Video of what appears to be a Mt Morris Township police officer shooting a dog from his cruiser has caused a small uproar online, but what really happened?

A brief video of the incident, which took place in the 6000 block of Penwood Rd in Mt Morris (see map below), made its way online Friday morning, and quickly went viral locally. At the time of this article, the initial Facebook post itself had over 27,000 views, 1,000 shares, and generated over 400 comments.

A lot of people in the comments were reacting negatively to the incident, but there is absolutely no context provided by the 24-second clip. Just a couple of shaky zooms, a clearly identifiable Mt Morris Township police cruiser, and an officer who appears to be aiming something. You can also see a dog about 10-15 feet from the officer's vehicle, until there is a loud bang -- presumably the officer discharging his weapon. After that, the dog is no longer visible, but the person behind the camera's "damn" says it all.

It's natural for people to react negatively to what they perceive as an unwarranted lethal force against an animal. In fact, there was such a negative reaction that the Mt Morris City Police (a separate department) distanced themselves from the incident on their Facebook page.

According to some reports, this video is not what it appears to be. Several people in the comment section claim that the dog had been causing a lot of problems that day, and had attacked several people including the officer in the video. It was also said that animal control was contacted, but after they failed to show up the officer opted to put the dog down as a last resort.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned claims are all hearsay, but they sound more likely than some of the malicious accusations that were being thrown around online. However, they are somewhat consistent with the statement we received from Mt Morris Township Police Chief Terrence Green regarding the incident, which reads:

A Mt. Morris Township Officer was dispatched to 6000 block of Penwood for a vicious dog complaint.  Upon arrival as the officer attempted to exit the patrol vehicle the dog charged towards the officer. The officer returned to the vehicle and shot the dog while seated in the vehicle.  Currently this incident is under review to determine if any department policies or procedures were violated by the officer involved.

We will continue to update this story if there should be any further developments throughout the day.

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