Protest at state capitol a response to officer who shot, killed dog in man’s backyard

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SALT LAKE CITY – A rally was held in Salt Lake City Saturday, and those who attended demanded justice for a dog that was shot and killed by a Salt Lake City police officer.

The Justice for Geist rally was held at the State Capitol, and the event is the latest in a movement that began when a police officer shot and killed a dog on June 18.

Officer Brett Olsen was searching for a missing child when he entered the dog owner’s backyard, and he said he shot the animal because it was charging at him and he felt threatened. A video of the dog’s owner, Sean Kendall, confronting police outside his home went viral, click here the footage.

Kendall claims Salt Lake City Police Department chief Chris Burbank is calling their movement “violent” and he alleges that police are trying to cover up what really happened.

"To me, this reeks of a cover-up,” Kendall said. “Officer Olsen had no right to go in my backyard. He had no right to shoot my dog in the head. And Chief Burbank is protecting him."

FOX 13 News reached out to the Salt Lake City Police Department for comment several times on Saturday but has not yet received a response.

Participants at the rally said they want justice for the dog and they want police to start wearing devices that record audio and video while they are on duty. They also said they want authorities to recognize that pets are an extension of people’s families.


  • Tim Stout

    Dog murderer Brett William Olsen, 40, Hasn’t been seen? No statement No apology? Where is he hiding? Is he vacationing in Hawaii or honing his killing skills at the target range so that when he shoots “you” and your family dog… runs to his car and speeds away… only to leave grief and anger in his wake, the true act of a coward. And Chief Burbank your a national clown, you’ve failed to train and supervise you department. No wonder SLC-PD has only 1800 likes on Facebook. Arlington TX has 33K likes on Facebook, and they don’t shoot dogs, go check it out! Burbank you could learn how to make your community happy if you went to Arlington for some lessons. Or better yet, the City would be well served by finding a replacement.

    • Jason

      You are missing the point. This officer trespassed on private, fenced-in property without probable cause and shot the family pet. The child could be anywhere so lets look everywhere is not a reason to violate a persons rights. And if he honestly believed the child was in the yard that makes firing a weapon an even worse judgement call. So yes all this over a dog!

    • CHENRY

      No John, over an unlawful entry and excessive force and a police department that behaves with impunity and callous disregard for the laws it is sworn to uphold. Really.

  • Enc

    i saw this guys distraught video as he raced towards cops beside himself with grief and incredulity that his best friend , the dog had been slaughtered on a whim by a moronic cop.. This has to stop. We need to start arresting cops for crimes. not just pretending to discipline them for a week. Cops are becoming criminals .. over militarized, badly trained. hiring punks and more. There are probably still some good cops around. but this cancer is spreading throughout cities police forces, who now equip like a futuristic soldier and use tanks to collect on parking tickets. It has to stop. We need congress to pass some laws to arrest a few cops. Lock em up.. and send the message

    • dave

      i dont believe the extent of the disciplinary action these officers receive is reported on by the news, so we dont really know what happened. but if your right and it is a slap on the wrist than im more pron to agree with you. i dont like the idea of a officer feeling like he or she needs to fear the law they uphold because i dont want them to hesitate to do what they think is right and good, but there does need to be some appropriate discipline in place to mitigate stupidity and callousness.

  • Rachel Keigley

    When a police officer kills someone’s companion animal, it deeply affects the animal’s human family, as well as the officer, the neighborhood, and the community. Check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s resource guide on dogs shot by cops, it covers the reasons why an officer would shoot a dog, what a pet owner can do to protect their dog, and steps law enforcement can take to prevent such tragedies.

  • Mike

    Had it been a citizen shooting a police dog, they would be facing life, so yes John, over a dog. Funny that the police officer attacking a police dog will never be treated the same way.

  • Christopher F Cheney

    For a chief to even suggest this protest is violet should be voted and fired as a chief of police. they were not violet in that video i didn’t here any issues anyone was arrested. the threat are the officers and a dimwitted chief who claims violence and the only violence was a gun shot to a dog who was in at fence in yard where the child was found in the home where it lived.

  • Matt

    I would hate to have been in the Mr Kendall was put in. My life probably would have been near the end. I would not be able to tolerate officer Olsen to continue life as he knew it. I could probably this day in age get in some sort of trouble for saying so — but the fact remains. I would have had to be killed or subsequently put in jail after my reactions.

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