Three New York City residents filed a lawsuit recently against the police department claiming its officers killed a dog while searching for drugs in a community garden. Sarah Ramos, Angel Suarez and William Suarez alleged that on Aug. 2, 2012, NYPD officers interrupted the trio while they were gardening on Morris Avenue in the city's Bronx borough. The lawsuit also alleged that the authorities needlessly "[tore] the garden apart," the New York Daily News reported.
“Several police officers in plain clothes rushed into the garden brandishing guns . . . Sarah’s dog was frightened by the commotion and ran under a shed,” the suit read. “One of the police officers then fired approximately seven shots at Sarah’s dog, killing it.”
Ramos and the Suarezes were then arrested and charged with selling crack. They were released after two days in jail, and the charges were dropped. A Law Department spokesman for the city told the New York Post the trio's claims would be investigated.
It wasn't the first time NYPD has faced legal trouble over a dog's death. In 2013, Patricia Ratz and Pat Guglielmo filed a lawsuit when their pit bull, Baby Girl, died after being hit by an officer gun fire. Ratz was walking Baby Girl and two other dogs when they got rowdy and one bit her. A nearby officer shot between seven and 10 times when Baby Girl ran.
“We are seeking to fundamentally change the way the NYPD deals with pets,” the couple's lawyer, Ronald Kuby, said at the time. "When a dog is fleeing the scene, it’s because the doggie is afraid, not because the dog is concerned about getting arrested. That’s the reason people flee, not doggies.”
In happier NYPD-dog news, officers in Queens helped a puppy its owner had left in a hot car for more than an hour earlier this week. The precinct tweeted a photo of an officer giving the dog water:
— NYPD 112th Precinct (@NYPD112Pct) August 2, 2015