What to Know
A New Jersey police officer is seen on bodycam footage shooting a dog that charged at him while on the street
The police officer was in Vernon Township Saturday after someone called about an aggressive dog on the loose
The dog ran down the driveway and was seen barking and approaching the officer, with the cop pulling out his weapon while backing up
A New Jersey police officer is seen on bodycam footage shooting a dog that charged at him while on the street.
Officer Emanuel Rivera was on Tall Oaks Drive Saturday afternoon after someone in Vernon Township called the police about an aggressive dog on the loose. The cop asked neighbors in the area about a dog, and some said the pet — named Hiro — had lived with a family on the street for three years and was friendly.
The man who was seen on video telling the officer about the dog said he was "pretty scared" that the dog was going to bite him.
Officer Rivera then went to a nearby home asking a woman who the dog belonged to and the neighbor said Hiro is owned by the home next door.
When the officer approached the driveway of the home where Hiro lived, the dog came sprinting down the driveway barking. The officer can be seen backing away and heard telling the dog to "back up." The cop continued to order the dog to back down as he pulled out his gun.
The body camera stops right before the officer fires his weapon, killing the animal. Police said the dog was aggressive and the officer felt threatened.
Hiro, a Labrador mix who was rescued from a kill shelter, was a very friendly dog, according to his adoptive family.
The dog’s owner was home at the time of the shooting, but was not aware what was happening outside. She said her pet was trained to stay in the front yard and doesn’t believe the pooch would roam the neighborhood as others described.
Other neighbors said they never saw Hiro act aggressively in the past, and are appalled that the officer responded to the situation with deadly force.
Police say the incident is under investigation by the Vernon Township Police Department.