Goshen police officer heard on body camera threatening to shoot dog

The video was recorded by the body camera of an Orange County sheriff’s deputy and was given exclusively to News 12 in an email from an anonymous tipster who questioned the officer's behavior during a call last March.

Blaise Gomez

Nov 17, 2023, 10:54 PM

Updated 146 days ago

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A Town of Goshen police officer's behavior on duty is now under investigation after News 12's inquiries into newly surfaced body camera video that shows him threatening to shoot a dog while on a call.
Officer Bernie Rivers is heard in the recording saying, “Do not open that door because I will shoot that [expletive] dog. Make no mistake about that, so step back down there.”
The video was recorded by the body camera of an Orange County sheriff’s deputy and was given exclusively to News 12 in an email from an anonymous tipster who questioned the officer's behavior during a call last March.
Rivers ran for Orange County sheriff in 2022 and lost against Paul Arteta.
Goshen officials confirm the identity of the officer and say they never saw the video until now.
According to the police report, town officers were at the home several times that day for domestic calls. On this occasion, sheriff’s deputies also responded.
The woman was ordered “not to open the door leading into the house,” according to police documents given to News 12 by the police department. She and Rivers are seen in the video standing next to the door while a deputy wearing the bodycam nears.
According to police documents, the dog was described by a resident of the home as potentially dangerous to anyone other than certain people it's familiar with.
News 12 got a hold of the woman who owns the dog. She was surprised by the call and said she didn’t want to be involved or identified in our report.
Goshen police charged her with unlawful imprisonment during the incident for allegedly using the dog to prevent a person who lives there from leaving. News 12 confirmed with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office that those charges were later dropped, and the records were sealed.
News 12 is told there are other police videos of the incident. News 12 requested them from the sheriff’s office under the Freedom of Information Act.
Town officials declined to comment until all the footage can be reviewed. Town of Goshen Police Chief James Post says a complaint was never lodged against the officer following the call but that an investigation into the conduct during the incident is now underway.


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