GRAPHIC: Dog owner posts video of talk with officers after dog killed

Warning: Some content in this video may not be appropriate for all audiences.

SALT LAKE CITY — Eight days after a Salt Lake City Police Officer shot and killed a man’s dog during a search for a missing child, the pet’s owner has released a video showing his first encounter with police.

Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, Sean Kendall said internal affairs investigators took a look in his backyard and Kendall said the officer was about 20 feet into his backyard when he fired two shots, killing his 2-year-old weimeraner, “Geist”

Salt Lake City police said they were searching Kendall’s neighborhood in Sugar House June 18 for a missing 3 year old when the officer went into Kendall’s backyard and felt threatened by Geist, causing the officer to open fire.

In a video recently posted, Kendall records himself right after he’s heard the news.

“About 15 minutes ago, I got a phone call from Utah Animal Control calling to tell me that an officer had shot and killed my dog. He was inside the backyard in a fenced off area,” said Kendall in the video.

He filmed himself driving home to question Salt Lake City police. Once at home, in the area of 2500 South 1500 East, Kendall says to a few officers standing outside his home, “I’m asking why you guys went on my property and why he felt the need to kill my dog.”

The officer who pulled the trigger was gone by that point, so Sgt. Joseph Cyr talked with Kendall.

“We entered the yard looking for a lost child. He was threatened by the dog and shot the dog. That’s as simple as it gets,” Sgt. Cyr said.

“So I get to bury my dog because an officer couldn’t back up and close the f—ing gate,” Kendall said during the exchange. “Something’s gotta change, and I know it wasn’t you. I’m sorry but i’m f—ing pissed.”

Salt Lake City Police aren’t saying what specific threat Geist posed to the officer, adding that it would be premature to comment during an open investigation.

Meanwhile, all seven Salt Lake City Council members sent a letter to police chief Chris Burbank Wednesday, saying the department needs to “educate” the public on police procedures when a child goes missing and how a search of nearby properties should be conducted.

The council also said Wednesday it wants a police civilian review board to independently review the case, “…to determine if appropriate force was used, and if the entry to the private property was appropriate. We request that both investigations be thorough and deliberate with results released to the public as soon as possible.”

The full letter is available as a PDF, here: Salt Lake City Council letter regarding Geist

Carly Arky, director of communications for the Humane Society of Utah, spoke about the issue.

“Within the community at large there’s a lot of people who have animals and have pets and are guardians of pets, they want the answers too,” he said.

While the council said it applauds the police department’s efforts to work with the Humane Society to give officer’s additional training to deal with animals, the Humane Society’s spokesman said there’s been no communication.

“I think we’re suited to work with the police department, but that’s up to them to contact us,” Arky said. “The story’s building. The story is building, and I think the frustration is building.”

FOX 13 News has made multiple attempts to get more details on the officer’s side of the story. We’ve been told there will be no further comment until the investigation is complete.

The Humane Society of Utah thinks this public relations nightmare is only going to fuel a “Justice for Geist” rally scheduled for Saturday.

Related stories:

Dog owner wants officer fired after his dog was shot, killed

Salt Lake Police facing questions after officer enters man’s yard, shoots and kills dog

SLC police reviewing training for animal encounters, rally planned in support of dog shot by cop

209 comments

  • Cornelius

    Putting aside whether or not the he should have been in the yard, don’t police officers carry other methods of protection? Wouldn’t a taser or mace be equally effective? An officer wouldn’t just shoot a person who started yelling at them, they might tase the person, but they wouldn’t shoot them. Without having all the facts, this seems like a cop would was looking for a reason to shoot something and thought like a dog was a good excuse.

    • Jack M

      Unfortunately to use a tazer the dog would of had to be close enough and turned sideways to provide enough surface area to allow the barbs to contact and when you account for the barbs spreading out when shot you have to be dead on and fire at an exact time and only have one shot. And this would place the officer at risk of still being attacked. For pepper spray (I like this stuff), it is great in the right situation. And yes this would of been a ideal circumstance. But sadly with advancement like tazers more and more I seem to notice as officer up grade the items carried on their belts with more effective devices things like pepper spray is left in the car and unless the officer as perceived a immediate need like crowd control, it’s rarely taken out of the car.

