St. Paul PD defends killing dogs while executing search warrant that didn't lead to arrest

Categories: Animals, Police

dogskilledbystppolice.jpg
All screengrabs via Fox 9
Pit bulls Mellow, 5 (left), and Laylo, 13, were killed.
On Wednesday morning, a St. Paul Police Department SWAT team kicked down Larry Arman's door and shot his two beloved pitbulls to death.

Officers were executing a no-knock search warrant as part of an investigation instigated by Minneapolis police, law enforcement officials in both cities tell us. They didn't find much -- according to Fox 9, the search yielded clothing, a glass bong, and suspected marijuana crumbs in a metal grinder.

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Law enforcement officials tell us nobody was arrested, though charges of some sort could still be forthcoming after officials disclose exactly what they found during the search in court. That hadn't happened as of yesterday, but search warrants have to be filed in court within 10 days of a warrant being executed, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder says.

As if killing Arman's dogs wasn't bad enough, the SWAT team's gunfire came in close proximity to his two young children, who were sleeping on a mattress with Arman when the door to his St. Paul house on East Maryland Avenue near Jackson Street was kicked in, Fox reports.

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Arman admits he smokes pot recreationally but says officers had no reason to barge into his house.

Arman's fiance, Camille Perry, was in the bathroom getting ready for work at the time. As shots rang out, "The only thing I was thinking was my kids were going to get hit by bullets," she told Fox.

We asked St. Paul Police Department spokesman Paul Paulos about why a no-knock warrant was sought in this case. He wouldn't comment specifically but did offer the following response.

"The St. Paul PD trains in a manner that is safe and secure and has integrity, and anytime an animal has to be put down, that means the animal was a threat to that team member or to the team," he says, going on to confirm that St. Paul officers were indeed the ones who fired the shots that killed the dogs.

"That means [the dogs] took an aggressive stance," Paulos continues. "We know that animals are pretty much like family members, and it's not our intent when we enter a house to dispatch dogs. I think it's unfortunate that in this case the officer feared he himself would be bitten or one of his team members."

That sentiment was echoed by Elder.

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Perry says a lawsuit against police will be forthcoming.

"There's a myriad of reasons why any agency would do a warrant without knocking," Elder says. "It's a heightened level and they're not handed out easily. There are lots of reasons, whether it's officer safety, safety for the community, or the public, there's a lot of reasons why any law enforcement agency will request it."

We called Ramsey County jail officials to ask about Arman's criminal record. An official told us he has been arrested "more than 20 times," but not recently. The Pioneer Press reports that Arman last got out of prison a decade ago for a felony assault conviction and has priors for drug possession and possession of a pistol by a felon. He was convicted of misdemeanor DWI in 2011.

Arman and Perry already have a lawyer and are planning to sue police, the PiPress reports.

"The whole time all I could scream was, 'Stop shooting, stop shooting!'" Perry told the PiPress. "I just believe [police] didn't investigate enough."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.




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139 comments
bubsie1802
bubsie1802

St. Paul PD ~ Not only did you kill two family members, you did it while endangering the lives of children and they will get to live with that terror the rest of their lives.  Seriously, what do you think almost ANY dog would do when someone busts through their door?  The reason you shot them was because you just really don't give a shit.  Shame on your department.  Good luck on your suit, I hope you win!  I will do my part in sharing the info all over.  

michaelsb
michaelsb

"There's a myriad of reasons why any agency would do a warrant without knocking," Elder says. "It's a heightened level and they're not handed out easily. "   Bull loney......they are handed out like candy.....police just go to a judge that does not like to read.  They are rarely ever turned away. In this case, what did they think the dogs would do? They had no plan

Jennifer L. Olson
Jennifer L. Olson

How difficult is it to knock verse breaking a door Down. Discussing

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

"There's a myriad of reasons why any agency would do a warrant without knocking," Elder says. "It's a heightened level and they're not handed out easily."

Utter Baloney.  No-Knock warrants are handed out like candy.  We have the paramilitary police units and we're going to use them, whether they're needed or not.  And the pious blather about public safety?  Also baloney.  When a paramilitary unit demolishes your home, the only thing they're concerned about is their own safety.  That's why they're throwing grenades through windows, shooting up houses without verifying who is inside, assaulting the wrong address, executing pets, assaulting children, breaking furniture, and all the various things we've read about in just the past couple of years.

Who knows what this guy Arman is all about, or his history.  And it doesn't matter.  What matters is what the police actually did, or their reasons..  And it's highly unlikely we'll ever find out.

_Joe_
_Joe_

"The St. Paul PD trains in a manner that is safe and secure and has integrity..."


They may train that way, but they sure as hell aren't operating that way.  There's nothing safe, secure, or exhibiting integrity about busting down doors and letting bullets fly when sleeping children are present.


