- Associated Press - Friday, August 15, 2014

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Authorities are nearly finished with a report about the fatal shooting of a dog inside a van by a northern Idaho police officer that sparked outrage and questions.

Interim Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark tells The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1rAQzTu ) in a story on Friday that the report is about 300 pages and will be reviewed by three internal police officials and an outside police official. He said a final evaluation will be done by an independent use-of-force expert.

“I think the public is demanding that third-party review,” said Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer. “There’s some doubts in their mind, and we created some of those doubts.”

Police on July 9 put out a statement that an officer responding to a report of a suspicious van had shot and killed a “vicious pit bull” that lunged for an officer’s face.

The dog turned out to be a 2-year-old black Labrador mix named Arfee. The dog’s owner said he had parked behind a coffee shop so Arfee would have shade and left the window halfway down.

Police and city leaders since the shooting have been bombarded with questions and rants, and Clark has apologized to the dog’s owner, a former Coeur d’Alene resident now living in Colorado.

Clark said the investigation has been slowed by a delay in getting access to the van, an eyewitness who is uncooperative, and vacation schedules among city employees. Also, Clark said, the officer who did the shooting didn’t turn on his body camera.

Because the police department has received threatening voicemails and emails, the name of the officer has not been released, police said.

“There were many things that we didn’t do right that we can do better on this case, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Clark said. “We’ve corrected a lot of things that we felt we could have done better.”

Late last month Clark announced that officers will be required to watch a series of training videos on dog encounters.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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