A Salisbury police officer who was seen on video slamming a police K-9 into the side of a patrol car has resigned, police said Wednesday.
James Hampton tendered his resignation after the Salisbury Police Department recommended the eight-year veteran be terminated for his actions, according to a press release.
“The Police Department’s review determined that Officer Hampton had acted in a manner entirely inconsistent with his K-9 training and had violated Police Department policy. As a result, he was recommended for termination,” Salisbury police said in a statement.
“Prior to the Police Department formalizing any disciplinary action, Officer Hampton tendered his resignation, effective immediately. The Police Department did not incentivize or otherwise request Officer Hampton’s resignation, which he tendered as a matter of right.”
A video sent to Fox 46 shows Hampton commanding the dog to stay after exiting a SUV cruiser. He then moves towards the K-9,– later identified as Zuul– puts a leash on him before picking him up by the collar in a choke, swinging his body vertically over his shoulder and rams him into the side of the vehicle.
Other officers are heard on the tape saying “no witnesses” as Hampton appears to scold Zuul.
Police would not release additional details about the incident, but a spokesperson for the city of Salisbury said Hampton joined the police department in 2013 and became a K-9 officer in 2015. The incident took place during a police training.
Zuul is currently resting at a professional canine care facility and has received a clean bill of health, according to the police department.