NC police department under investigation after disturbing video surfaces of K-9 training

SALISBURY, N.C. (WTVD) -- An internal investigation is underway at a North Carolina police department after a disturbing video surfaced of a K-9 being slammed inside a vehicle by an officer, ABC affiliate WSOC reported.

The video at the center of the investigation shows a Salisbury police officer placing a collar on a 4-year-old K-9 that is then lifted off the ground by its collar. After struggling to get the dog inside the vehicle, the officer then strikes the animal.

Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes told ABC News that he couldn't comment in detail about what happened but did claim that the K-9 was not injured or stunned.

In the meantime, the dog has been separated from the officer.

During a Tuesday news conference about the investigation, the K-9, known as Zuul, was on hand.

Stokes would not say whether the treatment was "appropriate" but did say it may have been part of the training tactics. He added that "when a canine is non-compliant with the handler's commands, the handler is trained to correct the dog."

"The officer has been administratively separated from the K-9 while SPD conducts its review," Stokes said Tuesday.

In the video, the handler -- who has not been named at this time -- can be seen yelling "stay" before putting a leash on the dog, lifting it up by said leash, and swinging the animal around his back as he walks toward his vehicle.

The video then shows the handler slamming the dog into the SUV before telling it to "stay" and hitting it.

An outside agency will now be investigating the department and its K-9 policy and guidelines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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