Police watchdog launches probe after dogs shot dead along Limehouse canal

The dogs were shot dead beside a canal at Limehouse in Poplar, east London. Credit: Twitter/ Inashooli

The police watchdog is launching an investigation after a man was tasered and two dogs shot dead by Metropolitan Police officers in front of screaming witnesses.

On Friday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it is “appropriate” that complaints linked to the incident in Poplar, east London, on May 7 should be “independently investigated.”

The IOPC said it understands the “public concern” caused by the shooting.

The watchdog’s investigation was announced two days after the Met referred to the IOPC two complaints it had received from witnesses.

Footage posted on social media showed officers pursuing a man holding the two dogs on a short lead along a canal in Limehouse, east London.

The situation then appeared to become heated, as the man was tasered to the floor and the animals were shot dead.

Amanda Rowe, an IOPC regional director, 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.”

The police were called out on May 7 at just after 5pm to reports of a woman being attacked by a dog in Commercial Road in east London.

She suffered an injury to her leg but did not need hospital treatment.

In a Facebook live post earlier this week, dog owner Louie Turnbull, 46, told supporters: “This is really difficult for me and I am struggling with it.

“I have had them since they were puppies and to have them taken away like that right in front of my face shot, and I am covered in the dogs’ blood, it was just so disgusting.”

Police said as part of their enquiries to safeguard the public, local officers supported by specialists from the Dog Support Unit and Specialist Firearms Command, had spoken to a male who was in possession of the two dogs.

It was after this point that police firearms officers destroyed the two dogs at the scene, a spokesman said.

Turnbull, 46, of no fixed address, appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with a dangerous dog offence.

The Met said he pleaded not guilty to a charge of being the person/owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control (with injury).

He admitted a charge of being in possession/custody of a dog while disqualified from owning or keeping a dog.

He is next due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 6.

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