Angry citizens rally after Filer cop shoots family dog

Credit: Adam Worthington/ KTVB

Angry citizens rally after Filer cop shoots family dog

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 11:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:11 PM

FILER, Idaho -- The video of a Filer police officer shooting a family dog has sparked outrage for many in the Magic Valley.  About 100 people showed up to a rally Wednesday night, demanding action from the Filer Police Department.

The incident in question happened last week. That's when Filer Police Officer Tarek Hassani responded to a complaint about his dog.

Rick Clubb said they were having a birthday party for his son on Saturday.

"When some of the kids came over, the dog ran out the front door," said Clubb, who was at the rally. "The next thing we know, there's somebody pounding at our door. It was Officer Tarek pounding at our door and said he just shot our dog."

Clubb said he go into a "heated conversation" with Filer police officer Tarek Hassani about the incident, and that Hassani threatened to take him to jail.

"Then he wrote me a citation over dog at large," said Clubb. "So what we want now is we want him dismissed from the Filer Police Department, and we're going to file a civil claim against Filer and the Filer Police Department."

Clubb admits he has a neighbor who has complained about his dogs before. However, he said everyone else would support his claims that his now-deceased black lab, Hooch, has never hurt or bit anyone.

Other dog-lovers are showing support for Clubb and his family. Many signed a petition asking the Filer Police Department to fire Hassani, while others showed their support by coming to the rally.

"I think it's terrible," said dog owner Justin Hawkins. "Especially after seeing the video, there was no call for it. The dog was several feet away from him when he shot. I just think it was wrong."

Mark Deaton organized the rally.

"I watched the video and I was just floored," said Deaton. "I was shocked at how quickly the officer chose to use deadly force when there was so many options he could have used. There was no urgency in the matter, he wasn't in any kind of threatening situation, and there's just so many things he could have done that didn't require shooting the dog."

Deaton is a dog owner, but says that is not why he organized the rally.

"To me this is about a cop, who is going to use a gun when he absolutely should not have done that," Deaton said. "I don't believe that we're safe in this town with a cop like that running around with the power to use a gun at his discretion, when his discretion and judgment is off base."

Deaton wants Hassani moved to a position where he doesn't carry a gun. Most people want him let go from the police department entirely.

"I want to see him get fired and gone," said one female protester holding a large sign. "He's not right he's not right, he doesn't care about humans either, so get rid of him. That was so uncalled for, very uncalled for."

Hassani is now on administrative leave, and KTVB was unable to reach the Filer Police Department for comment on the incident. Hassani's actions, as well as the police department's response, have people worried.

"I think it's really important that people feel safe and that we feel like we can trust our police officers," said Cori Ward, who came to the rally. "I feel like that trust has really been broken here. I'm kind of concerned about that."

The Nampa Police Department tells KTVB they were contacted by Filer Police officials Wednesday to conduct an investigation. Investigators will be doing a civil and liability investigation to determne whether the officer's actions were reasonable and followed policy..

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