  • Debbie

    Where is the respect for our law enforcement officers? They put their lives in danger to protect we citizens and this kind of criticism is the thanks they get! If a dog is a threat, the owner needs to take responsibility for the threat to an officer’s life and live with the consequences. If the dog had attacked the officer or another person, the dog would have had to been put down.

    • Billy Berkley

      Respect is given where it’s earned. THIS action is not worthy of being respected. Law Enforcement Officers are not out randomly roaming the streets at their own expense Debbie. They’re paid to do it, because they applied for the job and got it. No one ‘makes them’ be cops… so with that much responsibility must also come THAT MUCH MORE integrity. If they can’t handle it, get out of the business. The dog was no threat to anyone. It was in it’s OWN YARD, and the LEO was the one out of place. The dog DIDN’T attack anyone, so don’t throw out a faux argument as to “if the dog” this or that. It would have at least been fitting IF the dog had ripped the cops face off and THEN he shot it, but no: he was “threatened” so he shot it. The cop should be evaluated for being sociopathic at the very least.

      • Fred Smith

        I know if this happened to my dog, it would come down to an eye for an eye, and I am sorry to say that. My dog is my best friend as well and is a family member. This cop eliminated a family member.

      • Bdub

        If someone’s child is vicious enough to attack a cop, then it probably should be shot. And if the parents keep that child locked up in the backyard like a dog, then they should be shot too.

    • HoneyJoRumples

      Debbie – the owner of the dog says the dog was never aggressive at all and I believe him. In addition, the dog was in his own back yard, fenced in. Our family pets should be safe in their own backyard. Shooting should not be the first resort in such cases. The officer is lucky that Sean is only asking for resignation and charges filed. If anyone did this to my dog, I’d want blood.

    • Jerry Parrott

      Well, let me understand this Debbie. In your opinion, because a person has a badge it’s ok to unlawfully enter your yard and shoot an animal that would otherwise be no threat if said person had, oh I don’t know, peaked over the fence? The fact is that “Officer” is still a person, in the end, that person is still accountable in following the law, hell, even more so because he has that badge. This is a person that is supposed to be out protecting and serving, instead it seems to me that it’s in his head that he get’s to intimidate and ignore public safety. If, for example, you were the one looking for your child in a neighbors yard and decided, “Oh no, a threatening dog, I better stay in this yard and shoot it with my gun!” I guarantee you that there wouldn’t have been a news report, there wouldn’t have been any conversations today about it at all, there would just be you in jail for firing your gun in city limits, trespassing on private property, and if the law would ever catch up and let the public have a say in what governs us, murder of a domestic animal.

      Respect the police you say? When law enforcement respects the people they SERVE, only then will they deserve respect back.

      • Brett

        Dangerous cops should be outlawed. The fact of the matter is, this dog was protecting his domain which he had every single legal right to do. The trespasser was breaking the law.

        One of them killed the other. Tell me which one was dangerous?

    • DORIS

      No one knows what or how their pet behaves when you are not there…. put yourself in the officers shoes, this is a very unfortunate situation. Like the song says, Let It Go. For the betterment of all concerned. It is as sad as the dog that died on the balcony, no one seems to whine about that. Sir, behave like the adult you are, Cops have and love dogs too. Chief Burbank has done all he needs to. The cop should NOT be fired.

      • Brett

        Doris, seriously?

        first of all, people are very upset about the dog on the balcony…BUT THERE WAS NOT AN INTRUDER WHO ILLEGALLY ENTERED SOMEONE’S PROPERTY AND KILLED IT!!!!! The cop was breaking the law when he was confronted by the dog. The dog was legally in the right place, doing what it was supposed to do, protect their owner/property.

        Do you remember hearing about the burglar who fell through the window of a home WHILE attempting to burglarize a place…who then tried to sue the home owner? This cop and that burglar were in the same situation!!!! Both illegally breaking and entering.

        Don’t tell me “well he was looking for a child”

        This is not about a dog. Our 4th amendment rights don’t go out the door every time a cop decides what he is doing is more important.

    • Susan

      More than two decades of psychological and sociological research reveals that barbarous acts toward animals often lead to brutality toward humans. Such violence has been observed in serial killers, who often began their sprees of violence by practicing on animals, but is well-documented in cases of domestic violence and child abuse as well. This is the mindset of the SLPD.

