Miami News

Lawsuit Filed Against Police Officers Who Tased a Dog

Lawsuit filed again Miami Police officers.

The federal complaint was filed almost two months after the Miami-Dade police officers who fired the fatal shots were cleared of all charges.

Sylvan Plowright, filed a federal complaint against Miami-Dade County

On January 17, 2022, professional boxer and Miami-Dade local, Sylvan Plowright, filed a federal complaint against Miami-Dade County and the two police officers involved in the tasing and fatal shooting of his dog, Niles. The lawsuit comes almost two months after the cop responsible for firing the two shots that killed Plowright’s dog in 2020 was cleared of all charges following an internal investigation.

The federal complaint filed by Plowright and his attorney, William Robinson, seeks $75,000 in damages, stating the negligence of the county in not providing officers Sergio Cardona and L. Rondon with the adequate training required to deal with such situations.

The lawsuit also identifies Cardona and Rondon as the two officers involved in the shooting, accusing them of using excessive force and causing severe emotional distress.

The 911 Dispatch that Led to a Deadly Shooting

On October 5, 2020, Sylvan Plowright, a north Miami-Dade County resident, dialed 911 to report a suspected break-in at his neighbor’s property. Two Miami-Dade police officers were then dispatched to the neighborhood to respond to the potential robbery.

According to the bodycam footage released by the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), Plowright and Niles can be seen approaching the two cops only for the latter to point their service firearm at the duo and yell at Plowright to show his hands and “get the dog”.

Despite repeated calls by Plowright, the dog continues to bark at the officers, leading one to tase just as the other one discharges his firearm at least two times at the canine, as a distraught Plowright lies face down on the ground and unable to help his dying pet.

A Year Later: One Clean Chit and Zero Closure

A little more than a year after the October 5 shooting, the internal affairs investigation into the police officer who dealt the two blows was closed, absolving him of all charges. According to concluding remarks, the emergency dispatcher who took Plowright’s call mistook the description he gave as that of the suspected robber, leading to the misunderstanding that killed his dog.

Despite being assured that he would receive the dog’s body, Plowright waited a year only to find out that the Miami-Dade Animal Services had already disposed of Niles’ remains in a landfill, citing they had no records of the owner ever requesting a retrieval.

Plowright describes Niles as his only family, saying he only “had this damn dog”.  Although animal services offered to help Plowright adopt another dog from the local shelter, the professional boxer appears less than eager, claiming he’s not emotionally ready to take in a new dog.

MDPD has refused to comment on the contents of the complaint, citing the pending lawsuit.

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