Utah Cop Suspended Over Video of Him Siccing Dog on Compliant Man in His Own Yard [Video]

The victim was on his knees with his hands in the air when he was savaged by the K-9.

Salt Lake City PD has suspended an officer and temporarily banned the use of police dogs after the publication of a horrific video that showed a compliant man being attacked.

Bodycam footage shows Jeffery Ryans was in his own backyard, on his knees with his hands in the air when an officer sicced his dog on him, savaging his leg.

The harrowing footage was released by Ryans’ lawyers, who are suing the department, claiming their client may yet have to have his leg amputated over the attack.

The incident occurred on April 24; according to the Salt Lake Tribune, police had been called to the address after someone heard Ryans arguing with his wife.

The bodycam video shows the moment officers arrive as Ryans is in his garden smoking a cigarette.

“Get on the ground!” the officer opens with, without identifying himself. “Get on the ground or you’re going to get bit.”

Ryans does so, sinking to his knees with his hands up — but the dog launches at him anyway, clamping its jaws around his leg.

WARNING: Graphic Content

“I’m on the ground! I’m on the ground! Why are you biting me?” Ryans yells in pain; but the officer — later identified as Nickolas Pearce — continuously shouts the command “hit!” at the dog.

The Alsatian continues to tear at his leg while Ryans screams in agony; Pearce continues to tell the dog “Good boy.”

“I was just getting my work clothes, Jesus Christ,” Ryans sobs. “Ow my f–king leg!”

As the clip ends, another officer can be heard radioing: “We need medical for a dog bite.”

Ryans, a train engineer, said he was just getting ready to go to work when he was attacked.

“I felt like a chew toy,” he told the publication. “I didn’t know why this was happening to me. That’s what was going through my mind. Why?”

He said he suffered nerve and tendon damage, infections, and has difficulty walking, while doctors have not ruled out the possibility of amputation.

His lawyers believe the attack on Ryans, who is Black, was racially motivated.

Police said they were arresting Ryans for violating a protection order his wife had filed in December; he claims his wife told him it had been lifted, and that he had been living at the house for weeks before the night of the dog attack, oblivious that it was still pending.

Following the release of the video, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced that the officer had been suspended pending an investigation — as had all use of police dogs on suspects.

“The officer involved in the incident documented by body cam footage published by the Tribune Tuesday has been suspended from duty, pending an investigation into their use of force,” she tweeted Wednesday.

“In addition, the use of K9s to engage with suspects has been completely suspended until the policies and practices of that program can be fully reviewed.”

“Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that it took a news outlet publishing this video for it to be brought to the attention of senior police department leadership and myself. We will conduct a thorough review of the breakdown in communication to ensure that it does not happen again.”

“I am disturbed by what I saw in that video, frustrated by how the situation was handled, and am committed to working to ensure neither happen again.”

[via TooFab]

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