You may have heard this story about Dr. Coleman... We sent a note of sympathy and support. We need strong voices in New Orleans and I think Dr. Coleman is a strong voice dealing with a horrible situation.
News Release: for immediate useContact Person: Jeff Dorson 901-268-4432 April 16,
2008FATAL DOG SHOOTING BY NOPD RILES COMMUNITYHUMANE SOCIETY REQUESTS INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONDOG OWNER TO SPEAK AT PRESS CONFERENCE
New Orleans--The recent fatal shooting of a docile Doberman Pinscher has left a large section of the community outraged and looking for answers, according to the Humane Society of Louisiana. "We have heard from people from around the country and many from our community who fail to understand the series of events that led to the fatal shooting of a dog by a New Orleans police officer," says Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana. According to the dog's owner, Dr. Coleman, who was not home at the time of the shooting, the dog could barely walk and was at home convalescing after undergoing recent surgery. The dog was shot 8 times by an NOPD officer.On Monday morning, NOPD officers responded to a burglary alarm at the residence of Dr. Brian Coleman, a dermatologist. Officers responded to the call and entered the back of the residence, where one of the officers was met by Dr. Coleman's 2 Doberman Pinschers. One of the dogs, it is believed, accidentally set off the alarm. The officer, whose story of what happened next changed several times, according to Dr. Coleman, felt threatened by the dogs and proceeded to empty out his handgun's clip, shooting one of the dogs a total of 8 times. The dog expired shortly after being shot.Dr. Coleman arrived on the scene shortly after being informed of the incident and tried to explain to police that his dogs were extremely docile and well-behaved and this action was totally unnecessary. A next door neighbor, Ms. Courtney Hidalgo, who lives at 6964 Catina, was home at the time of the shooting and further supports Dr. Coleman's assertion that the dogs were playful and never mean. "I never heard the dogs bark or growl. I just heard the loud pop of a gun being fired. This is a quiet neighborhood, and the houses are close together. These are very tame dogs," added Ms. Hilalgo.Community activists have started a petition drive to protest the actions of NOPD, which many feel were excessive and unnecessary. "Many times dogs will stop and run away if a warning shot is fired," explains Dorson. "The officer also could have used his chemical spray or baton to ward off any approaching animal," adds Dorson. The Humane Society of Louisiana, a local animal protection and advocacy agency, will be sending the letter of inquiry into this matter to Warren Reilly, the Superintendent of Police. The group will be asking Superintendent Reilly to meet with their representatives and a group of community animal advocates to discuss this matter and will ask that an internal investigation be initiated into this shooting, since so many questions remain unanswered. The group will also offer to arrange for a one-day training seminar that has been successful in lowering the number of fatal dog shootings by law enforcement personnel. The course, offered by the American Humane Association, out of Denver, is entitled "Police Officers and Canine Encounters Training" (http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ev_professionals_BSDR_training). The workshop was designed by a former police officer and a psychologist. The course offers strategies and techniques to safely diffuse potentially hazardous situations with aggressive-looking dogs. Dr. Coleman, who is planning on filing a lawsuit against the officers involved in the shooting, will address the media today at this home, located at 6962 Catina. His neighbor, Ms. Hiladgo, will also be present, along with a representative from the Humane Society of Louisiana.What: Press Conference on Fatal Shooting of DogWhen: NoonWhere: Residence of Dr. Coleman, 6962 Catina, LakeviewQuestions: 901-268-4432