K9 bit officer seen striking dog in viral video, Fayetteville Police say in releasing findings

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Friday, July 5, 2024
K9 bit officer seen striking dog in viral video: Fayetteville Police
Fayetteville Police responded Friday to a viral video that purported to show a K-9 officer hitting his dog

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville Police responded Friday to a viral video that purported to show a K-9 officer hitting his dog.

The video, taken June 23, sparked outrage on social media.

It happened at the Walgreens at Village Drive and Owen Drive. The video appeared to show the officer hitting his K-9 several times.

The Fayetteville Police Department said it received numerous complaints and comments expressing concerns about the incident.

"The video released to social media does not depict the entirety of the incident," FPD said in a release.

After an investigation, FPD said it was releasing several findings.

The K9 handler involved was bitten by his dog before the recorded incident and received medical treatment for his injuries. A veterinarian checked out the K9 and found no injuries to the dog.

The K9 handler and dog had been dispatched to conduct an external "sniff" of a vehicle that had been stopped by police.

After the handler deployed his dog, the K9 signaled a positive alert on the passenger side of the car. The dog then sniffed the driver's side of the car and jumped onto the driver's side door. The handler told the dog to get down and the dog got down, circled behind the K9 handler and bit him in the thigh.

Despite verbal commands and collar manipulation, the K9 refused to release the bite. After 10-12 seconds of being bitten the handler hit the K9 with his fist seven times, FPD said.

The final blow caused the dog to release its grip.

The handler then lifted the K9 off the ground by the collar and away from his body but the dog again tried to bite his handler.

The handler clamped his hand over the dog's muzzle and put the K9 into a kennel and commands him to sit, which the dog does.

FPD said a witness provided a statement to police. During the investigation, statements were also obtained by the handler and the officer who made the traffic stop and requested a K9 officer.

During the review, investigators viewed video recorded by two body-worn cameras and an in-car camera.FPD's internal "Master Handler" and the chain of command also reviewed the evidence as did independent agencies.

The names of the handler and K9 were not immediately released.