The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) stated they will investigate the Metropolitan Police after footage showed a man being arrested and two dogs being shot dead by officers.
The independent police watchdog said they received two complaints from individuals who had witnessed the incident and they decided they required independent investigation.
IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said: “We understand the public concern regarding this incident and it is appropriate that it should be independently investigated.
“We will examine whether the actions of the officers involved were reasonable and proportionate in all of the circumstances and in line with relevant policy and procedure.”
Dogs’ owner appears in court charged with dangerous dog offences
The Met released an update on the case, stating that Louie Turnbull, the owner of the dogs, has appeared in court charged with dangerous dog offences following the incident in Tower Hamlets.
Mr Turnbull was charged on Tuesday, 9 May with being the person/owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control (with injury); and being in possession/custody of a dog whilst disqualified from owning or keeping a dog.
The update from the Met said: “The charges follow a call to police just after 17:00hrs on Sunday, 7 May, to reports of a woman being attacked by a dog in Commercial Road, E14.
“She had also suffered an injury to her leg during the incident. She did not require hospital treatment.”
Dogs “destroyed”; woman “mortified”
The woman in question was reported to be “mortified” at the killings and has been “crying ever since” as her husband revealed she begged bystanders not to call the police.
The Met continued in the update: “As part of their enquiries to safeguard the public, local officers supported by specialists from Dog Support Unit and Specialist Firearms Command, spoke to a male in the vicinity who was in possession of the two dogs.
“Following this interaction, which failed to bring the dogs satisfactorily under control, police firearms officers destroyed the two dogs at the scene.
“The owner of the dogs was arrested at the scene. Police Taser was discharged. He was taken into custody and was later charged as above.”
The Met also said the officers concerned remain on operational duties.
World Animal Foundation posted on Twitter: “Police failed to provide concrete evidence that the dogs posed any threat or danger to the public. We need full investigation into the matter as they can’t wander with guns in residential areas.”
Public backlash growing stronger
Meanwhile a video was shared online of the dogs’ owner Mr Turnbull cuddling one of his beloved pets as the public reaction grew against the brutality of the killings.
Hundreds of animal rights activists have gathered outside Scotland Yard on Thursday to hold a candlelit vigil for the two dogs, Marshall and Millions, who were shot dead by two police officers.
Also, a campaign was started on Change.org to “hold the Met Police criminally accountable for the barbaric killing of two leashed dogs”, which reached over 200,000 signatures in just a few days.
The petition said: “The Metropolitan Police are attempting to justify the barbaric killing of two dogs in Tower Hamlets, London, on the afternoon of Sunday 7th May, 2023.
“They continue to claim in their statement that these dogs were “dangerously out of control” and, yet again, video evidence shows this not to be the case. The dogs even immediately calm down when their owner asks them to.
“The owner was clearly very distressed and adding to the upset of his dogs. But, regardless of his actions, this is about the dogs and the fact that they were inhumanely and unnecessarily slaughtered in broad daylight.”