A petition calling for the Metropolitan Police to be held criminally responsible for shooting dead a homeless man’s two dogs has reached more than a million signatures.
Louie Turnbull, 46, who was tasered and arrested at the scene, appeared in court earlier this week on charges of owning a dog that got dangerously out of control after a woman was allegedly attacked by one of them.
Police were called to Poplar, east London just after 5pm on 7 May for reports of a dog attack, where they found a woman with a leg injury that did not require hospital treatment. Witnesses to the attack have claimed she became entangled in the dogs’ leashes and was not badly injured.
Animal rights activists have expressed support for the petition, which describes the killing of the dogs, both of whom were on a lead at the time, as “barbaric” and “abhorrent.”
They claim the dogs, named Millions and Marshall. were not dangerously out of hand, and also accuse officers of causing the animals ‘suffering’.
Footage of dogs Marshall and Millions being shot dead by armed officers has been widely shared on social media
Louie Turnbull center), 46, who was tasered and arrested at the scene, appeared in court earlier this week
Rescue dog trainer and handler Sadie Geoghegan-Dann, who started the petition, wrote: “This is easily one of the most disgusting, repulsive and totally unjustifiable videos I have ever seen and once again, the Met Police must be held criminally accountable . for their wrongful acts and their unacceptable abuse of power.’
She added, “She [Police officers] continue to claim in their statement that these dogs were “dangerously out of control” and again, video evidence shows that is not the case.
‘The dogs even immediately calm down when their owner asks.
So why is it acceptable for the police to not only taser their owner, but SHOOT AND KILL BOTH DOGS AT CLOSE RANGE?!
One apparently doesn’t die right away either, and is left to suffer on the canal path while horrified onlookers are left screaming.
“And why does a police officer, who has one of the dogs tied to a post, choose to let that dog loose and run back to its owner, only to be shot as it runs away?”
The harrowing footage of the incident, which took place just meters from the boat where Mr Turnbull lived with his dogs, was shared massively on social media.
The Met Police have cleared two officers of misconduct in shooting the pets dead in east London, although an IOPC investigation is now underway following a series of complaints about the incident.
Both officers, meanwhile, remain on active duty.
At a recent protest outside Met Police headquarters, Mr Turnbull gave his account of what happened on 7 May: ‘They pulled out all their guns. They intimidated me and the dogs.
And all they did was try to protect me. I had them on the line, I pulled them away and they just killed them. I can not sleep’.
He added, “It was just so disgusting. All I did was try to get them back into the boat. And I would come out and talk to the police. But they weren’t into it.
Mr Turnbull was joined at the protest by hundreds of members of the public and Animal Rising activists.
Footage has now surfaced of Mr Turnbull sharing an intimate moment with his dogs while on the subway
Armed officers shot two ‘out of control’ dogs – named Millions and Marshall – in east London on May 7, amid reports they had stabbed a woman moments earlier
Animal Rising protesters outside New Scotland Yard hold a sign commemorating Marshall and Millions, the two dogs shot dead by Met Police officers on May 12
Hundreds of Animal Rising protesters (pictured) have gathered outside Scotland Yard to hold a candlelight vigil for the two dogs shot dead by Met Police officers earlier this week
Animal Rising co-founder Dan Kidby, who attended the wake, said: ‘Police have continued to act contrary to their duty to serve and protect us all – now resulting in the shooting of two beautiful dogs, who hours before were happy and full of life.
“We are here to show that as a community we will stand together and be peaceful and defiant in the face of injustice.”
Mr Kidby added: “We stand with the communities disproportionately affected by increased police powers, we stand with the Just Stop Oil and Republic non-violent protesters who were arrested for no reason last weekend, and we stand besides everyone who is saddened and outraged by the murder of two dogs in Poplar on Sunday.
‘We believe that a kinder and better world is possible.’
A spokesman for the Met Police described their version of events earlier this month: “As part of their investigation to protect the public, local officers, supported by specialists from the Dog Support Unit and Specialist Firearms Command, spoke to a man in the neighborhood owned by the two dogs.
“Following this interaction, which failed to satisfactorily control the dogs, police firearms officers destroyed the two dogs at the scene.
The owner of the dogs was arrested on the spot. Police Taser was fired. He was taken into custody and was later charged.
Mr Turnbull was charged with being the person or owner of a dog dangerously out of control and in possession or care of a dog while being disqualified for owning or keeping a dog.
At Thames Magistrates Court on 9 May, he pleaded guilty to the second charge but denied the first.
He will appear before Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 6.
IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said: ‘We understand the public concern over this incident and it is appropriate that it be independently investigated.
“We will investigate whether the actions of the officers involved were reasonable and proportionate in all circumstances and in accordance with relevant policies and procedures.”