Family says Detroit police killed dogs for no reason during raid

A Detroit family says Detroit cops killed their family dogs during a raid on their house earlier this year.

- A Detroit couple is fighting the city after they say Detroit Police shot and killed their dogs during a raid. Detroit police say the raid happened at a known drug house but the couple says that doesn't add up and that police didn't even make an arrest that day.

Nicole Motyka said a few months ago, her and her husband were living happily with their three dogs: Yoyo, Blanca, and Junior, a puppy. That was until January.

That's when she and her husband were shocked by officers who were raiding their home and looking for drugs. They seized marijuana plants that turned out to be legal but what happened next, broke their hearts.

Nicole said they fired six shots at their dogs, killing Blanca and Junior. Nicole said the dogs were in a gated-off portion of the kitchen and her husband begged for their lives.

"They did nothing. They were cowering together in the corner because they were scared. And they still shot them," Nicole said. "They were in the kitchen locked up at the time. They didn't give them no chance. They shot them three times a piece the mom dog and the baby."

The shots killed Blanca and Junior and the police dragged their bodies away. Then Nicole's husband was arrested and charged with possession of medical marijuana - charges that were eventually dropped.

"We were just people who weren't doing anything wrong and they ruined our whole life," Nicole said.

The family's attorney, Solomon Radner, pulled the reports made by the six officers who raided the home. Each of the six, copied each other's account word for word. They all claimed the dogs were vicious and attacking and that they had no choice but to fire their weapons.

However, when they later gave testimony, two of the officers told conflicting stories. One said the dogs were shot because they were jumping over the barricade. The other officer said the dogs got through the the barricade and were shot while attacking another officer in the living room.

Pictures taken at the crime scene tell another story entirely: pools of blood were in the corner of the kitchen, 11 feet from the barricade.

"So we've got those two contradicting statements from these two officers. Now I would have loved to have asked the other officers what happened, and maybe perhaps gotten another story or two or three, or four, but the judge didn't allow me to. Which far too many times happens in criminal cases," Rander said.

Nicole and her husband say they will never recover.

"I'm angry. This was brutal. This has to stop. They can't keep taking people's pets. These were our children. We loved our dogs so much and it's been torn apart," Nicole said.

When an officer shoots a dog, police are required to file what's called a "destruction of animal" report. This also helps the department keep tabs on how many animals each officer has killed and why. Those records have been requested for the six officers being sued, but DPD has not released those papers.

We reached out to Detroit police for their side but they say they cannot comment on the pending litigation at this time. They are also in the process of being sued by another man who says he was wrongfully raided and his pet wrongfully killed in July. 

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