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Protesters, Supporters Gather As Officer In Dog Shooting Appears In Court

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) - The Commerce City police officer who shot a dog and now faces charges appeared in court on Tuesday.

A judge advised Robert Price of the charges he faces in Adams County Court in a heavily attended court hearing. He faces one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony.

Price shot and killed the dog, Chloe, on Nov. 24 after police received a call of a loose dog. The incident was videotaped by a neighbor with a cellphone and went viral.

Many animal right supporters were outraged by the incident, and about 15 protesters showed up at the courthouse for the hearing, some with signs and some with their dogs.

Chloe was shot to death by a Commerce City police officer in November of 2012 (credit: CBS)

"We just want to do something about it by bringing these charges to light to have the message sent to police departments that if you recklessly shoot our dogs you will be criminally charged, your city will be sued, and you will lose your job," protester Jeffrey Justice said.

Several police officers dressed in suits and ties also went to the advisement hearing in a silent show of support for Price. The officers declined to make a comment.

Last week Colorado's largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, called the fact that there are criminal charges in the case "outrageous" and the result "of a sensationalized media event."

Price is due back in court on April 15. If he is convicted he will lose his job.

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