Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jan 2003
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: Kelly Pedro, Free Press Crime Reporter


But Bear's Owner Was Distressed To Learn The German Shepherd Was Shot Four 

Nine officers involved in a botched drug raid in which they killed a family 
dog were cleared yesterday by an internal London police investigation of 
any wrongdoing.

But Marcie Carroll, whose apartment was mistakenly raided by police, was 
upset to learn Bear, her six-year-old German shepherd, was shot four times 
by police, not once as they first told her.

"She has had an opportunity to learn things . . . she has not known and 
that quite frankly deeply disturbed and troubled her," her lawyer, Faisal 
Joseph, said after a news conference at police headquarters.

The most disturbing information for Carroll, said Joseph, was learning Bear 
was shot four times with an MP5, a mini machine-gun.

Deputy police chief Tony McGowan's report concludes the officer shot Bear 
for the fourth time "to end Bear's suffering."

Joseph said he also found it disturbing police acted on four-month-old 
information -- the address of the drug dealer they were seeking -- without 
reverifying it.

Carroll moved into the Oxford Street apartment in September. The report 
said police had last checked if the dealer lived there July 20.

"One of the things that appears to have been the cause for what occurred . 
. . is the information . . . given by the informant was faulty and the 
police relied on it," Joseph said.

But McGowan said in his report a four-month delay in acting on the 
information "was reasonable."

His report also said some London officers, not those involved in the drug 
raid, knew the suspect no longer lived there, but had made no record of it.

McGowan concludes in the report the officers were not guilty of misconduct.

"Given the circumstances, there is no evidence to suggest a marked 
departure from professional police practices," said police Chief Brian 
Collins, reading from a prepared statement at the news conference.

Joseph said Carroll will not appeal the decision to a civil commission, but 
will begin a civil suit seeking compensation.

Carroll has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and hasn't 
been able to return to work or her apartment.

Other points in the report:

- - Collins said officers were forced to shoot Bear after the animal kept 
"barking and running toward them."

- - Officers could not subdue Bear with a CO2 fire extinguisher.

- - Police entered Carroll's apartment armed with one MP5, Glock pistols, the 
CO2 fire extinguisher, a dog snare, a one-person ram and a taser gun.

At the news conference, Collins attributed Bear's teeth being knocked out 
to his gunshot wounds.

That's a point on which Joseph and the police chief disagree.

Joseph said investigators at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto 
could not determine what knocked out Bear's teeth.

Carroll was disappointed she didn't find out which officer shot her dog.

In the report, McGowan said he won't name the shooter lest he and his 
family are subjected to "the wrath of extremist animal rights activists."

But Carroll wants an apology from the shooter.

"That's important to her because she wants to have some sense that the 
person that did kill her dog can empathize and sympathize," Joseph said.

In the last five years, before Bear was shot, police had killed six dogs 
during drug raids, said Const. Paul Martin.
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