Pasco Police release bodycam footage of criticized animal complaint response

PASCO, Wash. — A viral Facebook post led the Pasco Police Department to begin an investigation and release bodycam footage of an interaction from early on Sunday morning in which a neighbor accused a young man of hitting a dog.

Police officers responded to the 8000-block of Quadra Dr after a neighbor reported that they were awakened by a dog yelping and whining as a man beat it to force it inside an illegally parked car. The video shows a Pasco police officer walking up to the window of the vehicle and telling the young male in the driver’s seat that he’s parked illegally and that someone reported that the dog was being abused.

“The law requires you to park on the correct side of the road 12 inches from the curb, not perpendicular to the road on the wrong side,” the officer said.

This officer repeatedly asked the person in the driver’s seat to roll down his window, but the young man did not comply, stating that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. As the property owner came out to oversee the interaction, the Pasco police officer did not hesitate to call for backup. Additionally, the young man in the driver’s seat told the officer that the car was parked this way to load music equipment into the car before identifying his passengers as his girlfriend and brother.

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A law enforcement official who has since been identified as the On-Duty Seargent arrived and recognized the young man in the driver’s seat along with other witnesses. He took over the conversation as the responding officer stepper back and seven minutes after the first contact, the young man gave his ID to the officers.

At this point, the responding officer is recorded telling the Seargent that there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the dog.

The woman who was celebrating her birthday party spoke with the responding officers and explained her perspective of the situation.

“They’re just watching the dog inside of the car because the dog was in the backyard and he’s a very big dog, he was barking loud because there was a lot of music. No one is beating the dog. They put the dog in the and he does not like being in the car by himself,” the woman told an officer.

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She went on to explain how uncomfortable this response made her and the party’s patrons feel. This threatened feeling was largely due to the fact that at least five officers and numerous cars arrived in front of her home.

After running the young man’s identification through the police database, the first responding officer handed the license back to the driver. He told the young man that he cannot drive, to which the aforementioned woman said, “He’s not driving.” To this, the officer quickly turned to the woman and raised his voice to exclaim “Will you stop interrupting?”

Beyond this instance, most of the interaction between officers and citizens was calm. The vehicle’s occupants maintained their composure throughout the entire interaction. It was clear from the bodycam footage that the officer grew more frustrated with the situation as it went on.

In the end, the Pasco police officers got in their cars and left the scene after licensed drivers came outside to repark the car. The entire interaction lasted approx. 15 minutes. To read the woman’s Facebook post that sparked this investigation by Pasco Police, click here.

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