Courtesy: Fox 46
An investigation of K-9 training abuse is underway after video sent to Fox 46 Charlotte shows an officer lifting a dog by a leash and slamming the animal into the side of a police vehicle, Salisbury PD officials said on Tuesday.
Police Chief Jerry Stokes told news outlets he couldn’t comment in detail on the incident, but said the German Shepherd, Zuul, wasn’t hurt or stunned and has since been separated from the handling officer. The department had Zuul at the press conference next to Stokes to show the animal’s behavior was normal after the incident.
The video shows a Salisbury K-9 handler upset with his dog for exiting the police cruiser and continues to scold him. The officer then swings Zuul around his body and appears to hit the dog. Other officers are heard on the tape saying “there are no witnesses.”
Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes refused questions at Tuesday’s press conference.
However, Stokes did say the officer’s actions may have been part of training tactics but didn’t comment on whether those tactics were appropriate. He added that K-9’s are trained to be used against criminal suspects and “when a canine is non-compliant with the handler’s commands, the handler is trained to correct the dog.”
An external agency will be investigating Salisbury PD’s handling of the situation, along with reviewing its K-9 policy and guidelines.