The officer and his partner were in the building investigating an alert about domestic violence on February 13 when the dog came out into the hallway, approaching the officer while wagging his tail. CCTV footage shows the cop backing away and then shooting the Pit bull in his head from a mere 3 feet away.
Cuesta has been charged with abuse of authority and the CCRB has recommended he be retrained. Today, heremains on active duty while the investigation is pending.Rosado, the Pit bull's human, hired an attorney to file a lawsuit against Cuesta, and this charge is also pending. Former NYPD Commissioner, Bill Bratton, said:
In this instance, he (the officer) used the firearm, so now, as part of the investigation, he’ll have to justify what was going through his mind at that particular time.
The officer just reacted badly. I was screaming, ‘He’s friendly! He’s friendly!’ But he still did that to my dog. (Spike) was like a big Snuffleupagus — a gentle giant. He was a member of the family ... He would wag his tail, letting everyone know he was friendly.
According to Rosado, the police had givenher neither an explanation nor an apology at the time of the interview in March. Cuesta was apparently taken to hospital to be treated for tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ears, while the Rosado family and the neighbors will betraumatized for life.
New York Police Department policy allows cops to shoot at animals only in the event that their lives are threatened, or as a last resort to stop an attack. It's abundantly clear from the video footage that Spike was not about to attack Cuesta. His friendly, slow walk and the wagging of his tail indicate that the Pit bull was happy and relaxed.Rosado concluded: