Another Baltimore police officer placed on leave for role in death of dog in Canton

BALTIMORE - Another officer has been placed on leave following an investigation into the death of a dog in Canton on June 14, according to a release from the Baltimore Police Department.

Ofc. Thomas Schmidt was placed on paid administrative leave for his role in the death of 7-year-old Shar-Pei that police believe was killed by veteran officer Jeffrey Bolger.Schmidt joined the department in 1990.

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Charging documents allege Bolger cut the dog’s throat after fellow officers placed the dog under control.

Schmidt and Bolger, both members of the Emergency Service Unit, were called to a parking lot in the 900 block of South Grundy to help restrain the dog who had bitten a Canton woman earlier in the day, according to charging documents. 

The woman , later identified as Sandy Fleischer, suffered a puncture wound to the hand.

“She looked tired and she looked thirsty and she looked a little bit disoriented,” Fleischer said.

Fleischer called police for help.

“The dog had been detained,” Fleischer, an eye-witness to the incident, said. “The dog had been [restrained] face down into the ground. They were twisting the noose. One officer had his knee into her chest. The dog was crying. She was in pain.

Charging documents suggest Schmidt was the officer who used a dog pole to bring the Shar-Pei named Nala under control.

Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere confirmed at a press conference Wednesday that “unfortunately at some point after that dog was contained with the use of the dog pole one of our officers used a knife and cut the dog’s throat.

“Let me make it clear that this is an outrageous and unacceptable breach of our protocol,” Palmere continued.

Nala escaped from her owner’s home in the 500 block of South Decker Avenue at about 6 a.m. that morning. Police launched an internal investigation Monday. Sara Gossard, Nala's owner, said she was outraged. Gossard launched the Facebook group Justice for Nala Wednesday. 

Bolger, a 22-year member of the department, was charged with felony animal cruelty charges Wednesday. He too was placed on administrative leave, although without pay. No charges have been filed so far against Schmidt. 

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