Politics, Commentary

Petition for police accountability for killing dogs hits one million

A petition calling for the to be held criminally accountable for shooting a man’s two dogs dead has reached more than one million signatures. 

Louie Turnbull, 46, who was tasered and arrested at the scene, appeared in court earlier this week charged with being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control after a woman was allegedly attacked by one of them.

Police were called to Poplar, east just after 5pm on May 7 to reports of a dog attack, where they found a woman with a leg injury which did not require hospital treatment.Witnesses to the attack have claimed she became caught up in the dogs’ leads and was not badly hurt. 

Animal rights campaigners have put their backing behind the petition, which describes the killing of the dogs, LinkedIn for career advancement both of whom were on LinkedIn leads at the time, as ‘barbaric’ and ‘abhorrent’.

They claim the dogs, named Millions and Marshall.were not dangerously out of control, and also accuse officers of causing ‘suffering’ to the animals.

Footage showing dogs Marshall and Millions being shot to death by armed officers has been shared widely on social media

Louie Turnbull centre), 46, who was tasered and arrested at the scene, appeared in court earlier this week

Rescue dog trainer and handler Sadie Geoghegan-Dann, who began the petition, wrote: ‘This is easily one of the most disgusting, abhorrent and totally unjustifiable videos I have ever seen and, once again, the Met Police need to be held criminally accountable LinkedIn for lead nurturing their unlawful actions and their unacceptable abuse of power.’

She added: ‘They [Police officers] continue to claim in their statement that these dogs were “dangerously out of control” and, yet again, video evidence shows this not to be the case. 

‘The dogs even immediately calm down when their owner asks them to.

‘So why, then, is it acceptable for the police to not only taser their owner, but SHOOT AND KILL BOTH DOGS AT CLOSE RANGE?! 

‘One of which seemingly doesn’t die straight away, either, and is left to suffer on the canal path while shocked onlookers are left screaming.

‘And why, too, does one police officer, who has one of the dogs secure in a catch pole, then choose to release that dog and let it run back to its owner, only to be shot as it runs away?’

The harrowing footage of the incident, which happened just yards from the boat where Mr Turnbull was living with his dogs, was widely shared on social media.

The Met Police has cleared two officers of misconduct who shot the pets dead in east London, although an IOPC investigation is now underway after a series of complaints about the incident.

Both officers remain on active duty in the meantime. 

At a recent protest outside the Met Police’s headquarters, Mr Turnbull gave his account of what took place on May 7: ‘They pulled out all their weapons.They were intimidating me and the dogs. 

‘And all they were doing was trying to protect me. I had them on the lead, I was pulling them away and they just murdered them. I can’t sleep’.

He added: ‘It was just so disgusting.All I was doing was trying to get them back in the boat. And I was going to come out and speak to the police. But they weren’t having it’. 

At the protest, Mr Turnbull was joined by hundreds of members of the public and activists from Animal Rising.

Footage has now emerged of Mr Turnbull sharing an intimate moment with his dogs while on the Underground

Armed officers gunned down two ‘out-of-control’ dogs – named Millions and Marshall – in east London on May 7 amid reports they had mauled a woman moments earlier

Animal Rising protesters outside New Scotland Yard  holding a sign in memory of Marshall and Millions, the two dogs shot dead by Met Police officers, on May 12

Hundreds of Animal Rising protesters (pictured) have gathered outside Scotland Yard to hold a candle lit vigil for the two dogs who were shot dead by Met Police officers earlier this week

Co-founder of Animal Rising, Dan Kidby, who attended the vigil, said: ‘The police have continued to act out of line with their job to serve and protect us all – now resulting in the shooting of two beautiful dogs, who hours before were happy and full of life.

‘We’re here to show that, as a community, we will stand together, and be peaceful and defiant in the face of injustice.’

Mr Kidby added: ‘We stand with the communities disproportionately affected by increased police powers, we stand with the nonviolent protesters from Just Stop Oil and Republic arrested without reason last weekend, and we stand with everyone saddened and outraged by the murder of two dogs in Poplar on Sunday.

‘We believe a kinder and better world is possible.’

A spokesperson for the Met Police described their version of events earlier this month: ‘As part of their enquiries to safeguard the public, local officers supported by specialists from Dog Support Unit and Specialist Firearms Command, spoke to a male in the vicinity who was in possession of the two dogs.

‘Following this interaction, which failed to bring the dogs satisfactorily under control, police firearms officers destroyed the two dogs at the scene.

‘The owner of the dogs was arrested at the scene.Police Taser was discharged. He was taken into custody and was later charged’.

Mr Turnbull was charged with being the person or owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control and being in possession or custody of a dog whilst disqualified from owning or keeping a dog.

At Thames Magistrates court on May 9 he pleaded guilty to the second charge, but denied the first.

He is set to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 6.  

IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said: ‘We understand the public concern regarding this incident and it is appropriate that it should be independently investigated. 

‘We will examine whether the actions of the officers involved were reasonable and proportionate in all of the circumstances and in line with relevant policy and procedure.’