    • Wip Kitten Amanda (@HisRuin)

      My Husband is a first responder. Not only graduating 5th in his class in the police academy, but now working as a Fire Fighter/EMT. (Promoted to E/O this year!!) Our family volunteers our time AND home to foster homeless pets (We currently are fostering two ‘pit bull’ type dogs) Has had dealt with dogs on scene before. Once one that was trying to ‘protect’ it’s owner and wouldn’t let my Husband treat him. He didn’t shot the dog. He didn’t even call animal control in. He had everyone back out of the room and asked for someone the dog knew and trusted to remove the dog from the room. THAT SIMPLE! And this was with someone in need of immediate medical care and all it took was a few seconds of SMART THINKING to keep it from getting out of control.

    • Suzanne

      Debbie, I personally have the utmost respect for law enforcement officers, being that I’m married to a SLC Police Officer. However, that said, I do not support Officer’s Olson’s decision to shoot and kill Mr. Kendall’s dog. Respect is earned, not given. Just because someone puts on a uniform, carries a gun and a badge doesn’t necessarily make he/she a person of good character. Postal workers and delivery people encounter dogs everyday on the job. They don’t carry guns and shoot every animal that may pose a threat. I believe this officer used his gun because he could, not because he should. It is NOT acceptable for someone (law enforcement or not) to enter someone’s private property and kill their pet. If he was that afraid of the dog, perhaps he should have immediately left through the same gate he entered, better yet, perhaps he should have looked through the gate to ascertain whether or not a dog was on the property. More often than not that is the case. And personally I’m tired of people downplaying the value of pets. It’s time law enforcement and society as a whole start viewing pets as loved/valued family members, not just property that is disposable. Nothing angers me more than the statement “it was just a dog”. My dogs are members of my family and I love them dearly. I am their guardian and they are mine. I would demand answers and accountability if someone had taken the life of my dog on my property. I will not and cannot stand behind the decision of this officer, I don’t even care if the dog barked and started running toward him, he could have left or used something less lethal.

    • Bernadette Ferriter

      Are you a real human being, Debbie, or just some mindless cop follower? A cop has just murdered a defenseless, harmless canine and your disgusting ‘rah rah for the cops’ is pathetic. You do not know what you are talking about and the only thing besides an extremely dangerous cowardly cop with a gun is your extremely dangerous low IQ. I am so sick of cops and cop followers using their mantra: “owner must take responsibility” because it means nothing. How was this owner not taking responsibility, Debbie Dim, when his dog was in his own yard and the murderer went where he did not belong?? Cop Privilege is a poison running through this country and one no longer hears much about the occasional ‘good cop’ because he/she is a rarity. We are now under the rule of thugs and murderers – that is the direction the police have taken. It is much like the Volkspolizei (you will need your history book for this one, Debbie Dim) in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s and 40s, who murdered anyone they did not like. Guess this maniac, Olsen, follows the same rule. Why use pepper spray or a tazer when you can be SuperCop and get to use your gun. Wow! Killing a beautiful dog in his own area? Guess Olsen felt like a real man…especially when he has twits like Debbie Dim praising him for his callousness and stupidity. That piece of trash did not even stay around to speak to the man whose best friend he had just murdered in cold blood. Another cowardly act by a cop making believe he is a man. Put him in prison with some dog lovers and we’ll see how much of a man he is.

    • joe

      Debbie your an ignorant person that obviously doesn’t respect a life for what it is just bc it’s an animal. That animal is ten times better than most of the human race and was acting exactly as any dog would/should when it’s home is being invaded. I feel sorry for u & I hope that officer that did that gets a wooden gun. Cause he obviously doesn’t know how to handle a real one. Maybe then he will realize there is other ways to handle hostle situations, instead of shoot first ask questions later. That cop should be on desk duty for the rest of his career.

  • witz

    WHY was a cop on private property in a private yard??? Can the police just waltz in anytime they like for whatever reason????

  • Patty patten

    How sickening horrible. RIP sweet Geist! I’m a WEIMARANA owner. They are most sorta only the least aggressive dog out there. Perhaps that no good piece of chit OR any others who have NOT been lucky enough to live the life of “the love of a dog” then you really haven’t loved! Felt threatened? Of getting licked to death? If this gets swept under the carpet…. Don’t worry.. The public will get him one way or another.

  • stressless

    police dogs are protected by the same rights as humans. the law has set the precedence of what a dogs life is worth. So this is basically 1st deg murder and the cop should be put away for life! you don’t just pull your gun out and shot to kill just like you can’t kill a police dog when it attacks you.

