Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 29, 2024
Federal Lawsuit and COPA Probe into Off-Duty Chicago Officer's Fatal Shooting of Neighbor's DogSource: Unsplash/Cierra Voelkl

An off-duty police officer's fatal shooting of a neighbor's pit bull in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood is currently being probed by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) and has led to a federal lawsuit against the officer. COPA has released a video that captures the moment when Officer Carmen Mostek shot the dog on April 21, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. Mostek, who was walking her corgi on a leash, encountered the neighbor's unleashed pit bull. The dog, named Aggie, got into a brief skirmish with the corgi.

Security footage swiftly dispelled initial reports as it showed Mostek drawing her firearm and shooting Aggie at point-blank range while the neighbor, Kent Maynard, held the dog close after intervening to halt the conflict. This action immediately raised concerns within COPA about Mostek's judgment and the potential risks introduced by her quick decision to use lethal force. As per a statement by COPA Chief Administrator Andrea Kersten obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, there was a grave worry that Mostek's "decision-making in situations involving force could potentially endanger herself, members of the public, and other CPD officers."

The lawsuit filed against Mostek by Maynard also alleges a police cover-up stating that responding officers did not interview him or any witnesses, only taking Mostek's account of the incident. In her call to the police after the incident, as detailed by FOX 32 Chicago, Mostek claimed the pit bull was attacking her corgi. Yet no injuries were found on the corgi. The community's response to the shooting was a clear outpour of support for Maynard, with neighbors creating a sidewalk memorial, though it was later dismantled -- allegedly by Mostek -- and discarded.

Witness Krystal Lopez, who observed the incident with her young child, described the shooting as "very upsetting and unnecessary," in an interview with FOX 32 Chicago. Emotions flared further when Maynard's landlord, reportedly acting on "defamatory statements" made by Mostek, told Maynard to move out soon after the dog was shot. Despite the controversy and ongoing perceptions, Mostek remains an active member of the CPD while the investigation continues.