- By Liz Jackson and PA Media
- bbc news
The Metropolitan Police have defended their handling of an incident in which two dogs were shot dead and a man was tasered.
The force said it was called just after 1700 BST on Sunday due to reports that a woman had been attacked by a dog on Commercial Road, Poplar, east London.
Footage on social media showed a man holding two dogs at nearby Limehouse Cut before he was tasered and the dogs were shot.
The Met said a man has been arrested.
Video showed a group of officers holding a catcher’s pole, riot shield and a gun approaching the man and dogs as he appears to walk away from them.
Police can be heard trying to persuade the man to hand over the dogs. The situation seems to be getting more and more heated before the two dogs were shot.
In a statement, a Met spokesperson said: “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.”
The statement added that a Taser was discharged during the incident and both dogs “were destroyed by police at the scene” but no one 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 statement continued.
Dogs ‘were not aggressive’
At the scene, a handwritten paper sign was posted on a wall to mark the spot where the two dogs were killed, with a bouquet of yellow flowers below. One couple told BBC London reporter Matt Graveling that they could not believe officers resorted to shooting the dogs.
“I don’t think the dogs looked aggressive, they were both wagging their tails,” said Jen, who did not want to give her last name.
“It was crazy, there were people standing on their balconies, it was five o’clock.”
“The way to deal with this with guns in the middle of the street, with us sitting on our balcony watching this, it just doesn’t feel safe.”
He said he disagreed with the Met’s statement that the dogs posed a threat, saying it was “a choice they made” because, at the time, “dogs weren’t aggressive.”
Jen’s partner Marcel said: “I was quite distraught, I was yelling at them, I was trying to stop it somehow but I couldn’t.”
He added: “We feel a bit powerless that things like this can happen.
“I guess it’s obviously a scary situation down here, but I’m not sure it was necessary to take something that looked like a gun and shoot the dogs.”
The Met’s professional standards directorate reviewed the incident, including all available body camera footage, and was “satisfied that there are no concerns about the officers’ conduct,” the force added.