Bodycam video of cop shooting 2 dogs has been released

Warning, the footage contains upsetting scenes.
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New bodycam video showing the perspective of the police officer who shot two family dogs during a burglary call has been released.

Footage of the July 8 incident on Queen Ave. N. was released by Mike Padden, the attorney of the dogs' owner Jennifer LeMay, at a news conference Thursday.

The video is provided above – be aware it is hard to watch.

Her two Staffordshire Terriers were shot by Officer Michael Mays after he responded to a burglar alarm that was set off accidentally.

The video shows LeMay's pit bull, Ciroc, approach Officer Mays in what appears to be a fairly docile manner; tail wagging, turning away and then back towards the officer as he walked slowly through the yard.

There is little indication he "charged" at him as Mays said in his initial police statement.

Mays shoots Ciroc in the face, at which point the other terrier, Rocko, is shot three or four times after running towards May – with LeMay saying he came from inside the house.

The screams you can hear shortly after the audio starts is the sound of LeMay's 13-year-old daughter Vanessa, who watched the scene unfold from an upstairs window.

It later shows Mays explaining what he did to LeMay's sobbing, 18-year-old daughter, Courtney Livingston, who had set off the alarm accidentally and hadn't realized police had arrived her house.

"Hey, I'm gonna sit there and say sorry about this," Mays says. "I don't like shooting no dogs. I love dogs, so ... it's unfortunate. Are they A-OK?"

Speaking to a news conference on Thursday, Livingston said: "I never got an apology. I was just told it was unfortunate.

"I do not feel like he was sorry."

Attorney has questions over video's audio

The first 30 seconds of the video does not feature any audio, which Padden said is significant given that Officer Mays said Ciroc was growling at him before he opened fire.

This claim was backed by the Minneapolis Police Federation, which said Mays acted in line with his training, making a difficult decision to shoot as the animal was growling and slowly advancing on him.

Because there's no audio before Mays opens fire, there's no way his claim can be corroborated. But, LeMay said the footage does not show any sign her dog is growling (teeth are not bared, no lips rolled back, for example).

"This is a dog that basically walks up and said, 'Hey, who are you?'" Padden said, with LeMay noting mail carriers that come into her yard have never been bitten.

Padden said the bodycam issue is even more important in the wake of the shooting of Justine Damond by police on Saturday, an incident in which Officer Mohamed Noor did not have his bodycam operating.

"Why is our taxpayer money paying for these bodycams if the police aren't using them properly," LeMay told the press conference attendees.

Padden also said the video confirms the initial statement given by Officer Mays, which was made public by Minneapolis police, was incorrect. Mays had said "two large size pit bulls charged" at him.

Mays softened his account of the incident in a second report he made, making the claim that Ciroc was growling and advancing on him slowly.

Padden argued this second account probably wouldn't have been made had it not been for the home security camera footage of the incident, which LeMay shared on Facebook and promptly went viral.

Owner: There's nothing they can do to make up for this

LeMay remains furious, and expressed dismay at what she described as "trigger-happy" police.

"We are not safe in our homes," she said. "You can't call 911 anymore? You cannot walk up to a squad car to talk to a police officer anymore? My dogs can't play in the yard anymore? You can't take a drive with your girlfriend and her child anymore?"

She said Ciroc is still being fed through a tube after being shot in the face, which destroyed his saliva gland. He'll have to return to the hospital for procedures every four to six months.

Rocko meanwhile was in surgery on Wednesday to remove a cyst on the side of his neck, and is also going lame in his left shoulder.

Both dogs are service animals to her two youngest children.

"There's nothing they can do to make this right, for my children, for my dogs. Nothing they can do," she said.

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