Local News

Magistrate Clears Officer Who Shot Dog

Posted December 29, 2006 6:02 p.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2006 8:32 p.m. EST

— A Wake County magistrate has cleared a Raleigh police officer of wrongdoing in the shooting of a dog on Christmas Day.

Officer R.A. Smith shot Truman, a chocolate Labrador retriever, behind the right ear while responding to a call about a dog bite. The dog suffered a ruptured eardrum and has been recovering at home.

Another dog in the house had bitten its owner, Meredith Phillips, on the cheek earlier, and Rex Hospital workers reported the dog bite to authorities according to procedure after Phillips went to the hospital for treatment.

Smith, 23, told investigators that Truman ran toward him, but Phillips and her family maintain the dog was tied up on the porch.

The Raleigh Police Department Internal Affairs unit investigated the case and turned its findings over to a magistrate, who ruled that no criminal violation had occurred.

The police department continues to review the case to determine if Smith violated any department policies, spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Department officials also plan to review its training and practices to determine if any changes are needed to handle dog-bite calls.