Geist owner files $2 mil lawsuit in dog’s death

Posted at 11:45 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-20 01:45:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A civil lawsuit was filed by a Salt Lake City man Friday seeking at least $2 million in punitive damages from five Salt Lake City police officers and the city for the shooting death of his dog Geist last year.

The lawsuit was filed Friday by Sean Kendall’s lawyer and former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson.

“This was an unconstitutional search by the officer, which led them to this unbelievably cruel and unreasonable reaction,” Anderson said.

For the last year, Kendall has protested and rallied against the police department’s actions against his weimaraner.

“Sean has been traumatized,” Anderson said. “It was like losing a member of his family. He of course is furious.”

The shooting occurred on June 18 when officers were dispatched to search for a missing 3-year-old boy, who was later found sleeping in the basement of his home.

Officers were going door to door, looking for the child who lived in the neighborhood when they got to Kendall’s home.

Det. Gordon Worsencroft and Officer Brett Olsen approached Kendall’s home, who was not home at the time.

As Worsencroft attempted to make contact with someone at the front door, Olsen entered the backyard where he encountered Geist, the lawsuit indicates.

Police say the dog lunged at the officer, which justified the shooting.

Anderson contends police violated Kendall’s rights against illegal search and seizure and due process.

However, last year, an internal review and a citizen review board sided with the officer, which is why more than a year later, Kendall is now going to the courts.

“There’s no way we can wind back the clock. There’s no way they can give him Geist back and the only remedy under law is monetary damages,” Anderson said.

City officials had no comment since this is pending litigation.