Changes coming to K-9 policy after Wake deputy pleads guilty in Kyron Hinton assault trial

Wake County deputy Cameron Broadwell was officially terminated from his position in the sheriff's office after pleading guilty in court Monday for failing to carry out his duties during the 2018 arrest of Kyron Hinton.

Sheriff Baker made it official in a late afternoon news conference.

"The Wake County Sheriff's Office has officially terminated (Cameron Broadwell's) employment effective today," Baker said, 13 months after a video went viral of Deputy Broadwell siccing his K-9 partner on Kyron Hinton.

Broadwell's firing comes after his criminal trial for felony assault stopped in its tracks Monday morning. Broadwell broke down in tears as the felony charges were dropped in exchange for the deputy's admission that he's guilty of failing to discharge his duties.

"So we count this as a victory," said Diana Powell, Executive Director of Justice Served NC. "Broadwell will never be able to work in law enforcement again."

Powell alongside other social advocates in the Triangle worked with Hinton and his family to push for criminal charges against the officers involved and advocate for changes to policing policies in use of force.

"We still have to work to make sure that it doesn't happen by other officers," said Shannon Utley, the mother of Hinton's eight-year old daughter.

To that end, Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, who personally prosecuted the brutality case against Deputy Broadwell, urged major changes inside the sheriff's K-9 division. She recommended dogs be used only to apprehend violent offenders, and, to look at adopting a no bite policy.

"And so I am calling on the sheriff of Wake County to review his K-9 policy and change that," Freeman said following Broadwell's plea.

Before Broadwell arrived that night in April last year, Hinton was surrounded by Raleigh police officers who testified at trial, did not feel Hinton was an immediate threat.

In the sheriff's office manual for canine handlers, it says dogs should be deployed based on the severity of the crime and whether the suspect poses an immediate threat.

And in part d-5 - it says if feasible, the canine handler should give verbal warning prior to releasing the dog -- including that the dog may bite.

In the video, Broadwell warned Hinton three times.

"Get on the ground now or you're gonna get bit," Broadwell can be heard yelling.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are having similar discussions about how to use their K-9 officers. Some are moving away from training their dogs to 'bite and hold' and now using a 'bark and hold' policy

"As a result of today's decision we just wanted to let you know that we're working on revising the K-9 policy," Baker said. "So we are going to take our time. But it won't take long."

The Wake County Sheriff's Office has nine K-9 officers. The department's regulations were drawn up in 2015.

While Sheriff Baker did not offer specifics on upcoming policy changes, he did say the biting component of their K-9 rules is being looked at for revisions.
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