The city of Hartford, Connecticut agreed to pay almost $900,000 to a family whose 3-year-old Saint Bernard dog, named Seven, was fatally shot 11 years ago by two police officers.
Hartford Police Department sergeants Johnmichael O’Hare and Anthony Pia entered the Glen Harris family’s fenced in yard without a warrant. They had received a tip that weapons were being stashed in an abandoned car. The tip turned out to be completely false.
The two cops said they shot one of the family’s Saint Bernards because the dog growled and sprinted at them. The pet was shot by both cops right in front of Harris’ daughter.
Glen Harris filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for violation of his family’s constitutional rights and for emotional distress. The court found that the two officers violated the civil rights of the Harris family by entering the property without a warrant. The Fourth Amendment protects against unlawful search and seizure.
Harris told local news,
Homeowners in Hartford might not make as much money as I do for a living, so they wouldn’t be able to fight this case that I fought. They wouldn’t be able to pay attorney Schoenhorn and their rights would’ve been trampled on, so I feel it’s my obligation to take it as far as it needs to go… The worst part about it is watching the wound open up on my daughter every time we bring this up. On the way here today she was crying. It’s something that I can’t make better as a parent. That really sucks.
Hartford city council approved the $885,000 settlement, which includes damages plus legal fees, on Monday night. The fact that the pet was killed right in front of the daughter likely played a factor.