D.C.

Woman files lawsuit against MPD for shooting dog

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A woman in Northwest Washington has filed a lawsuit against the city and nine Metropolitan police officers over a June 2010 incident in which her dog was shot and killed.

Attorneys for Marietta Robinson filed the suit on Friday. It seeks a change in MPD procedures for handling dogs, as well as around $1.5 million in damages.

Monday night Robinson told ABC7 things have never been the same since the night her 13-year old dog Wrinkles was killed.

"I can still see them in my house, shooting my house up," she said. "I haven't had six hours sleep since this happened and it's not getting any better."

The suit says officers came to Robinson's home on the night of June 15th, 2010, looking for her grandson Kevin Jackson, who Robinson says was wanted on a drug-related charge.

But Robinson says Jackson hadn't lived in her home in over 20 years, so she's not sure why the MPD came to there.

Robinson says Wrinkles, who she'd raised from a puppy, was at her side when police came to the door. She asked them if she could put the dog in either the backyard or the bathroom so it would be out of the officers' way.

She says police allowed her to put Wrinkles--who was a pit bull/German shepherd mix and weighed over 60 pounds--in the bathroom.

But for some reason, soon after police began searching her home they opened the bathroom door Robinson says the officers knew the dog was in.

"The lady opened the bathroom door and shot Wrinkles three times," Robinson said. "I remember screaming, 'you promised not to hurt her, you promised not to hurt her!' Meanwhile they're still shooting."

Robinson says before it was all over MPD officers had fired over a dozen shots, killing Wrinkles.

Shortly after the shooting happened in 2010 she invited ABC7 into her home and showed the bullet holes. She says she was standing very close to the dog when many of the shots were fired.

"It was God's grace and mercy that I did not get killed," she said.

Robinson says she's still traumatized by what happened and her only daughter died about four weeks after the shooting. She says the daughter had a medical condition, but was also battling depression related to the shooting and another incident involving police and a son with autism.

Robinson's attorney Jonathan Adams says she's gone though a lot of pain and suffering, and the suit says officers violated Robinson's constitutional rights.

Adams says current MPD procedures treat shooting a dog as a very insignificant thing, and the suit seeks to change that.

Robinson says the suit isn't about the money, but about holding the police accountable.

As of Monday night the MPD had not made any comment on the lawsuit.

In 2010, Chief Cathy Lanier offered an explanation for why the dog was shot.

"The dog not only penetrated through the officer's boot and [put] puncture wounds in the foot, but [the officer] couldn't get the dog off and that's when deadly force was used," she said shortly after the shooting.

To see the lawsuit, click here.

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