The owner of two dogs shot by a Minneapolis cop has spoken out, telling Inside Edition the shooting should not have occurred, as newly released bodycam footage sheds new light on the incident.
The graphic video shows Officer Michael Mays aim and fire at Ciroc, who was hit in the jaw as it wagged its tail and slowly walked toward the officer on July 8.
Mays fires twice more, hitting a second dog, named Rocko, before a devastated resident comes out.
Both dogs survived the shootings but underwent extensive surgery.
“I would rather you had shot me! I would rather you shot me!” said Jennifer LeMay, whose burglary alarm was accidentally set off by her daughter. “The Minneapolis Police carry Taser guns. You couldn’t have Tased my dog? You couldn’t have used pepper spray?”
LeMays said her dogs, who are recovering at home, were traumatized by the shooting.
“His tail was wagging. His ears were dropped and he was more curious as if to say, ‘Wait a minute, why are you in my yard?’”
Bodycam footage shows Officer Mays apologizing immediately after the shooting, saying to a sobbing resident, “Hey, I’m going to sit there and say sorry about this. I don’t like shooting no dogs. I love dogs so it’s unfortunate.”
Police told Inside Edition they will help with the dogs' veterinary bills and plan to retrain officers on how to deal with dogs.
A GoFundMe page created to offset the dog's medical bills has reached nearly $37,000.
“I’ve watched the video, and as someone whose family has included dogs most of my life, I can say that it was difficult to watch,” former Police Chief Janee Harteau said in a statement two days after the shooting. “This was an outcome that no one wanted. I’ve asked for an Internal Affairs use of force review. We are reaching out to the family to help them with the veterinary care bills to ensure that both dogs are adequately taken care of.
“To help us prevent similar outcomes in the future, we will be implementing updated mandatory training specifically for officers identifying effective tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters,” she continued. “We want both our officers and all our community members to be safe."