Military vet's service dog killed by New Orleans cop

Julia LeDoux
January 13, 2020 - 11:11 am
Crime scene



A military veteran is heartbroken over the shooting of his service dog by a New Orleans, Louisiana police officer.

Clayton Crawford told WDSU that his service dog, Hilo,  was shot and killed a week ago.

Crawford said he let the Doberman out to use the bathroom the night of Jan. 2 in his unfenced backyard.

Hilo got out into the street and that’s when Crawford heard four shots. He went outside to find Hilo dead.

"It's been just spasms of crying and wailing since it all happened,” Crawford told WDSU.

Crawford, who has Post Traumatic Stress, said all he has left of Hilo are her toys and blanket.

"I'm still crying over it, seeking her comfort,” he said. “The trauma is just so big."

Crawford said Hilo was not aggressive and wants to know why the officer used a gun instead of a Taser.

“My dog didn't attack the officer,” Crawford told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. “She barked at him and rushed at him, that's it.”

It is unclear what the events were leading up to the dog's death.  

In an email statement, the NOPD said initial media reports that the dog bit the officer were erroneous.

"At no time did the officer involved in this incident report to investigators that he was bitten by the animal, nor was the officer actually bitten,” the NOPD said.

The police department’s Public Integrity Bureau Force Investigation Team is investigating the incident, the statement continues.

"Furthermore, officers with the NOPD never want to resort to using force,” the statement reads. "Unfortunately, in this instance, the involved officer felt it was unavoidable.”  

The NOPD has been in touch with Crawford to express its remorse over the investigation. It remains unclear why the officer felt it was unavoidable to use deadly force during the incident.

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