Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the shocking footage released by police “in the interest of being transparent” showing an officer ordering a K9 unit to bite a schoolboy suspect.
Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department captured the moment they detained a juvenile suspect, who has not been named, in Salt Lake City located in the American state of Utah in the early hours of 5th June of this year.
However, the video has just been released by police following an audit which investigated 34 cases spanning back to 2016 of the department’s K-9 Apprehension Program.
It is unclear why the audits were conducted.
The video shows the moment the K9 handler, whose name has not been given, stands at the door of the establishment and yells at the suspect inside, warning him of the police dog if he fails to comply.
An officer is heard saying “He has scissors in his hands” stopping the handler from deploying the dog but keeping it on high alert.
The person inside is heard yelling at the police and refusing to exit. The handler deploys the dog after a cop says “He’s dropped the scissors” and commands it to find the suspect.
The cops follow the K9 unit into the establishment which appears to be a restaurant where they find the suspect standing on a counter.
The teen is heard yelling “I don’t have a weapon” as the handler yells “Hit” at the dog which is the command for the dog to attack.
The police dog does not attack the suspect despite the repeated commands by its handler who approaches the suspect, taking him down, and then pins him against the floor as the police dog begins its attack.
The officer continues to yell ‘Hit’ as the screaming boy tries to get them to stop by yelling “I am a 14-year-old” while the cop continues to hold him and the dog bites him.
The juvenile suspect was found trying to start a fire when he was detained by police, however, no further information was given on the case.
Salt Lake City PD report the “K-9 Apprehension Program and the four dual purpose dogs associated with it remain suspended indefinitely” according to a statement released with the footage.
It adds that “officers involved in the cases have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcomes of the investigations”.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said they released the video “in the interest of being open and transparent” and are now “taking initiatives to conduct similar audits in all divisions of the police department.”
Of the 34 cases that were investigated, 19 were referred to the District Attorney’s Office for further review. It is unclear when the investigations are expected to be concluded.
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