For Bradley Brock, his 3-year-old dog, a mastiff named Moose, was his family and his support after a serious motorcycle accident. In a span of seconds on a November night last year, a police officer in Inkster, Michigan, took all of that from Brock when the officer shot Moose multiple times as the dog approached him.
Brock says, and video appears to show, the dog wagging its tail as it trots toward the officer. Brock has now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit arguing that the shooting was an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment.
The shooting is another alleged instance of an officer misreading dog behavior and slaying a pet—a sadly common occurrence that continues to devastate families, generate public outrage, lead to officers being fired, and cost police departments hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuit settlements.
Brock says he called 911 on November 15 of last year after a man at a gas station pulled a gun on him. Video of the incident shows an Inkster police officer talking to Brock while Moose sits on the sidewalk a short distance away, off leash. Moose then trots over to Brock, wagging his tail and stopping to sniff a passing pedestrian, before turning and moving toward the officer.
“He was very friendly, but if anybody was around me, he wanted to check ’em out and make sure they’re okay,” Brock says. “That’s all, like any dog.”
However, the officer begins quickly backpedaling, draws his gun, and within seconds shoots the dog multiple times.