The Salt Lake City Police Department suspended its K9 program on Wednesday, one day after the release of an officer’s body-camera footage that showed his dog appearing to repeatedly bite a Black man kneeling on the ground with his hands up, NBC News reports.
In a statement, the department said it was enlisting outside experts to conduct a thorough review of the program’s policies and procedures while various investigations examine the April 24 incident that left Jeffrey Ryans, 36, with severe injuries that his lawyers said may require amputation.
Ryans was outside of his wife's house getting ready to go to work when officers arrived and told him to get on the ground. In disturbing body-camera footage first published by the Salt Lake City Tribune and obtained by NBC News, officer Nickolas Pearce appears to say "hit" and "good boy" while his dog bites Ryans, who repeatedly shouts in pain and asks why the dog is biting him.
Pearce was placed on administrative leave while the city’s civilian review board and internal affairs investigators investigate, the department said.
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