A Missouri police department had to explain its actions after cellphone footage showed three cops apparently allowing their police dog to bite a black man while he was under arrest.
Police say the man, who was suspected of breaking into a business, did not comply, but onlooker footage appears to show otherwise.
In the video, two police officers can be seen arresting the man while he is leaning over the hood of a car. Another officer stands in front of the car with a barking dog. The man appears not to resist his arrest, but the K9 is still released on him as the other two cops walk away. The dog continues to bark, nibbling at the man’s ankles, who screams and grabs his legs. The man can be heard screaming “help”, but the three policemen stand by and let the dog continue to attack him. Two policemen then push the man to the ground, and the dog begins to pull and pull on his leg. Finally, the third cop drives the dog away, only to release him again on the suspect. The dog bites and drags the man to the ground. All the while, the three cops are standing and watching. Eventually the dog is taken away and the man continues to be arrested.
The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Expedition said the incident was a reminder of how black protesters were treated in the 1960s in Alabama as they marched for equal rights.
“This incident bears all the hallmarks of cops who decide to render their personal form of street justice – inflicting pain and punishment on the spot instead of waiting for the courts to do their job,” the board wrote.
Even Michael Gould, a canine expert specializing in police dog tactics, was disturbed by the incident.
“The point is, it’s a human reflex response,” he said. “You can’t let an 80-pound dog pierce your skin and be compliant. It is practically impossible.
In a press release on their Facebook page, the Woodson Terrace Police Department said they were called on September 20 after reports of a trespassing on a Woodson Terrace business. They alleged the man refused to leave, threatened to kill the officers who responded and claimed he was a sovereign citizen. They say they warned the man – who they thought was drugged – that if he didn’t comply, they would use a dog.
“The police tried to get the subject to cooperate with them, but the subject continued to resist,” the press release said. “The subject was then warned several times that if he did not comply, the K9 would be released. Subject continued to resist causing minor injuries to one of the officers, so K9 was released and K9 took control of the suspect’s foot. The suspect fell to the ground and the K9 was removed from the subject. “
Police said after the dog was pulled from the man, the man continued to try to resist the arrest, so the dog was released again and bit him on the leg. He was taken to hospital due to his injuries.
“After the subject was arrested, officers found suspected methamphetamine on the subject, which would explain why officers were unable to bring the subject under control. The subject was released pending the application of the warrants, ”the statement concludes.
The cops in this state still don’t want to explain why they kill people
Despite the officers sticking to the protocol they used, there has been a plethora of angry reactions online.
“It’s disgusting,” one person commented in the Woodson Terrace Police press release. “First of all, the video shows that it is not necessary to use a fuqqin [sic] dog to attack this man. Second, the video certainly doesn’t show him trying to harm any of your officers. You are also showing your Achilles heel here; you haven’t taken the time to train YOUR officers on how to detain and protect someone under the influence. The answer is not a fuqqin [sic] dog.”
“So we haven’t all seen what we saw in the video then?” It is an outright lie !!!! someone else wrote. “There were 3 cops and he was up against the hood when he released the dog the first time. Then he was on the ground when you let go of the dog again !!! With the cops pinning him to the ground.
Another person wrote: “An intentional dog attack? WTF! This is why the number of people who hate cops is increasing.
However, some people who viewed the video said it was reassuring.
“So happy that all of the officers involved and the police dog were safe during this incident,” commented a person under the police department’s Facebook statement. “The report highlights the dangerous circumstances our officers face every day to keep us and our community safe. “
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