  • Jims

    To hear this kind of thing happening angers me as much as it does to Kendall; I would’ve reacted the very much the same way if this were to happen to my Shih Tzu. There was no reason for the Geist to die. I really hope this Officer Olsen gets what he deserves. AND I sure hope they at least found the missing kid…

    RIP Geist.

  • lee77

    When a child goes missing, even a few minutes can mean the difference between finding the child alive and finding him/her dead. Everyone bashing this police officer should ask themselves how they would feel if their child was missing and ended up dead because a police officer, who could have saved the child, stopped what he was doing to deal with someone’s threatening dog. Those criticizing the officer are saying, in effect, that the life of a dog is more important than the life of a child.

    • HoneyJoRumples

      BS, Lee. If you saw the video, you saw three different officers spending precious minutes dealing with the fallout of the shooting and talking to Sean Kendall rather than searching for that missing child. What about those precious minutes lost? Those man hours wasted? You are asking dog owners to be happy to sacrifice their own family members because cops are too lazy and too chicken to find a more effective, less lethal way of dealing with so-called aggressive dogs. That’s expecting quite a lot from dog keepers, and that’s unfair. If a cop can’t find your lost child without killing my dog, then he’s not much of a cop, is he? And by the way, there is no proof at all that Geist behaved aggressively. I don’t believe he did, anymore than Arzy, or Nala, or Cisco or Ava did. If you don’t know who these are, do some research and educate yourself on this issue.

    • Brett

      Lee77, let me fix your statement:

      When a child goes missing, or there is a burglar on the loose, or whenever a police officer feels the need, we should all line up outside out houses and respectfully present our identification and hope that they are having a good day.

      The constitutions should only apply when there is not an officer wanting to enter our property. We should not feel safe on our own land, we should not have the right to stop an officer if he feels there is some other (whatever) reason he feels is more pressing.

    • Joe

      @Lee77
      This whole issue has gotten so big, and it’s just a dog! If they had found the toddler dead somewhere, there’d be a little news article, and everyone would forget about it. But no, this is about a dog getting shot, so it deserves media attention, and a rally, apparently. Since when does the life of a dog have so much value? No one is truly going to know what happened in that officer’s head when he shot the dog. We really can’t judge him. He may have thought that the toddler HAD gotten into that yard, been attacked by the very dog that was now being aggressive to him, and shot the dog in the best interest of the child. Or something totally different may have happened. We won’t know. But seriously? He needs to be charged with a crime and fired? It’s a dog. Get a grip, people.

      • Jerry Parrott

        Sometimes it amazes me at how something can just go right over peoples heads. This isn’t about the dog. This isn’t about protecting animals. It’s about the complete and total disregard of our basic rights and the way our privacy is treated like a nuisance. It’s about the Police Force thinking that they can do what they want when they want, because who is going to hold them accountable? Us? Yeah, with amazing “civilians” like yourselves we sure will show them!

        Pull your head out and realize that the loss of power from the people is not something that just happens over night. It happens with little things like this scenario happening over and over again until it becomes the norm and is just accepted. I’m not buy any means a militant, nor a conspiracy theorist or anything like that. I’m simply confounded that people would defend a cops disregard for the law.

      • Brett

        Joe, Jerry is right. You COMPLETELY miss the point here. This is a 4th amendment issue. Anyone who says this is about a dog is not getting it.

        It is very sad that the dog was killed. If it had escaped the fenced off area and had confronted the officer on the street, and the officer felt that his own safety was at risk…the officer takes precedence every single time. HOWEVER, if the officer enters a place where he is trespassing, every act he commits there is against the law. He is, essentially, on the same legal status as a burglar who is breaking and entering.

      • Suzanne

        Joe, seriously??? Just a dog? Have you ever owned or loved a dog? Perhaps if you did, you wouldn’t make such an ignorant statement. I am married to a SLC Police Officer so I know what a difficult, thankless job they have. However; that said, I do not support Officer Olsen’s decision to enter private property and kill Mr. Kendall’s dog. It was poor judgement, period. He used his gun because he could, not because he should. Postal workers and delivery people encounter dogs everyday on the job. They don’t carry guns and shoot every animal that may pose a threat. And nothing angers me more than the statement “it’s just a dog”. I have two dogs. They are members of my family and I love them dearly. Unbelievable how so many people depend and use dogs for their benefit, i.e., police dogs, service dogs, rescue dogs, etc. But yet have so little regard for their life. They give so much and get so little in return. “Just a dog”? I think not!

