- Dashcam video shows a Berryville Police Department officer shooting a black dog named Zelda in front of a school bus full of children
- BPD claimed in a statement the dog charged the officer which forced him to fire two rounds
- Zelda’s owner, Danny Turner, posted to social media that while he is not mad his dog was shot, he is mad at the lack of judgment shown by the officer
In Arkansas on Monday, the Berryville Police Department released dashcam footage of one of their officers fatally shooting a dog named Zelda in front of a school bus full of children.
The Dashcam Video
Zelda can be heard barking at the start of the video as a woman is calling for her to come. The officer is still sitting inside his patrol car. A school bus is seen pulling up at the end of the street 25 seconds into the video. The officer is heard saying, “Ma’am… if it bites any of them kids getting off that school bus.” The woman responds, “She’s never bitten anybody.” The officer replies, “Well, it’s getting after it pretty quick.”
As the officer finishes his sentence Zelda is seen running up the street to the school bus. Once at the bus, she barks a couple of times but comes running back up the street when the officer gets out of his patrol car. Once Zelda is back in front of her house she is seen barking and wagging her tail. The officer is seen pulling his service weapon as the woman is heard yelling for someone to hurry up and grab Zelda. Zelda is not visible towards the end of the video after moving in front of the car, but in the last seconds of the video, the officer is seen raising his firearm and firing two shots.
Berryville Police Department Statement On The Shooting
According to the BPD, the shooting occurred on December 13 at 3:30 pm. Police claim they received a call about a “vicious black pitbull.” A Carroll County Dispatch “call card” claims the caller was “concerned for the children who would soon be arriving in the area via a school bus.” BPD claimed the officer was initially going to use a “less-lethal” round in his shotgun but the “magazine tube malfunctioned and rendered the weapon inoperable.” In a post to their Facebook page, BPD also claimed Zelda “ran around the driver’s side of his unit and charged the officer.” A claim that does not appear to be seen in the video.
(Please note that idenitfying information is blacked out or marked with an “X” in order to protect personal information)Berryville Police Department Via Facebook
On December 13, 2019, at approximately 1530, an officer was dispatched to XXXXX in reference to a vicious black pitbull. A Carroll County Dispatch call card would later indicate that the reporting party was concerned for the children who would soon be arriving in the area via a school bus. The officer arrived at approximately 1530. He observed the described dog, a black pitbull mix breed dog, walking along Elsie Avenue. The dog came up to his driver’s door and began barking. He tried for sometime to create space between the dog and unit by reversing and going forward. This continued for some time but the dog maintained close proximity to the patrol unit. He believed the dog could possibly belong to a XXXXX. He asked Central Dispatch if they could attempt to make contact with XXXXX. Dispatch advised that they had no available means to contact XXXXX. He continued to relocate his unit in hopes that the dog would not follow. He contacted the chief over the phone and advised him of the situation. The officer informed him that he would be loading “less lethal” shotgun rounds into his issued shotgun. He asked the Secretary at the Berryville Police Department if contact could be made with XXXXX. He was informed that a call was attempted but there was no answer. He removed the lethal rounds from his issued shotgun. As he began to load “less lethal” rounds into the weapon, the magazine tube malfunctioned and rendered the weapon inoperable. Another vehicle drove down Elsie; the dog chased after it barking at the driver’s door. At this time an elderly woman came out of XXXXX. The officer asked her if the dog was hers; she advised that it was. He informed her that he was prepared to shoot the animal if it was not contained. She returned inside the residence to retrieve treats in hopes to bait the dog. The officer continued to try and remedy the malfunction that occurred to his issued shotgun. The dog then ran over to XXXXX, where it began biting the fence and trying to attack the two dogs in the backyard. The elderly woman exited XXXXX with a bag of treats in hand. She tried unsuccessfully to call the dog back to her yard. At this time, the officer observed a Berryville School bus approaching the intersection of McCloud and Elsie. The dog began running toward the school bus, he exited his patrol unit and observed the dog barking at the children getting off the bus. He could hear the children at the school bus screaming. The sound of the officer shutting his patrol unit door got the attention of the dog, which now was running towards the officer. He drew his duty weapon and yelled at the dog in hopes that it would retreat. The dog retreated around the driver’s side of the officer’s unit. Seconds later, the dog ran around the driver’s side of his unit and charged the officer. He fired two rounds from his duty pistol which neutralized the animal. He spoke to the male who was driving the other vehicle that the dog had chased. XXXXX advised that he saw the dog charge him and witnessed the dog charge the children as they exited the school bus.
On our page is a segment of the officer’s car camera, viewer discretion is advised.
Zelda’s Owner Danny Turner Responds
Zelda’s owner, Danny Turner, has also spoken out about the shooting on Facebook. “Let me start by saying I am not a cop hater, I never will be over the actions of one person,” Turner’s post reads. According to Turner, three different witnesses have come forward and told him Zelda was not being vicious, “she was playing and running around like she always does when she gets out of our yard.”
Turner says he is okay with Zelda being shot since she was outside of her yard. However, Turner also questioned the officer’s judgment. Not only did the officer use his firearm instead of his pepper spray or taser, but children watched as the officer shot and killed Zelda, including Turner’s son who was trying to run to the 2-year-old family dog. Turner has requested for Carol County Sheriff Jim Ross to investigate the shooting and “if the investigation supports the witness statements I have been given then the officer-involved needs to be fired for his lack of judgment.”
Let me start by saying I am not a cop hater, I never will be over the actions of one person. But that one person just created a bunch of new cop haters on that school bus. I have had 3 witnesses come forward already all adults who saw it from different angles. The dog was not vicious she was playing and running around like she always does when she gets out of our fenced yard. I am not mad at the officer for shooting my dog, she was out of our yard and she looks like a pit. I am pissed about the lack of judgment on his part for firing towards a school bus while there were kids on the street. He had a taser and pepper spray my son just got off the bus and she was trying to go to him. I have to know who the officer was since the beginning I won’t release his name until I see the bodycam footage myself. But this is already out of my hand. I have been contacted by KY3 40/29 CNN and other media outlets. The national cop watch groups have picked it up as well. Berryville is about to see a media circus that I have no control over. I personally have not responded to any media inquiries but that’s not saying other people are going to be as quiet about it as me. I have a little bit over100k followers among all my separate social media platforms and they have been sharing the story everywhere.Danny Turner Via Facebook
Jim Ross needs to investigate this. He is the ranking law enforcement official in our county as well as a former Berryville PD officer and knows many of those kids on the bus. If the investigation supports the witness statements I have been given then the officer-involved needs to be fired for his lack of judgment.