A longer version of an earlier released August dog shooting incident video surfaced on Facebook on Tuesday night. The 22:33 video is posted on the Times-Review website.
The video was originally posted to YouTube by a user named Ralph J. with the implications of a Cleburne officer using a racial slur.
Meanwhile, a “We Support Cleburne PD” rally has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cleburne Golf Links, 2501 Country Club Road. The rally counters a protest to be held the same time in front of CPD, 302 W. Henderson St., in support of Maximus, a 6-month-old pit bull.
An investigation into Cleburne officer Kevin Dupre’s shooting of a pit bull is underway and being conducted by CPD’s Professional Standards Unit. Police Chief Rob Severance on Wednesday said he does not know how long the investigation will take.
“They’re still gathering facts and working on the investigation,” Severance said. “I can’t really estimate how long that will take. The important thing is to allow them time to look at everything.”
Severance said all video related to the incident, including the alleged racial slur, will be looked at in the investigation.
The investigation will address Dupre’s actions as well as review departmental procedures especially those related to police and animal encounters.
Severance said the department will revisit their policy on animal interactions and reach out to other departments who have experienced similar situations.
City officials have also asked the Texas Rangers and may ask a third independent agency yet to be determined to conduct separate investigations into the matter, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said.
Cain said the investigations will be thorough to ensure public confidence in the findings and that the chips will fall where they may. Any action necessary once the investigations conclude will be swift and decisive, he said.
Dupre remains on paid leave until the investigations conclude. Cain said Dupre is torn up about the incident and is staying at an undisclosed locations because of death threats posted on social media.
Severance said Dupre, who has been with CPD since about 2001, has no previous disciplinary reprimands or reports that he’s aware of.
Severance said police department matters kept him from attending a city hall press conference Cain held on Tuesday. Severance declined to comment on the investigation further.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the specifics of the incident or the investigation publicly at this time,” Severance said. “I want the public to have confidence that the investigations are fair and impartial and wouldn’t want to say anything that might sway their outcomes either way.”
City Manager Rick Holden appointed Severance as acting city manager on Tuesday. Holden, who plans to retire in January, is on personal leave.
The longer video
Dupre responded Aug. 10 to Linsey Lane on reports of loose pit bulls threatening two women and a child in a car .
Dupre arrived to find a black and white dog, later identified as Dough Boy, who was friendly and was returned to his yard by a neighbor.
The caller told Dupre that a brown dog snapped at a little girl in the car. After searching the area for a time, Dupre located two brown dogs, Maximus and Coco, in a field or alleyway behind neighborhood houses. A 22-second video, which first appeared on Facebook last week, captures the shooting of Maximus.
The video, shot from Dupre’s uniform camera, shows his outstretched arms holding a gun as he approaches both dogs. Dupre, standing above the dogs who are in a culvert area, makes a kissing sound at which point both dogs approach with wagging tails. Maximus goes out of frame as Dupre fires three shots. The camera catches a glimpse of Maximus on the ground. Coco flees the gunshots but turns around several yards from Dupre. The short video concludes with Dupre pointing his gun at Coco as she walks away.
Dupre, in his report, said Maximus continued to growl and bare his teeth as he came up the hill. Many who watched the video subsequently argue that both dogs appear friendly and say Dupre had no reason to shoot Maximus.
The 25-second video, police said in a Friday release, fails to tell the whole story.
Police on Friday released two additional videos, one about eight minutes long, the second about two minutes.
The eight-minute video shows Dupre arrive at the call, talk to the woman in the car, encounter Dough Boy and talk to a woman who returns Dough Boy to her neighbor’s backyard.
The 22-minute video is simply a longer version of that. The woman, who returns Dough Boy to his yard, continues talking on her phone and at times walks away as Dupre asks her questions about the dog’s owner. The woman answers some questions but ignores others from Dupre and another officer who arrives on scene.
Later, while both are standing away from the woman, the second officer tells Dupre, “I wish this girl would quit being so evasive and tell us something. It’s like she’s trying to speak in some kind of Swahili code or something.”
A poster named Shawn Stephens left several replies on the video accusing Ralph J. of race baiting and posting edited video.
“You are really grasping at some straws there for a racial slur,” Stephens writes. “Swahili code, really? Just another way to stir up something where nothing exists.”
Dupre, in the video, says he needs to go find the other two dogs before they “tear somebody’s kid up or something.”
A man living next door to the dogs’ owners appears in the video too and says the dogs knocked through the fence separating the two yards and often get into his yard.
“They’re usually pretty friendly but, they’re pits, you know,” the man says.
At which point Dough Boy escapes from the backyard again.
Police on Friday said they released the shorter version of the video because portions of the video include license plates, phones numbers and other personal identification information.
A time gap exists between the 22-minute video and the video of Maximus being shot. Police said that is because Dupre drove the area for about 20 minutes before he located Maximus and Coco and did not have his uniform camera on while driving around.
View the video by clicking play below:
Pro and con websites
Justice 4 Maximus, a Facebook page in support of Maximus and his family, debuted last week.
Another Facebook page, Truth About Cleburne Dog Shooting, debuted this week.
“This page is to educate and inform the public of the ACCURATE information regarding the shooting of a vicious dog by Cleburne PD Officer Kevin Dupre,” the page reads.
Amanda Henderson, the owner of the dogs, said she and her husband were shopping for school supplies when the incident occurred.
The dogs got loose, she said, because her children, who were being watched by her neighbor, went to water the dogs and forgot to properly latch the gate.
Henderson described her dogs as friendly and family members and said they are never out unless being walked by her husband and her.
Henderson said she’s surprised by the response the incident has stirred but thankful for the support she and her family have received.
Henderson said she likely will not attend Saturday’s protest at CPD as she wishes to stay out of the mix.