This shit has got to STOP.  I'm far more afraid of this kind of shit than I am of a dude that smokes a little reefer from time to time.

Bert Schlauch
Bert Schlauch

How many no-knock raids occur in wealthy, gated communities?

Kenny Nelson
Kenny Nelson

And if the house has been full of drugs and guns?

Dave2
Dave2

The current level of profesionlism in law enforcement is about as low as it can get. No one ever said that law enforcement was a safe way to earn a living, and no one can blame the police for trying to make their jobs safer. But the way police are shooting and killing, not just dogs, but people too, is reprehensible if not downright depraved. There are too many scenes of bullet ridden corpses, - shot repeatedly for what appears to be no good reason - and too many scenes of policemen beating and kicking subjects long after it appears to be necessary. The entire philosophy of police protection has degenerated to the point where "police state" comes to mind. We need a higher caliber of police officer: policemen who can assess clearly a situation and control their impulses. And, there needs to be a non-political police overseeing body that can deal firmly with violations; one that cannot be bought off. 

John Ball
John Ball

Well of course they did...if they can justify brutality against a human being they certainly can against a dog.

Daniel Derasmo
Daniel Derasmo

"Putting their lives on the line for your safety." Yes, we'll all sleep easier tonight knowing that some ex-con has had his bong taken away, and that the cops are ready to kick in our doors with guns blazing if they suspect we might be rolling a joint. Thanks, guys!

jsmappy
jsmappy

These no knock warrants will continue to happen until WE THE PEOPLE are ALL prepared to kill and DO KILL anyone breaking into our homes. When it becomes too dangerous to terrorize the tax payers, then and only then will this total & complete Bullsh*t stop. If the Police Chief cannot recognize that this is WAY over the line, then we have some SERIOUS problems!!!  Killing over pot? Whats next? A firing squad for catching rain water? ABSOLUTELY. Let the bodies hit the floor......... 

Dawn Smart
Dawn Smart

I don't trust cop's at all if any of my dogs get killed they would have y lock me up in the crisis center

Xochitl Mendoza Ramirez
Xochitl Mendoza Ramirez

What the fuck, how is it justifiable? You break into a person's home with sleeping children.CHILDREN.of course their fist reaction would be to protect their home and the kids, that's what dogs or any sane person does.this is disgusting.

alextripp1
alextripp1

So a SWAT team wearing full body armor is justified shooting dogs? Makes total sense.

Jason Farruggia
Jason Farruggia

Kenny go away. Fact is it was wrong period. If any of us walked into someone's house and did the same, we would be locked up on criminal charges. Why? Because what was done was criminal, cops or not. Hiding behind the veil of a badge does not change the action in any way.

Kathleen Quist Johnson
Kathleen Quist Johnson

NO knocks without a warrant does not sound legal by any means. How can this continue without any repercussions?

Blair Harmon
Blair Harmon

....And, just because the cops say they were dangerous dogs doesn't mean they necessarily were either. You sound awfully naive to trumpet the authorities' version of events as the unvarnished truth. Look, I'm not questioning the value of a human's life over a dog's. I am questioning a no knock search of someone's home that yields essentially nothing in the way of criminality, and absolutely nothing in the way of an arrest, that ends up with 2 dead dogs. Not to mention multiple shots fired with innocent kids in the house.

Chris Kurle
Chris Kurle

The tragic story of the trauma a Saint Paul family endured Wednesday is yet another example of the over militarization of our Law Enforcement agencies in the name of ?The War on Drugs? and the ?rubber stamping? of search warrants often on the ?testimony? of anonymous ?informants.? While executing a ?No Knock? warrant the SWAT team also executed two family pets who apparently charged them after witnessing what would appear to be a home invasion. Most canines are protective of their families so this behavior shouldn?t be considered out of the ordinary. Where the occupants terrorists or dangerous drug kingpins? No, just a father, who uses cannabis recreationally, and his family including two small children. What was found? A glass bong and a metal grinder with the likely remnants of cannabis were produced in the search. What is the greater harm here, a SWAT team firing live rounds in close quarters with small children or a plant that is arguably safer than alcohol? Would it have been unreasonable to knock on the door and announce that the officers were there to serve a warrant? If the residents cooperated the dogs could have been safely secured along with the children. We need to have better oversight around these styles of raids and the approval of search warrants in general.

Kenny Nelson
Kenny Nelson

Actually I don't believe any Nazis were convicted for shooting dogs. But way to compare apples to oranges. The Nazis didn't have a warrant to execute people by an elected judge they just did it. Hitler never even got the majority of the vote ever he just took power.

