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Commerce City Police Officer Charged With Animal Cruelty For Killing Dog

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Chloe was shot to death by a Commerce City police officer in November of 2012  (credit: CBS)

Chloe was shot to death by a Commerce City police officer in November of 2012 (credit: CBS)

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4)- The Commerce City Police officer who shot and killed a family dog last month has been charged with animal cruelty.

The shooting happened Nov. 24 when officers received a call of a dog running unattended in the neighborhood.

When officers tried to catch the dog, Chloe, they had trouble. They used a taser and tried a neck harness.

Police Officer Robert Price then fired five shots, killing Chloe. The incident was caught on video.

Price said the pit bull mix was acting aggressively before he opened fire.

The dog’s owner, Gary Branson, said his pet was not acting out and shouldn’t have been shot.

The Adams County District Attorney decided to charge Price with aggravated cruelty to animals, a class six felony, after a thorough investigation.

In the past three weeks investigators reviewed reports by responding officers, both police and animal control officers, canvassed the neighborhood and interviewed additional witnesses, collected evidence from the scene, reviewed video of the shooting, reviewed the 911 tape and reviewed the necropsy of the dog at CSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

The Adams County DA decided to file charges against Price after reviewing those elements of the investigation.

“The city has placed the officer on administrative leave and we’ve also authorized review to not only look at city policies but city operations,” said Commerce City spokeswoman Michelle Halstead.

Branson said he is considering legal action against the Commerce City Police Department. There is also a Facebook page entitled “Justice for Chloe.”

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