After an alarming smartphone video went public showing three white Missouri cops allowing a police dog to assault a Black man during an arrest, an investigation was begun.
According to Fox 2 Now, the incident occurred on Monday, Sept. 20 in the St. Louis suburb of Woodson Terrace, when police responded to a call of an alleged break-in of a local company just south on Interstate 70 on Woodson Road at 7:15 a.m.
The man could be seen with his hands on the bonnet of an unmarked police car while two unnamed officers detained him in the roughly three-minute video, which was shot by an eyewitness who did not want to be recognized.
With his dog barking, the police canine officer approaches. As the cop held the dog close by, the suspect could be heard screaming.
As the canine officer releases the dog and enables it to bite the man’s foot, the first two officers back away. The assault continues for a few seconds longer before one of the officers attempts to grasp the man from behind. The dog, however, pulls the man away from the first two officers by his foot.
As the dog continues to bite the man’s foot, another arrest attempt is made. His screams of pain could be heard. The battle to get the dog away from the man is unimpressive.
He then attempts to leave, but the handler lets go of the dog, and the man gets bitten once more, this time in the thigh. Witnesses in the background, meanwhile, stared in astonishment. The man falls to the ground, and the officers who are detaining him allow the dog to bite his thigh for a few more seconds before arresting him.
In a statement, police said the guy, who has not been identified but is thought to be in his 30s, looked to be under the influence of methamphetamine when he allegedly threatened to kill officers. He allegedly fought arrest, hurting a police officer in the process.
Furthermore, he claimed to be a “sovereign citizen” who was not bound by any laws.
Despite this, police canine specialist Michael Gould told KSDK that the video was “difficult.” “The fact of the matter is, it’s a human instinctive response; you can’t be obedient with an 80-pound dog puncturing your skin,” he continued.
“It’s practically impossible,” said Gould, who has studied handling and management, deployment, and has worked with police canines, assistance dogs, and private customers for over 30 years.
Although an ambulance was dispatched to the scene, the subject refused to be treated. He was later treated at a local hospital, however. The unidentified man was apprehended and has since been released.
Many people are now calling for an investigation into the department, which is claimed to have only 18 employees on duty, none of who are Black, and how they handled the arrest.
Wesley Bell, the prosecutor for St. Louis County, said in a statement that his office is aware of the video and that “we will conduct a full investigation into the event.” At this point, it would be premature to comment on the merits or details of an ongoing investigation.”
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