A White police officer has been charged after forcing a K-9 dog to bite an unarmed Black man in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
On Sept. 17, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office reported that it charged Salt Lake City Officer Nickolas Pearce with aggravated assault for making his K-9 dog bite Jeffrey Ryans.
On April 24, Ryans, 36, was on his way to work when he was approached by several White cops while he was in his yard. The bodycam footage from Pearce showed Ryan kneeling with his hands up. The officer told Ryans, “Get on the ground or you’re going to get bit.”
While Ryans was kneeling with his hands up, Pearce told the dog “hit” and then said, “good boy.” Ryans yelled in agony as the dog bit him several times.
The cops were after Ryans because he was living with his wife. The two had previously had a marital spat, that was not physically violent, which led to a judge placing a protective order against him. But during the pandemic, Ryans and his wife reconciled and he moved back in with her and their kids.
Ryans’ wife failed to ask the judge to remove the protective order.
Footage of the K-9 bite has since gone viral. Pearce is currently on administrative leave, and the K-9 program has been suspended as an investigation takes place.
Ryans is considering filing a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department.
After Pearce was charged, the Salt Lake City Police Department released a statement, which said, “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.”
View video of the incident below: