But the Laval Police Service is defending the actions of their officers, saying there’s more to the situation and the story than the woman saw.
Laval resident Katherine Davidson, 26, recorded the video after she witnessed a Laval police officer allegedly shoot and kill a prone dog during an arrest.
Fighting back tears, Davidson and her boyfriend Corey Hunt angrily deride what they say was the needless use of lethal force on a defenceless animal.
“We just witnessed two men getting arrested, and they had a dog with them,” Davidson sobs in the Facebook Live video. “Their dog was lying next to them, and the cops just shot the dog.”
“The dog wasn’t even doing anything — he was laying down next to his owner. And they shot him multiples times for nothing.”
Global News reached Davidson by phone Monday morning, who said she and her boyfriend slowed down when they noticed the arrest in progress.
Davidson described the scene just before she started recording, as three officers detained two suspects next to a vehicle – and a dog laying on the ground next to one of the suspects, who was pinned by police.
“When we got there, we noticed the dog laying down,” Davidson said. “Within a few moments, we saw the officer take his gun out of its holster and fire three or four times.”
The video has gone viral since it was posted Saturday, accumulating nearly half-a-million views and almost 8000 shares since it was posted some 48 hours ago.
But Laval police say there is another side of the story, one the video doesn’t show.
Police confirm the incident occurred Saturday around 11:40 a.m., after police received a call of a home invasion in the Vimont neighbourhood of Laval.
Const. Evelyne Boudreau with the Laval Police Service tells Global News that eyewitnesses provided police with a description of the suspect’s vehicle and a licence plate number. Police also had reason to believe the two suspects were armed with handguns.
Officers identified the vehicle a short time later, and after a “short chase,” managed to pull the suspect vehicle over, Boudreau said.
“When the passenger got out of the vehicle, there was a struggle with one of the officers trying to put cuffs on the individual,” Boudreau told Global News Monday.
“Once both were on the ground, at that moment, there was a dog that came out of the vehicle, [and] ran aggressively towards the officer on the ground.”
Boudreau said two officers opened fire at the dog, wounding it. They then attended to the two male suspects.
“[Police] were able to handcuff the two suspects. Following that, the officers saw that the dog was still alive but it was quite evident to them that it was in a severe condition, so they decided to relieve it from its pain,” Boudreau said.
Davidson said an officer with the Laval Police Service reached out to her after she posted the video to hear her concerns, at which point, she was told that she had not witnessed the initial threatening act.
Still, Davidson says she believed the officers acted inappropriately in putting the dog “out of its misery,” rather than seeking treatment.
“At that point, the dog wasn’t a threat to anyone because she was injured,” Davidson said. “I don’t believe it was a justified use of force.”
Meanwhile, police say they’re concerned about threats of reprisals towards the officers or the department, following the popularity of Davidson’s video.
Boudreau confirmed that police have arrested a 31-year-old woman for making threats against the officer in question, and are reminding residents to be careful about what they say on social media, as it can be interpreted by law enforcement as a threat.
Police also confirm they are conducting a review into the use of force during this incident, and are encouraging anyone else who witnessed the shooting to come forward.