoor to help me get them back."

Mellenie Kerns, the owner's mother, said, "He shot twice and she ran away and she still didn’t show any aggression and then he finally hit her in the street and just continued hitting her."

In the police report, Palmer claims he feared for his safety by the labrador mix running toward him.

The Lorain Police Department released a statement to WJW, "While all the facts are not yet known, the investigation has been assigned to the Lorain Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards. … Chief McCann is also working with several outside expert consultants who will be assisting with and reviewing the facts of this case."

Palmer has been placed on administrative leave.

The Kerns family are demanding "justice for Dixie."

Tammie Kerns said, "We want everybody to know this guy needs to get off the street."

Kerns said of the officer, "He should lose his job. He should go to jail. He should rot."

Mellenie Kerns added, "Honestly, I want the fullest extent of Goddard’s Law. I want his weapon removed, I want his K9 removed. He is not safe around animals or children."

On Friday, there was a "Justice for Dixie" rally held in Lorain to hold the officer accountable.

Lieutenant Jacob Morris of the Lorain Police Department responded to the rally, "I want to offer our condolences to the Kerns family. Regardless of the situation, they’re dealing with the loss of a family member. It hurts to even say that we were involved in that, but with that being said we can offer our condolences – and we certainly, certainly do. I’ve spoken to the family and trying to be a resource for them as the investigative process rolls out."

Tammie Kearns told WKYC that she plans to file a lawsuit.

A "Justice for Dixie" petition has garnered more than 25,000 signatures, and demands the "immediate removal of duty of Officer Elliot Palmer for the shooting death of a family's pet dog named Dixie."

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(WARNING: Graphic and disturbing video)

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