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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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They Serve, Protect and Shoot Your Dog

CHICAGO (CN) - A Chicago cop shot a friendly, 7-month old puppy as it wagged its tail, and when the dog's owners spoke to the media, ticketed them for walking the dog off the leash, the couple claims in court.

Al and Barbara Phillips sued Chicago and its police Officer Brandon Pettigrew in Cook County Court.

Al Phillips claims Pettigrew issued his car a parking ticket on Saturday, Dec. 1, though Phillips says he "was parked in front of his residence in the same location that he routinely parked for 40 years without incident."

A neighbor told Phillips his car was being ticketed so he went outside to speak with the officer, followed by his 7-month-old bull terrier puppy named Colonel Phillips, who weighed less than 30 lbs.

"Colonel was not acting in a threatening or vicious manner to any person including the defendant, City of Chicago Officer Brandon Pettigrew, or any other person, and in fact, was acting with pleasant nature with his tail wagging," the complaint states.

"Colonel had been part of the Phillips family since he was 8 weeks old, and was of a championship show line, with the Phillips family hoping to show him in the future.

"On December 1, 2012, and at all times relevant herein, defendant, City of Chicago Officer Brandon Pettigrew unholstered his gun and shot at Colonel, twice.

"After being hit by either ricochet or shrapnel, from the firearm of City of Chicago Officer Brandon Pettigrew, Colonel ran a few blocks where he was found cowering and shaking in bushes and was helped out by neighbors and taken for emergency veterinary care.

"After shooting Colonel, the defendant, City of Chicago Police Officer Brandon Pettigrew, reholstered his gun and continued writing the parking ticket to the plaintiff, Al Phillips."

Two days later, Phillips says, two Chicago police officers drove by his house and saw a Fox news crew speaking with him.

Ninety minutes later, the two cops "returned and questioned the plaintiff, Barbara Phillips, as to why the media was involved in the shooting of the dog," the complaint states.

The Phillips say the cops, one whom they believe to be a lieutenant and one a sergeant, "insinuated that Barbara Phillips and her family should let this matter go and not push it any further against the City of Chicago Police Department or the individual officer."

When Al Phillips refused to drop the matter, the officers "handed him a citation for allegedly having his dog off leash, 2 days prior," according to the complaint.

Colonel is recovering after undergoing five hours of surgery, ABC News reported.

The Phillips seek punitive damages for excessive force, unreasonable seizure, violation of due process, and emotional distress.

They are represented by Erron Fisher with Fisher & LaMonica.

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