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Family rattled after dog killed during warrant execution

Family rattled after dog killed during warrant execution


RACINE — Police executed a search warrant early Wednesday in the 2000 block of Kearney Avenue; in the process, a dog was reportedly shot multiple times and killed. 

Sara Harmon and her husband, Joseph, had just left for work Wednesday when police reportedly broke down their front door.

Racine Police, the Racine County Gang Unit and FBI reportedly executed a no-knock search warrant at the home at about 5 a.m. 

Police told Harmon's son, Jordan, that they were there for an investigation into a shots-fired incident. Her son was taken in for questioning and later released without charges. 

The Harmon's 2-year-old dog, Sugar, an English bulldog, was reportedly scared by the police breaking down the door and retreated to Sara's room. There Sugar was shot as many as five times. The dog was taken from the scene, but a bloody mess was left on Sara's bed and walls. 

"I didn't go in the room," Sara said. "My mom came over to help clean up. They found a bullet fragment on the floor and the dog's collar on the curtain rod."

Sara said this was especially tough on her 5-year-old granddaughter, who was close to the dog.

"(Sugar) was my granddaughter's best friend," Sara said. "(Sugar) was a big baby. She loved everybody."

Jordan Harmon told his mother that the warrant was in regards to a shots-fired incident that occurred on Nov. 15. 

"They had a no-knock warrant off of hearsay off someone on the streets is what they told him," Harmon said. "They found nothing. What gives them the right to tear my house apart and kill my dog?"

Police reportedly told the family that it is protocol to kill the dog during the search warrant, and that was all of the information the family was reportedly given.

"It’s just very upsetting," Sara said. "My dog is dead for no reason."

Police withhold comment

Racine Police Chief Art Howell said Monday that he could not comment at the time because he had not been fully informed about the situation.

"Until I obtain additional information regarding the circumstances involved in the case, I will refrain from responding," Howell said in an email.

Howell added that the department, on average, executes more than 100 search warrants annually and most occur without incident.

"It is not uncommon for officers to encounter dogs during the execution of such warrants," Howell said. "The data on such incidents will show that the overwhelming majority of warrants are executed without incident."

A formal complaint has not been filed with the police, according to Howell. For an investigation to occur, a formal complaint must be submitted. Harmon said they had not filed such a complaint as of Monday.

"They had a no-knock warrant off of hearsay, off someone on the streets, is what they told him. They found nothing. What gives them the right to tear my house apart and kill my dog?"

— Sara Harmon


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