"And Your Little Dog, Too"

The Burlington IA Police Department already killed Autumn Steele in front of her husband and 4-year-old son. Why are they trying to kill her grieving family's dog Sammy?

In a previous post, we shared the awful story of how Burlington Iowa Police Department officer Jesse Hill shot and killed Autumn Mae Steele. Details remain of the incident scarce because the agency in charge of the investigation, Iowa Department of Public Safety, and more specifically Special Agent Rick Rahn, have refused to share the copious physical evidence available surrounding the shooting. Jesse Hill was wearing a body camera, and his police cruiser's dash camera was also operational. Not only have police refused to hand over those video tapes to the media, they have yet to even mention the footage in public.

Autumn Mae Steele's dog Sammy, before being shot by Burlington Iowa police officer Jesse Hill

Sammy

Based on witness reports, the current understanding is that the Steele family dog Sammy was approaching Jesse Hill, and that Hill was attempting to kill Sammy when he missed and hit Autumn, instead. There is no explanation as to why Hill felt the imminent need to use a firearm as the first and only means of controlling Sammy, particularly given the fact that a 4-year-old child was right next to Autumn during the shooting. It is by providence alone that the two bullets Hill fired struck Autumn and Sammy and not the infant child in the line of fire.

Following the shooting, police took Sammy into custody and has refused to return the dog to the Steele family, compounding the tragedy for those who survive Autumn. This month, on February 25th at 6:30 p.m., a hearing is scheduled before the Burlington, IA Animal Hearing Board to determine Sammy's fate. The hearing will be held at:

Burlington Iowa City Hall
400 Washington St
Burlington, IA 52601

The current membership of the Burlington Animal Hearing Board is as follows:

The Animal Control Office is overseen by Burlington PD Major Dennis Kramer. He can be reached at 319-753-8355 or via email kramerd@burlingtoniowa.org. Police Chief Doug Beaird can be reached at 319-753-8355 beairdd@burlingtoniowa.org.

Readers can find the Burlington Animal Control Center on Facebook.

As the Animal Control Office is overseen by the Burlington Police Department, this hearing is being performed entirely at their behest. The hearing will determine whether Sammy meets the criteria as a "dangerous dog", the consequences of which could include euthanizing Sammy. Why would the Burlington Police seek to compound their purposeless killing of Autumn Steele by killing the family dog as well? Why are investigators with-holding the videotape of Jesse Hill's shooting of Autumn Mae Steele and Sammy?