Report on dog shooting offers mixed assessment

FILER, Idaho — An independent investigation by the Nampa Police Department into the shooting of a dog by a Filer police officer has been released with a mixed assessment of the event.

Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Randall in the 12-page report released earlier this week said Officer Tarek Hassani’s interest in safety could justify shooting the resident’s dog in the south-central Idaho city.

But Randall also said “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.”

Hassani on Feb. 8 responded to a report of dogs running loose, and he went to the home of Rick Clubb to deliver a citation. His dashboard-mounted camera shows two dogs that begin circling and barking at him, sometimes lunging toward him. In the video, he kicks at a 7-year-old black Labrador named Hooch before shooting it.

Clubb has said Hooch usually is in the backyard, but he got out when guests arrived.

After Hooch was shot, Hassani can be heard on the video banging on Clubb’s door and yelling profanities.

In the report, Randall asked Hassani why he didn’t stay in his vehicle, call the owner of the dogs, or call for backup.

Hassani said he didn’t consider that because it was his job to respond to calls about dogs at large.

Randall also asked why Hassani didn’t use a stun gun or catch pole. Hassani said he was “taught not to use a Taser on a dog,” and was concerned for his own safety.

Some residents have derided Hassani for shooting the dog while others have defended him, saying Filer has a problem with dog owners who let their pets run lose. Clubb wants Hassani fired.

Filer Mayor Rick Dunn said Hassani is on paid administrative leave while the city council decides what to do.

An open forum is planned Thursday at City Hall where residents can voice their opinions.

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