Police Department Under Fire After Video of Cop 'Brutally' Kicking Dog Goes Viral

Viral Ring doorbell footage that showed a Terre Haute, Indiana police officer "brutally" kicking a dog has sparked outrage.

The footage was shared to Reddit's "Public Freakout" forum late Tuesday night by a Redditor under the username u/CantStopPoppin. The post has received more than 30,000 votes and over 2,500 comments.

Early Wednesday morning, politician Spike Cohen also shared the video on Facebook, where it has received more than 7,000 views.

In the video, a police officer is seen approaching a family's front porch steps. As he makes his way onto the porch, the dog begins to bark, so the officer kicks the animal.

He continues to kick the dog—which is squealing at this point—until finally, the dog flees.

A second officer who is seen standing in the yard throughout the altercation makes his way onto the porch as the first officer knocks on the home's front door. A few moments go by, but no one answers.

Somewhere off-camera, a neighbor yells at the police to let them know that the home's residents are gone. The video ends with the police leaving the property.

Online commenters were angered by the video's contents, and many took to the Terre Haute Police Department's Facebook page to demand answers.

"Do y'all train officers to beat animals or is that just the POS Chambers agenda? Makes ya wonder how many times this has happened before. Dude needs to be fired and charged. Truly sickening," said one Facebook commenter.

"Curious if your officer that beat a poor dog in a video circulating all over Facebook is still working for you? Absolutely disgusting! I pray that poor baby is ok, this officer is terminated for animal abuse and the owners sue like crazy!" exclaimed another.

Both u/CantStopPoppin and Cohen alleged that the police were responding to a home invasion when the incident occurred; however, the Terre Haute Police Department said that this claim was false. Rather, the officers were responding to a complaint about an "aggressive white pitbull."

According to the police department's public statement made via Facebook, the Vigo County Central Dispatch received a call that the pit bull had been "charging at everyone that goes by. RP advised that he has bitten a child and a mailman in the past and is very very aggressive."

The department explained that its officers visited the residence last year after receiving a complaint about the same dog.

"A check revealed that on May 2, 2020, at approximately 7:50 p.m., officers were sent to the same address for a white pit bull that had bitten an 11-year-old girl," said the department.

"At that time, officers reported that an adult female resident had indicated that her daughter had left the gate open and the dog had gotten out and went after the juvenile victim. The adult female was cited for Failure to Restrain a Dog Resulting in Bite or Attack," the statement continued.

The department stated that full bodycam footage from the event will be released later today; however, they provided a play-by-play of what the footage depicts.

They also shared the first few minutes of the bodycam footage to their Facebook post, which showed the events leading up to the viral moment, as well as the viral moment itself.

A formal investigation has been launched, and the officer involved has been placed on "administrative duty assignment," according to the department.

"While the conduct in the video has been determined by the prosecutor to not constitute a crime by the officer and the body camera footage is in sharp contrast to the original social media narrative, we will still be objectively evaluating the conduct to see if it violates any departmental policies or directives," the department said.

The department also claimed that the dog's owner has not lodged an official complaint.

"Upon learning of this video, we contacted the male resident and asked multiple times if he wished to make a complaint, and he declined," they said.

Despite the department's detailed account, commenters expressed that they were still unhappy with how the officer conducted himself.

"Regardless of the call, treating an animal that way should have consequences. He should be terminated and prosecuted as such. Lowest form of garbage," wrote one commenter.

"Do you really think this looks better? If this was an animal situation then why were police sent and not animal control? He clearly did not know how to respond to this situation properly and the aggression still seems unnecessary based on this video," stated another.

A third commenter added: "What a pathetic excuse. This is not how you treat any animal, let alone an aggressive one."

"The officer noticed the dog was cornered on the porch and went in to attack. He had many options available to him, and he chose the option where he could inflict the most damage," said a fourth.

Newsweek reached out to the Terre Haute Police Department for comment.

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Viral Ring doorbell footage that shows a Terre Haute police officer “brutally” kicking a dog has sparked outrage. The officer has been placed on "administrative duty assignment," according to the department. artas/istock