Nampa police clear Filer officer in controversial dog shooting

(Twin Falls) Times-NewsMarch 11, 2014 

In this image captured from a dashboard-mounted video camera, a Filer officer draws his gun on a black Labrador retriever. He shot and killed the dog moments later.

The Filer Police Department released an internal investigation Monday evening looking into last month's fatal dog shooting by Officer Tarek Hassani.

Nampa police investigators found that Hassani was justified in shooting the black Labrador retriever named Hooch.

"This case was examined to determine if Officer Tarek Hassani’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances," the report says. "While the officer’s interest of safety might provide a sound justification for the shooting of the dog, the argument is less convincing given the fact that the officer had prior information that the dogs might be aggressive and his failure to develop or consider any realistic non-lethal plan for dealing with the dogs was not reasonable. However the fact that an officer negligently gets himself into a dangerous situation will not make it unreasonable for him to use force to defend himself."

Hassani's fear for his safety made him justified in shooting the dog, the report says. Click here to read the full report.

Hassani had been put on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation.

A video recording of the shooting sparked local and national outcry. Many Magic Valley residents called for Hassani's firing. Read more here.

Read the Statesman's report on how some police departments are joining a move toward better officer training and nonlethal control methods to resolve dog encounters.

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