Group holds ‘Justice for Dixie’ rally after family’s dog killed by Lorain police officer, who has since been placed on leave

LORAIN, Ohio — A “Justice for Dixie” rally was held Friday alongside the family whose dog was killed after being shot by a Lorain police officer earlier this week. The rally happened hours before 3News confirmed that the officer has been placed on administrative leave.

Following some brief comments at the start of the rally, the group gathered on the sidewalk outside of the Lorain Police Department while chanting “justice for Dixie” as passing vehicles honked in support.

During the rally, Lieutenant Jacob Morris of the Lorain Police Department was there to offer a statement amid the ongoing investigation.

“I want to offer our condolences to the Kerns family,” Morris said. “Regardless of the situation, they’re dealing with the loss of a family member. It hurts to even say that we were involved in that, but with that being said we can offer our condolences – and we certainly, certainly do. I’ve spoken to the family and trying to be a resource for them as the investigative process rolls out.”

We streamed a portion of the rally, which you can watch in the video below:

The rally comes a few days after Lorain police released body camera footage of the incident as more videos surfaced on social media.

The incident dates back to Sunday afternoon as Tammie Kerns said she and her daughter had been working to gather their dogs when four of them got loose. That’s when the family says a Lorain officer then pulled up to their home on Oberlin Avenue and told them to get their dogs under control.

Kerns said Dixie then ran out into the street when the officer allegedly shot the dog multiple times.

“After she was shot one time in the street, he should have just let it go and let us get the dog and take her where she needed to be treated,” Kerns told 3News earlier this week. “But he didn’t do that. She was crawling — useless, helpless — in the street. He continued shooting her as she was trying to come to safety, and he just kept shooting her three more times after the first time.”

Dixie died at the scene – and Kerns is demanding justice.

“He should lose his job,” Kerns said of the officer. “He should go to jail. He should rot.”

Sanford Washington, the Director of Public Safety for the city of Lorain, released the following statement about the situation shortly before 9 a.m. Friday:

“On Sunday July 2, 2023, there was a complaint from a citizen about several dogs at large in a local neighborhood. Lorain Police Officer (Officer Elliot Palmer) responded to the call. Upon arriving at the site of the complaint, Officer Palmer got out of his cruiser and attempted to assess the area.

“During his assessment, Officer Palmer was approached by one of the dogs who freed itself from its owners. The dog was shot and killed by Officer Palmer.

“This incident is being investigated by the Lorain Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards as they are working with multiple agencies. The administration will allow the investigation to be completed and all appropriate laws followed in the review of this incident. No further comments will be made until the review is complete.”