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Video: Illinois Officer Fired for Shooting Little Girl's Dog

July 29, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Illinois Officer Fired for Shooting Little Girl's Dog

A police officer in Hometown, Ill., has been fired days after fatally shooting a dog in front of a 6-year-old girl.

The dog's owners said their 1-year-old German Shepherd mix, named Apollo, had run out the front door of their house around 2:20 p.m. Friday and had returned to the front lawn when police arrived.

"I walked over and I tried to call him inside. The police officer had his gun out already," Nicole Echlin, one of the dog's owners told the Chicago Tribune over the weekend. Her 6-year-old daughter walked with her.

"He started showing his teeth — that's when the officer shot him," said Echlin, 27. "I didn't know that was going to happen."

Echlin said she grabbed the girl and rushed inside the home. "That's going to be in her head probably forever," Echlin said.

"Although the officer may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force, I have made the decision to terminate that officer's employment with the Hometown Police Department," Chief Charles Forsyth said.

Comments (32)

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32

Lenny @ 7/29/2014 2:50 PM


About time something is being done about this new sport.

regular guy @ 7/29/2014 3:42 PM

"Although the officer may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force, I have made the decision to terminate that officer's employment with the Hometown Police Department".

Great, what's this world coming to? He may have well said, "you might have been following the rules, but I'm going to punish you as if you had broke them." Typical Liberal BS.

Yeti @ 7/29/2014 4:06 PM

What the heck does that statute say? Before assessing situation forget remaining calm and fire your weapon, then say "I was in fear for my life". Bull he should never own a gun again, what an idiot.! If you can't remain calm and assess a situation then you should never be in law enforcement! If we all did that there would be chaos and anarchy, it seems only gang-bangers, drug cartels and law enforcement have that privelege! What a crock!

Don @ 7/29/2014 4:09 PM

Lenny-You have got to be the most abrasive personality I have ever come across. Your only purpose in life is to be miserable. "New Sport" you're a douche bag.

Milton in AZ @ 7/29/2014 4:21 PM

Question #1, why was the officer there in the first place?

Question #2, what was the officer doing in the front yard?

Question #3, did the dog bar its teeth because the officer entered the front
yard while the mother and daughter were in the front yard, and the dog went into protection mode because a stranger appeared to be threatening those the dog was bonded to protect?

Bottomline, did the officer use very poor judgement that resulted in
disastrous public relations?

Just maybe the officer needs to be retrained, with a portion of that
training in dog behavior for the sake of the public he is sworn to serve.

Lenny @ 7/29/2014 4:34 PM

The things that bother people the most about others are usually their own greatest character defects. I'm quite happy most of the time.

Don @ 7/29/2014 5:38 PM

Lenny-sure doesn't seem like it. Everything you write is designed solely for the purposes of pissing people off, mainly police officer.

Lenny @ 7/29/2014 6:16 PM

@ Don

I don't think my 1st comment pissed off anyone but police officers.
But then again they are the only ones killing people's dogs because
they "feared for their lives". Look on any other sites on the internet
and discover just how people feel about the police these days. You
might learn something.

Dan @ 7/29/2014 6:52 PM

Lennys right. People don't really like police anymore. I don't do it for the money, I do the job to help people. What good is that when no one is grateful? One day it will become hard to find people willing to be police officers and people will wonder why. As Lenny said, we will just look on the internet and see the types of things people said about us. It will remind us why we gave up the job.

Diogenes @ 7/29/2014 7:29 PM

This is probably animal cruelty under Illinois law. Moreover, the action likely violated agency policy. Finally, contrary to what the chief said, the law on use of deadly force does not likely apply. Deadly force is a concept applied only to force used on persons, not animals. Killing of the dog in front of the child has even further implications on conduct and legality. Chief's decision should prevail.

Gary @ 7/29/2014 8:12 PM

OC spray?? ASP baton, even. I have sprayed many dogs in my time, never has failed me yet. I am sure it may not work on every dog, but it should have been a start. Firing? He'll beat it with the right lawyer...Sounds like a personal firing to me.

On another note, why do all these ANTI-LE TROLLS appear on here? If you haven't been there, or done that, shut your trap.

Carlos @ 7/29/2014 8:22 PM

As someone who has had to take seven ANTI-RABIES INJECTIONS INTO MY STOMACH, I can understand why the Officer shot the dog. I've been bitten twice in my life with a few more close calls and I will do everything I can to never get another dog bite. I am wondering if they tested the dog for rabies?

That being said, I can't really say anything about this one way or another because the story is very short on details. There has got to be more about this incident that they have left out.

