Dashcam video shows Cape Coral police officer not at fault for dog’s death

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Dashcam video shows the moments that led to the death of a dog, run over by a Lee County school bus. (CREDIT: Cape Coral Police Department)

A dog was hit and killed by a school bus while children were on board and witnesses blamed a Cape Coral police officer.

But the dashboard video released by the police department shows the officer was not at fault.

The incident happened in August. Hours after the dog died, people on social media began posting that the police officer had directed the bus to drive on, but that’s not what happened.

In the dashcam video, you can see the dog named Ginger underneath the Lee County school bus. The first time the bus moves, the dog is out of harm’s way, but as the officer begins to approach, the dog barks and runs back to the bus. Moments later, the bus starts to move again slowly. It does this a number of times, and the dog moves with it, still underneath the bus.

After a series of failed attempts to get the dog, the officer then walks back to her car and begins to move it closer to the bus, and that’s when the bus hits Ginger, killing her.

In the video, the officer says, “We have a dog that was hit by a car.”

After the officer gets out of the car, she talks with witnesses before putting on gloves.

The woman then picks up the dog herself and carries him off.

At no time, according to the dashcam video, does the officer tell the driver to drive on.

“Usually, the public puts the information out much faster than law enforcement does, and so the truth as people know it originally becomes what the public has to say because there is no filter; there is no truth meter so to speak,” said David Thomas, a professor at FGCU and retired law enforcement author who has a Ph.D. in forensic psychology.

Instead, people are left with an initial rush to judgment.

Cape Coral Police Department declined to speak to WINK News about the social media posts or the dashcam video.

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