Salt Lake Police Chief responds to public outcry over dog shooting

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Salt Lake City's Police Chief is now speaking out on the outrage over a dog that was shot and killed by one of his officers. He's asking people to have patience while investigators look into what happened. He said he understands people are upset with the dog's death, but claims his officers are now being harassed and he wants it to stop.

"I'm not here to minimize any particular incident especially not this one, but perspective has been lost," said Chris Burbank, Salt Lake Police Chief.

Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank is responding to the public outcry.

"I'd like to take a moment to read a few of the emails," he said.

Burbank said he's received hate mail including phrases like:

"I would kill the cop that killed my dog.”

"That pig that shot the dog needs to be executed too."

Burbank said last week Salt Lake police were searching for a missing child near 15th East and Parkway Avenue. Officer Brett Olsen walked into a backyard and felt threatened by a 3 year old Wiemaraner named Geist.

"This officer has described in his police report that he faced a situation that he felt that was his only option," said Burbank.

"About 15 minutes ago I got a call from Utah Animal Control calling to tell me that an officer had shot and killed my dog," said Sean Kendall, dog owner.

The dog's owner Sean Kendall, who recorded his reaction to the news, wants the officer fired.

"I have three goals given this situation, number one to get justice and have this officer removed from the force where I believe he is a danger to the community," said Kendall.

Friday, Burbank defended his officer. He said Brett Olsen seen in file footage receiving an award was one of the heroes of the Trolley Square shooting in 2007.

"I absolutely demand that every single one of my officers treats the public with respect they need, that they deserve, my officer and officers deserve no less," said Burbank.

Burbank said the investigation into Officer Olsen will take up to one month. Olsen will remain on duty. Protestors who want justice for Geist are holding a rally at the Salt Lake police station Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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