Capt. Crunch @ 7/29/2014 9:11 PM

Did you notice the media said the dog was a German Shepherd mix when the dog looks like a Pit Bull. To bad the chief didn't go on this call, but then again, the chief had no balls to loose. I hope the officer sues this police dept. and gets a job with a real police dept. one that stands by it's officers.

mike @ 7/30/2014 3:59 AM

I hope that the EX-POS is charged with felony animal abuse and that the PD and city are sued for millions and that if the plaintiff wins, the local police union has to pay

Renee @ 7/30/2014 4:18 AM

@Capt. Crunch, that dog does NOT look like a pit. I'm not sure why the LEO felt the need to shoot this dog in his own yard, while the owner was trying to call it in. Lots of details left out, but not every officer is right, and not every officer is wrong. Shame on the ones who stand behind every action, let the facts come out.

Marshal Fine @ 7/30/2014 5:57 AM

I have been a police officer for 30 years and can tell all of you this. If I am called to your house and you do not have your large dog under control, bad things WILL happen. It is the dog owner who did not have their animal under control. This happened in a residential area, not out in the boonies where it's normal for your dog to be out running. I see dog bite cases come across my desk every day. Kids, adults, other pets being attacked by at large dogs. I am sick of it. Sick of dog owners who can't or won't keep their dogs on leashes or fenced up. Just so you know.. the officer will sue and get his job back. The Chief's statement is the officer's defense. Chief has to make the Mayor happy and that is the only reason the officer got fired. It is politics not policy. You non-police types on here can have your fun.. but you don't have to deal with this problem... we do... Let your Fluffy come after me and see what happens.

Dan @ 7/30/2014 8:03 AM

These are animals. Not people. My safety is paramount. I had a huge chunk of my skin bit off by a German Shepard pup that required 20 stitches; still visible today. I've seen a woman attacked by two black labs and had her calves shredded. Dogs can do serious life threatening damage. An animals life is not on par with a humans. That being said I do agree with animal cruelty laws and I hope they throw the NY cop in jail for slashing that dogs throat. That is something to have outrage about. This was an unfortunate incident. Not worthy of him losing his job on its face. Maybe he was on probation. Renee we stand behind 99% of the incidents because officers everywhere are our family. It's something you may not fully understand.

Greg @ 7/30/2014 11:44 AM

If a K-9 being killed by a thug is treated like a human officer by the courts, why would we expect the family dog killed by a cowardly officer to be considered any less valuable? We're losing the hearts and minds of the good people. It's now called, "Puppycide", when did new officers become such dog wimps? One parole officer was "threatened" by a Jack Russel mix...he shot it. Weimeraner shot in his own back yard by a tresspassing officer looking for a lost apology. I'm sorry, but I've been barked at and growled at, by some poorly trained K-9s in the Army and on the force...what would have happened if I was "afraid for my safety" and put a bullet into them?

Want to lose any goodwill we have left, keep shooting people's pets. Psst, Marshal Fine, you don't have to keep a dog fenced or on a leash in your own yard, most of these dog shoots have been with the dog at home or in their own yard.

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/30/2014 12:01 PM

I had no idea dogs could climb trees. (Officer, would you get my kitty cat out of the tree?)

Dan @ 7/30/2014 1:05 PM

@ I could shoot your cat at of the tree

kyle @ 7/30/2014 1:40 PM

After reading some posts from some of you so called "Police Officers" I'm afraid my suspicions have been confirmed. You're not wearing those badges or guns to protect and serve your community. You're just afraid little boys still playing cops and robbers picking off puppies because you've had a gun for 5 years and haven't got to shoot it yet. You all forget you're supposed to work for the community you patrol. No, you safety is not paramount to blowing away a little girls dog in front of her. You signed up for this job! You were not drafted into it. accept the risks! One of you got stitches....oh boo hoo, poor guy. Grow up. do your job well, serve your community or hang it up. Because if not you're just propagating the hatred towards all of you, including the good ones, making you all look like bullies with badges....

Jim @ 7/30/2014 5:08 PM

Gee, you know what the media didn't tell you about that nice little doggie is....,
the police had been to residence to deal with the dog on numerous occasions. It had bitten several people including a child. As police officers, we're expected to get all the facts before we make a life and death decisions..., it would be nice if people who have NO CLUE WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A POLICE OFFICER, get your damn facts before condemning us. Oh, and if you think you can do better, put your ass where your mouth is, fill out an application, go through the testing process, attended academy so u can fight with drunks, handle a fatal car crash on Christmas because they were in a hurry to get to gathering, or deal with an abused child who was beaten or had hot water poured on them. Are there bad officers, yes!!! Do they deserved to be punished. You know what, I can't get my order right from a fast food restaurant while in the drive through or can't get my cable tv cable wire buried properly!