  • Pablo Zamora

    NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO KILL YOUR DOG, CAT OR FAMILY MEMBER IF THEY COME INTO YOUR PROPERTY UNWELCOMED. I AGREE WITH FRED SMITH AND TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH DEBBIE. YOU SHOOT MY DOG AND THAT IS LIKE YOU SHOT MY SON OR DAUGHTER. YOU BEST MOVE TO PLANET MARS BECAUSE I WILL MAKE YOU PAY.

  • Bob Harris

    The police murder people in cold blood with impunity. Why then would they have regard for a dog?

    Just check out the case from Long Beach CA where they killed a guy in his backyard because he was “armed” with a garden hose nozzle.

    • Brett

      Let me restate what you said to see if I understand it correctly:

      “I don’t like things you like…so you shouldn’t have 4th amendment rights.”

      Sum it up well?

  • J. Lavalliere

    The police should use a little common sense. A three year old being able to unlatch a six foot privacy fence is not vey likely. I have a four foot fence and I doubt a three year old could open it. Unless the door of the fence was open or the police officer had a visual of the child (or heard the child) in the yard, the officer had no reason to gain entry. Besides, don’t police officers have mace? Why use deadly force?

  • Paulina

    The dog is a member of family got 3 months old puppy feed him, play with him, watch like grow up and he start to be the best ever friend on forever. Dog give you unconditional love and happiness.
    Dog was on his property and never aggressive to people but that’s all reaction from dog to try to be aggressive when anyone entrees to his property to protect. That’s all dogs will do it. The dog was in right place but the officer wasn’t ! Question is why he didn’t back up when he saw the dog? That would be to everyone reaction to back up. I also saw on video the dog was with big distance from entrees. The dog maybe even not attack the officer because was big distance. In my opinion is that when officer got entrees and saw the dog he got scared and instead to leave the property for him was easy to shoot the dog.

  • Paulina

    Btw why without permission cup is coming to someone’s property? Another why he was thinking the child is there? Was any strong motivation? Why he killed the dog if the dog was far from to entrees ? Why he didn’t contact to the owner of the house to allow him to search all the property?
    Something is not right not even about to shooting the dog but the owners right to protect own his property. I’m not sure what law is saying ….if the cup can come to anybody property without permission and strong evidence ? If yes means law doesn’t protect you at all they can come anytime to your own house shoot your dog and by mistake shoot you in darkness because u might look like suspect.
    Thanks

  • Paulina

    The owner of dead dog should get a good lawyer and fight back for what happened!
    Police officer should not come to the privet property without permission and contacting with the owner.

  • David Elston

    Cop kills family pet. This has become prevalent throughout the US, in many cases it appears to be the new “intimidation of choice” used by police, don’t believe it? A quick google search will show just how common place it is. Guess what, this mans yard is private property, and even a badge does not convey permission to violate that except in a very narrowly defined set of situations and looking for a missing person is not one of them. This kind of rampant behavior by police nationwide is widening the gap between citizen and police. When I was growing up we had “peace officers” now all we have is “law ENFORCEMENT” even the name is intended to be intimidating. They bust through doors in the middle of the night wearing black, with identification only appearing on the backs of their shirts so the other police know who they are. Plus they almost always wear masks as well. Wait a minute, this sounds more like how the bad guys dress. Well they do yell stuff like “Police” and “Do not move” so you will know who they are and not resist. The trouble is the criminals have learned to yell the same things in a home invasion. And we are surprised when a cop or a homeowner is killed in one of these raids? The cops have a tough job to do, and I know that. I have friends and relatives that are cops or work in the department, but it is high time we demilitarized our civilian police and went back to the “peace officer” mentality.

  • Efram Zimbalist

    Sounds like an execution by a typical retarded borderline sociopath. He’ll get off with out even a reprimand because shooting a dog is like seizing a persons property in the eyes of the law, no consequence. But let a civilian shoot a police dog(even if it attacks you mistakenly) and see what a $h!t storm you find yourself in. Public servants should be just that, but any more we are enslaved by them. I hope Geist is avenged and I can read about it in the news.

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