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Inside tiny 900-person town torn apart by senseless killing of adorable blind and deaf Shih Tzu ‘Teddy’ – as owner files $1M lawsuit, mayor resigns and residents call for two-man police team to be shut down

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A small Missouri town is enraged over the senseless killing of a small dog by a police officer that led the mayor to resign amid growing calls to shut down the police department. 

Horrifying bodycam footage captured the moment Teddy, a five-year-old, 13-pound dog, was tragically gunned down by police officer Myron Woodson, in Sturgeon on May 19.

Kevin Abrahamson stepped down as mayor after Teddy’s owner, Nicholas Hunter, filed a $1million lawsuit against the city and officer Woodson alleging that his Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

During a regularly scheduled city aldermen meeting on Tuesday, dozens of Sturgeon residents came out to show their support for Teddy, reported The Washington Post.  

‘This is your town, if you don’t speak up now, you might not ever get anything to change,’ said a woman holding a ‘Justice for Teddy.’

Teddy (pictured), a five-year-old, 13-pound dog, was tragically gunned down by police officer Myron Woodson, in Sturgeon on May 19

Teddy (pictured), a five-year-old, 13-pound dog, was tragically gunned down by police officer Myron Woodson, in Sturgeon on May 19

Outraged Sturgeon (pictured) residents came out to show their support for Teddy during a townhall and called to shutdown the police department

Outraged Sturgeon (pictured) residents came out to show their support for Teddy during a townhall and called to shutdown the police department

One residents sign said: ‘We back the blue except Woodson. Fire him!’

‘I think until you get this entire problem solved with the police department, you shut it down,’ one man said.

Bodycam footage of the tragic moment starts with Teddy roaming around in an open grass field as Woodson tries to lasso the dogs with a catch pole. 

As he tries to catch the dog, Woodson is heard saying: ‘Come on, baby. Come on, baby. There you go.’ 

Each time he attaches the lasso to Teddy’s neck the pup backs out of it and runs away. 

‘I’m going to take you to get help,’ Woodson says to the dog. 

Minutes later, Teddy is seen playing with a rope attached to a tree as the officer is heard cocking his gun in the background. 

Woodson then shoots the disabled dog two times before he walks away and interacts with a neighbor nearby. 

‘I had to dispatch it,’ Woodson says to the neighbor. 

Bodycam footage of the tragic moment starts with Teddy roaming around in an open grass field as Woodson tries to lasso the dogs with a catch pole

Bodycam footage of the tragic moment starts with Teddy roaming around in an open grass field as Woodson tries to lasso the dogs with a catch pole

The woman tells the officer: ‘I’ve got children here though, like don’t you think you should warn before you fire a shot?’ 

Woodson ignores the neighbor’s concerns as he is seen waving her off in his shadow reflected on the grass. 

The officer’s bodycam then shows the moment Hunter arrives and confronts Woodson for killing his beloved pet. 

‘That’s not how you handle a situation. If a dog is a threat to a person and harms a person or shows immediate threat, that’s when you use force,’ Hunter tells Woodson as he chokes up. 

In the video that Hunter made, he asked Woodson: ‘Was my dog a threat to you or anyone else?’

‘I see a dog that is walking around blindly – I don’t know the dog is blind,’ Woodson responded. 

As he reportedly said he believed Teddy needed to be put down, Hunter questioned: ‘So you’re putting him out of his misery?’

‘What am I supposed to do?’ Woodson replied, noting that the tiny Missouri town doesn’t have animal control. 

‘I don’t enjoy shooting dogs,’ the officer added. 

The city has not fired Woodson, but he is on paid leave while an investigation is underway.

Teddy's owner, Nicholas Hunter, filed a $1million lawsuit against the city and officer Woodson alleging that his Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated

Teddy’s owner, Nicholas Hunter, filed a $1million lawsuit against the city and officer Woodson alleging that his Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated

In its initial statement the day after the shooting, the City of Sturgeon claimed that Woodson believed Teddy was rabid and feared he may be bitten, despite the officer reportedly not making those claims at the scene. 

The city admitted that it was ‘later learned’ that Teddy’s behavior was because he was blind, and that the ‘animal’s lack of a collar or tags influenced the SPD Officer’s decision to put the animal down due to his belief that the animal was injured, sick and abandoned.’ 

‘This whole situation never should have happened, it was handled in the wrong way entirely,’ said Teddy’s other owner Abbey Harnish.

‘Ultimately, nothing is going to bring my dog back, but there’s something that needs to be done and change with both the city and the cop.’ 

Daniel Kolde, one of the attorneys who brought the suit, said, ‘We think that Officer Woodson’s actions constitute felony animal abuse and, in addition to our filing of our civil suit, we are calling upon the county prosecutor to bring his own criminal charges against this officer.’



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