Jim @ 7/30/2014 5:14 PM

Hey Kyle, what you say about police officers may be true but at least we have the balls to become police officers. Why don't become one instead of shouting off your mouth. No we don't forget we work for the people. And that little doggie had bitten several people including a child. An if it had bitten you would be crying that you wanted us to kill the little doggie and be pissed off if we didn't.

kyle @ 7/30/2014 5:57 PM

1) I was mainly reffering to the COMMENTS made about this shooting. Not the shooting itself, I wasn't there so....
2) In my experience with LEO its the ones that don't have balls that tend to become cops.They hide behind a badge with a sense of impunity and a "us and them" mentality.
3) Not that at any point in my life have I ever thought about being a cop, but the main reason I couldn't do it is because I just don't agree with half the laws governing our people. "The land of the free" somehow manages to imprison a very large percentage of its people. Laws are control and prison is big business. Police are just pawns to serve the agenda. Lets throw a pot dealer away for 25-30 years but let a 2nd offense child molester out in 5. I couldn't work for that company . Sorry.

Dan @ 7/30/2014 6:57 PM

Kyle. You are a bystander and always will be; injecting your opinion when you yourself said you do nothing. Jim just slapped you in the face with some hard truths. Take your sorry and shove it up you ass.

Capt. Crunch @ 7/30/2014 10:45 PM

@ Renee, I will loan you my seeing eye glasses if you like, I never saw a German Shepherd with floppy ears. Also the officer shot the dog because the dog was going to bite him, how many details do you need? If the chief of police would like to do the little girl and her family a favor he should buy the little girl another puppy and explain to her and her family why the officer did what he did.
@ Kyle, I as a child growing up had lost pets either by criminals or accidents. But I want you to know that I am a healthy normal person because I do not think like you and Lenny. You and Lenny, need to grow some balls.

Diane @ 7/31/2014 8:37 AM

And everyone wonders where the hatred and the fear of law enforcement comes from?! I'm just a wife and a mother reading your frightening nonsense, all of you claiming to be police officers. Thinking to myself, Damn, no wonder cops scare you even when your doing nothing wrong. I've never known but 2 personally, met them when their wives and daughters were moved into the DV house, cuz they couldn't keep their drunken hands to themselves. You cannot deny you have a bad rap with the average citizen. I actively teach my children that cops can't be blindly trusted anymore than any other stranger. A stranger is a stranger, even if their a cop, cuz so many horrible incidents, I would Never trust a police officer. Even the times I have Needed them. It Is a fraternity or brotherhood. I see no evidence of loyalty to the public, only to yourselves. Thank God for the USMC and the second amendment, due to which I will hopefully never need any help protecting my family. I'd rather do it myself.

Don @ 7/31/2014 9:09 AM

You lib's kill me. Hundreds of kids are getting slaughtered in the streets of major cities every year, but you're more worried about a proven vicious dog being shot going after an officer. I know you are more worried about the dog, because you idiots keep voting for the same democrats to run these cities into the ground. What do you want a bunch of pansy ass pot smoking cops driving VW bugs with light bars on top driving through your neighborhood? Police Magazine has become another blowhole for the left. Just look how they set up the article, "little girl's dog". What a bunch of B.S. I"M UNSUBSCRIBING TODAY. It's all yours Lenny. Hope your happy that with it. Keep destroying America........

Capt. Crunch @ 7/31/2014 9:30 AM

@ Diane, it saddens me to read what you wrote and to teach your children not to trust police. The police on this post are just expressing their opinions the only hatred comes from the writer named Lenny, and he is not a police officer. I think you are making a big mistake by teaching your children not to trust police, because most children that don't trust police when they become adults end up in prison. Diane, you need to be strong and have a different point of view. As a whole most police officers are good people you are probably a nice lady because you are concerned about your children. I apologize if anything I wrote upset you. For the sake of your children please speak to someone with a level understanding.

Dan @ 7/31/2014 12:42 PM

@diane. Become a cop then! Be one of the good guys. Develop PTSD, and alcohol or drug problem and die earlier early then the average American. Either everyone should have to do a two year stint as a cop or the entire police force needs to be disbanded and we should be allowed to defend for ourselves. I know I can take care of myself, I doubt Diane could say the same. So keep bitching and tell us how horrible we are. You reap what you sow.

Ima Leprechaun @ 8/4/2014 11:00 AM

Kyle and Diane really need to go back on their badly needed medication.

Jeri Wray @ 10/23/2014 7:52 AM

My question is: Why do officers not routinely carry other, non-lethal means of animal control in their vehicles? WHy are they so quickly drawing down on family pets that are in their own yards and behaving as they are supposed to behave-which is to protect their families? I'd really like an answer. There are too many cases recently of officers entering locked back yards or front yards and family pets being killed because they are in their own territory doing what they feel is there job to do-namely, guard and protect it. Please explain. This issue is getting more incendiary by the day out here in the non-police world. The gap between the police and the folks they are supposed to be protecting is getting wider everyday because of this one issue. We need to all be on the same side against crime and criminals. Those of us out here in our homes need to know that police will protect US and those we love...namely our children and our beloved pets, which are like our children to many of us.

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