LORAIN, Ohio — Just more than two months after an officer fatally shot a dog, Lorain police officials held a press conference to announce that Officer Elliott Palmer had reasonable cause to use deadly police force against the animal.
During the press conference, Lorain Police Chief James McCann revealed that Palmer was previously bitten by a dog on April 8, less than 90 days before this incident. Palmer was told from that incident that he could possibly lose his hand.
“Officer Palmer had reasonable cause to believe that the dog was going to attack him. Through this investigation, the dog charged him and caused Officer Palmer to fear for his safety. Upon entering his cruiser, Officer Palmer was forced to make a split-second decision, which was likely influenced by his previous dog bite. Officer Palmer’s actions were consistent with what another officer would do in this situation,” said McCann.
However, the investigation did reveal that Officer Palmer had a body camera violation as he did not turn it on right away.
The shooting happened on June 2 at a home on Oberlin Avenue near 8th Street. Tammi Kerns told 3News' Kaitor Kay that she and her daughter were attempting to corral four of their dogs after they got loose from their home when an officer came up and demanded they get the dogs under control. One Lab named Dixie ran out toward the street and the officer then shot and killed her.
The full press conference can be watched below:
“This investigation is very consistent with what was the law not only for the city of Lorain, but for the state of Ohio," said Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley. "I respect what the police did and I hope that everyone understands that this was a fair investigation and the type of investigation that I would demand from our Lorain Police Department for any citizen in the city of Lorain."
Lorain Director of Law Patrick Riley also stated that he agreed with the investigation's findings that Officer Palmer should not be charged. Riley noted that he does not agree with the investigation's suggestion of charges being filed against the dog owners as they go against the city’s policy of not violating owners for an at-large dog on the first violation.
At this time, Officer Palmer is still on modified duty.
**WARNING: The video of the incident, which you can watch below, contains disturbing content and strong, uncensored language. No audio of the actual shots being fired is available. Viewer discretion is advised.
3News' Tyler Carey, and Ryan Haidet contributed to this report