A police officer from Utah has been charged with felony assault after he ordered his police dog to attack a Black man.
The victim was actually complying with the officer’s demands at the time.
Officers responded to a domestic disturbance report on April 24 at a home in Salt Lake City.
Jeffery Ryans, 36, was in his yard when officers approached him. The cops then told him to “get on the ground or you’re gonna get bit.” The man then gets on his knees and places his hands behind his head, as requested by the officers, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Officer Nickolas J. Pearce can then be heard telling his K-9 Tuco to “hit” Ryans. Tuco then bites into the man’s right leg. Ryans can be heard screaming out in pain.
“I’m on the ground, I’m on the ground. Why are you biting me?,” Ryans asks.
“Good boy,” Pearce can be heard telling his dog.
Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office charged Pearce with second-degree felony aggravated assault and could face 15 years in prison.
“The department takes the district attorney’s decision and the Civilian Review Board’s findings very seriously,” a statement from the Civilian Review Board reads.
“Both will be evaluated and taken into account as the department is finalizing its internal affairs investigation. If internal affairs finds that Officer Pearce committed a policy violation, the chief’s office will follow the disciplinary process required under state and federal law. This can take some time, but we will carry this out as expediently as possible to bring a prompt conclusion to this matter.”
This post first appeared on mtonews.com