In Minnesota, community members are demanding answers and accountability from the Coon Rapids Police Department after an elderly Hmong woman was attacked and bitten by a police K-9 in her own backyard.
Coon Rapids police unleash dog on 82-year-old grandma cleaning her shed
81-year-old Choua Xiong was doing some work in her backyard shed early Sunday morning when officers, responding to a burglary call, unleashed a police dog on her. Note: she was in her own shed, in her own backyard. Xiong suffered bites to her arm and was hospitalized.
Police say officers received a 911 call from a woman who said she saw an intruder in a black coat in her backyard, and heard a loud noise coming from somewhere in the back of her residence. Officer arrived on the scene and spotted someone in a shed next door with a flashlight.
Suspecting a burglary was underway, they yelled to the shed and ordered the "suspect" to come out, but got no response. So they unleashed to police dog to take down whoever was inside.
The "suspect" turned out to be Xiong. She apparently does not speak English, is hard of hearing, and didn't understand the officer's commands. Congratulations, officers. You and your friggin' attack dog just busted an 81-year-old grandma "intruding" on her own property.
In addition to the puncture wounds, abrasions and bruises on her left arm, Xiong received a sprained ankle and bruised knees when she was dragged from the shed into a squad car. According to her family, she is experiencing complications as a result of the incident, which has understandably left her traumatized.
Police Chief Brad Wise tells MPR News the incident is "unfortunate" and "bizarre," but the officers involved will not be investigated. He insists that officers acted appropriately given the information they had on hand.
The Coon Rapids Police Department also posted the audio recording of the incident to its Facebook page Monday night, along with a statement:
"The department understands there is public concern on social media about the way this incident appears at first glance. However, with the facts the officers were dealing with at the time, including dispatch information and assessment of the scene, they responded to the incident in an appropriate manner. Officers are trained to speak clear, simple commands in the hopes that officers can be understood when they are dealing with people on calls. It is always our goal to have a safe outcome for all citizens and officers, no matter the circumstances."
What the fuck.
Community members say this response is insufficient, and are demanding answers.
"To unleash a deadly weapon onto a vulnerable citizen who is within her own property is alarming," says Tou Ger Bennett Xiong, who has been communicating with Xiong's family. "To think that our grandmothers are not safe in their own homes should concern everyone."
More here: Coon Rapids woman, 81, bitten by police dog in her backyard