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Angie Harmon Wants 'Law and Order' After Delivery Man Shoots Her Dog

By Vaidehi Mehta, Esq. | Last updated on

Actor Angie Harmon is making headlines for a lawsuit she recently filed against grocery delivery service Instacart.

Harmon is a familiar face in TV and film, and she certainly seems to have a penchant for justice. She transitioned from modeling into acting in the mid-1990s. In 1998, she became a familiar face on American television when she entered Law & Order in Seasons 9 to 11, playing Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael. Then, she voiced the new police commissioner in Batman Beyond and later was the role of secret agent supervisor in Agent Cody Banks. Later, she would get a lead role in Rizzoli & Isles, a TV drama about a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson-type duo where Harmon played the titular Detective Jane Rizzoli.

It seems that the actor doesn’t just love law and order on TV, but in reality, too. Unfortunately, the reason she recently had to take the law into her own hands when law enforcement failed to do so was a tragic one: the death of her dog.

Harmon Orders Groceries for Easter

You might be familiar with the company Instacart. It delivers groceries customers order from third-party grocery stores and has them delivered to their homes. It became popular during the pandemic when going into grocery stores in person was not the best option, and remains a time-saver for many people. Instacart employs “shoppers,” who are contracted workers who do the actual in-store shopping for customers and then deliver them in their own vehicles.

Angie Harmon, busy star and mother of three, doesn’t always have time to do her own shopping, so she has been a longtime Instacart user, using the service to get groceries for her Charlotte, North Carolina, household. But this past Easter Sunday, Harmon’s holiday was undone by a tragic experience from her Instacart delivery.

That day, her Shopper was a woman named Merle, according to the app. Harmon had multiple text communications with Merle about the food to be retrieved, delivery timing, and other logistical questions. Based on past experience with Instacart and the way the service works, Harmon believed that it would be Merle (whose Shopper profile shows a photo of a middle-aged woman) herself who would be delivering her groceries — but that was very far from who she got.

A Not-So-Harmon-ious Holiday

Instead, that afternoon, a different person showed up to deliver Harmon’s groceries. The Shopper who arrived at her door was not an older lady, but a “tall and intimidating younger man” named Reid. Seemingly quite the animal lover, Harmon had multiple dogs as pets in her house and was also filling her squirrel feeders upstairs when the Shopper arrived. Two of her three daughters, both young adults, were in the backyard. They all heard a gunshot and ran to the front to find Reid putting a gun back in his pants. At his side, one of the family dogs, Oliver, lay shot. She rushed him to the vet’s office, where he died.

The actor later came out publicly about the events of that tragic afternoon. She said that, in shock, she had directed one of her daughters to call the police, but Reid said he would do it. On the police call recording, Reid can be heard yelling, “Your dog tried to bite me. I’m sitting here callin’ ya’ll, I’m textin’ y’all, I’m saying can you please put the dogs up ... The dog went off. So, I just tried to hurry up and run on the porch, and the dog’s trying to bite. So what am I supposed to do?” But Harmon said that she saw no indication – such as torn clothing or bitemarks – that Reid had indeed been attacked by her dog.

When the police arrived to the residence, they questioned only Reid. The man told them that a dog attacked him while he was there, and he had defended himself by firing a single gunshot at the dog, which mortally wounded it. Likely due to the claim of self-defense, there were no charges filed, and the case was closed.

Harmon Wants Answers

The actor says she “wants answers.” With the police declining to press criminal charges, she decided to take it into her own hands, in civil court. She sued Reid, and by association, Instacart. Her lawyers claimed that Instacart was also responsible under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, a.k.a. “vicarious liability.”

The lawsuit claimed that Harmon did not authorize Reid to access her personal information, deliver groceries, come onto her property, or interact with her and her family and dogs in any way – because, remember, she had only authorized the non-entity that was “Merle.” Therefore, she claims that Reid was wrongfully trespassing on her property. She also makes claims that Reid dispossessed her of her “personal property” (Oliver) by “maliciously shooting” him after trespassing. The complaint also claims that Reid discharged his gun inside city limits, violating local laws.

And all the claims are also being attributed to Instacart by proxy. The actor said, “I think Instacart is beyond responsible for all of this, like, this didn’t have to happen, and the damages this has done to our family ...” Instacart says that the Shopper account for “Merle” (or Reid) has been permanently deactivated.

It seems all of her television roles dealing with grisly murders and investigations didn't prepare her for the real deal. Sobbing in an interview with ABC, Harmon said, “I’ve played law enforcement for 30 years ... it’s just so different."

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