Target: Colonel Jon Belmar, Chief of Police, St. Louis County Police Department
Goal: Punish officers allegedly responsible for the use of violent force that resulted in the killing of a family pet.
A family pet was shot three times by a member of a SWAT team for no reason, according to a lawsuit recently filed in federal court. Angela Zorich, the dog’s owner, claims that the SWAT team entered the home to investigate claims that the house was without natural gas and electricity service, a breach of city ordinances. The lawsuit alleges that almost immediately after more than ten officers, heavily armed with semi-automatic M-4 rifles burst into the home without knocking, the dog was shot dead.
The dog, a four-year-old pit bull named Kiya, did not attack the officers and “did not even have time to bark,” according to the complaint. The traumatized owner saw an officer fire three shots into the dog’s chest, causing the dog to release its’ bowels on the floor. Zorich claims that the dog was left to convulse in a pile of its own filth as it died alone while officers forced her to answer questions about her natural gas service.
This situation could have been avoided completely had the police department used better judgement in dealing with the case. Sending a SWAT team to investigate a nonviolent breach of city ordinances is yet another example of the overuse of police force so prevalent in modern America. In order to ensure the safety of both citizens and their pets, it is imperative that those responsible for this gross overuse of force are punished. Sign the petition below to demand justice for Kiya.
Dear Chief Jon Belmar,
A pet dog was allegedly recently shot several times by a member of a SWAT team. The team, heavily armed with semi-automatic weapons, entered the home without knocking to investigate allegations that the home was without electricity service. A lawsuit alleges that almost immediately after entering the home, an officer shot Kiya, a four-year-old putbull three times in the chest. The officers then detained the owner while the dog convulsed in its own excrement and died.
This disgusting shooting could have been avoided entirely had heavily-armed officers not been dispatched to a home for something so minor as a nonviolent breach of city ordinance. This was a blatant and cruel overuse of force which could have resulted in serious harm to the family inside the home. We, the undersigned, condemn this unnecessary violence and ask you to punish those responsible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tatoodwaitress