- An expert said that the police were forced to “react immediately” during the incident.
A dispute has erupted over whether armed Metropolitan Police officers used “appropriate” force when they shot two dogs to death and tasered their owner, while an expert said they had to make a snap decision.
Shocking videos posted on social media by horrified witnesses show a group of police officers following a man with two barking dogs on short tracks along a canal in Limehouse, east. Londonon Sunday.
Officers were seen in a heated row with the man as he continued to grab his dogs and attempt to calm them down.
The situation quickly escalated when one of the black dogs was shot dead, while the screaming owner was tasered and pinned to the ground. The second dog was later shot dead as witnesses watched the scene from the balconies of the surrounding apartment blocks.
The dispute over the appropriate use of force comes as an expert said police received reports of a dog attack and were forced to “react immediately” when one of the “dangerous” animals made its way towards officers.
London police defended their actions, explaining that officers had “a duty to act where necessary before further injury is caused.” The Met professional standards unit is investigating the incident.
Police commentator Graham Wettone told Sky News he has spoken to dog handlers who were “equally unhappy” with how events have played out.
Although he noted that officers were called on reports of dogs that were out of control and attacking a woman.
He said: “They have one of the dogs under control who then escaped from that dog catcher and then heads towards the back of the officers who are dealing with the owner.”
‘At that moment you have to react immediately. I’m sure the officers didn’t want to act the way they did, it seems really distressing.
While the woman did not require hospital treatment, Wettone noted that officers would not have known it at the time.
Since then, a makeshift memorial has appeared for the two ‘runaway dogs’ who were shot dead.
A bouquet of flowers in a red bow and a handwritten sign have since been left against a wall at the scene. The sign reads: “In memory of two beloved dogs who were tragically shot by the Metropolitan Police on 7th May 23”.
A woman, filming from a window on the opposite side of the canal, can be heard repeatedly saying ‘oh my God’ before shouting ‘are you okay?’ the man after the shots.
Someone who filmed the scene said: ‘This stopped me in my tracks and it’s very upsetting.
“There had to be a way to restrain these dogs instead of shooting them.”
The chaotic scene saw groups of people pour out onto their balconies and rooftops to see what was causing the commotion.
The Met said they were forced to act quickly because “aggressive behavior by two dogs was of great concern.”
Officers had been called to the scene following reports that a woman had been attacked by the dog on Commercial Road in Tower Hamlets.
The dogs were said to be “of considerable concern” and posed a “significant threat to” the officers who attended the scene.
In a statement, the Met said: “Police were called just after 5pm on Sunday May 7 by a woman who had been attacked by a dog on Commercial Road, E14.
Officers attended the location where the aggressive behavior of two dogs was of great concern and posed a significant threat to them.
‘A man was arrested in connection with the incident for keeping a dog dangerously out of control and assault offences. He has been taken into police custody.
‘A Taser was discharged by the police.’
“No person was taken to the hospital.”
The statement continued: ‘No person was taken to hospital.
“This is never an easy decision for any officer to make, but police have a duty to act when necessary before further injury is caused.
The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will review the circumstances of the incident.