Kenny Nelson
Kenny Nelson

Actually I'm having a very lovely day. Thanks for asking!! I for one value humans over dogs, but that's just me. And I hope you never get bit by one in have to go through ready shots. You're right my dogs were not killed and I don't think any of yours work either. Just because it was a family pets doesn't mean they weren't dangerous animals. No I don't think the swat team should have been used in this case and I'm not sure they should have even got a no knock warrant. I wasn't there so for all I know they shot the dogs because there statist bastards. However I tend to believe that they were telling the truth when they said they felt threatened.

Kenny Nelson
Kenny Nelson

Not true sir the last 10 times the St. Paul swat team has encountered dogs no dogs were harmed. Cowardly? These cops with their lives on the line for your safety. Perhaps we should just get rid of cops then we can have Chicago where 81 people were shot over the Fourth of July weekend? Including 10 fatally. I will however agree with you that this needs to be investigated. Too often we just blame the cops and not the people responsible for sending the cops in. And I definitely think we should be asking ourselves why we need to use the swat team so much. Perhaps in the future videocameras on the swat team members will solve all these issues. But until I see evidence to the contrary good sir I will NOT just take the homeowners word for it that the dogs were completely harmless.

Teri West
Teri West

The fact that you got bit by a dog has absolutely nothing to do with this case. If anyone, cop or otherwise broke my door down, my dogs would bark at them at the very least. These dogs got killed because they were being dogs. They didn't deserve to die because these cowardly cops scared them. These cops and the system that allowed this no-knock warrant need to be investigated. Of course they can claim they felt threatened. Dicks.

Hilary Lammers
Hilary Lammers

Jenilee Douville, this is the story I was telling you about...

Michael Mitchell
Michael Mitchell

It is a SHAME that public employees of St. Paul can get a piece of paper that will let them walk into your home and shoot to death your pets... And the same public employee can be shielded from the law.

bubsie1802
bubsie1802

Let's not forget about this raid...."They shot the dog and made the handcuffed children sit next to the bloody corpse..."  http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/cops-kill-dog-handcuff-kids-in-wrong-house-raid/  Seriously, what is wrong with you people?  And Larry, I am in NO way saying it was ok for them to shoot your dogs but if you are into some drug activity that shouldn't be you are not creating a safe place for your family either.  I don't know the facts so am just speculating on that and do not mean to be rude....

lycz0001
lycz0001

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lycz0001
lycz0001

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henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0

None, those involve a polite discussion among attorneys. If the target deems it convenient they may decide to stop by the precinct office for a little Q&A, with the attorney present of course, but otherwise an ironclad case must be presented before any action is taken.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0

It wasn't, more and more often these SWAT exercises are coming up empty, because they're just trying to justify their existence.

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Dave2 Hi Dave, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@John Ball: Hi John, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@jsmappy Hi JS Mappy, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Dawn Smart: Hi Dawn Smart , please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Xochitl Mendoza Ramirez Hi Xochitl, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@alextripp1 Hi Alex, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Kathleen Quist Johnson Hi Kathleen, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Blair Harmon: Hi Blair, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Kris Kurle: Hi Kris, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

dabdiedre
dabdiedre

according to the supreme court decision San Jose Chapter of the Hells Angels v City of San Jose even in the commission of a raid or no knock warrant they have to execute/exhaust non lethal means in order to subdue family pets before they use lethal means.  Think of the commotion in the house when those officers just busted in there.  If it would have been a burglar that did that no one would have questioned the actions or behavior of the dogs.  If the burglar or intruder would have shot the dogs they would have been charged.  The dog was most likely barking because they just busted into the house.  If the owners would have been given the opportunity to secure their pets this wouldn't have happened.  They knew there were dogs and planned the execution of the no knock warrant by law accomodations for the families pets to be subdued non lethally needed to be planned also.  Their fourth amendment of the constitution was violated.  The dogs were illegally seized, they were not included in the warrant.  In the Hell's Angels case the Supreme Court ruled that the officers used inappropriate force even though the dogs in that case were considered vicious.  This year alone over 400 dogs have been shot by police officers in the United States.  Not one police officer in 50 years has died at the hands of a family pet.  Postal workers encounter dogs daily of different breeds and temperments and the only thing they are armed with is pepper spray.  Why do they not have to shoot family pets?  Because there are other ways to subdue them that are very effective.  Pepper Spray is 99.9% effective in dog encounters.  As far as this man's criminal history it was not the reason these pets were shot.  The officer chose to use lethal means and it had nothing to do with what they felt the owner allegedly had done. 


lycz0001
lycz0001

@Teri West Hi Teri, please visit my page Justice for Tito on Facebook and consider supporting the Freeze Don't Shoot-Minnesota March on the Capitol.  Only in numbers can we send a message to our elected officials that it is not okay for police to kill our furry family members.  Thanks!

lycz0001
lycz0001

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