Three Missouri police officers accused of encouraging and allowing a dog to bite a restrained Black man pinned against a patrol car while he seemed to comply with their orders are now being investigated by the FBI.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the Woodson Terrace Police Department after disturbing footage of the September 20 incident surfaced online late last week. The longer than two-minute video shows the man repeatedly crying out “No!” and “Help!” as he pleads with the officers to pull the dog off of him. Footage shows the dog biting the man’s ankles as the officers watch.
Subsequently, two of the officers pull the man to the ground as the third tells the dog to “Bite him.” After pulling the man up, the animal latches on him again, bringing him down. The dog is seen biting the man while he’s on the ground and being handcuffed.
PEOPLE reports the identity of the man and officers involved have not yet been released. In a statement, the Woodson Terrace Police confirm they responded to a trespassing call at a business that morning and encountered the name, who was leaving the area.
“Our officers made contact with the subject and the subject immediately started threatening to kill the officers and identified as a sovereign citizen,” the statement reads, according to the celebrity news outlet. “The subject continued yelling obscenities and telling the officers he would not comply and he ‘will not obey your contract.’ The subject continued to walk away from the officers and several commands to stop were given by the officers but the subject failed to comply and continued to walk away into rush hour traffic.”
“The subject was under the influence of a narcotic,” the statement alleges as officers “advised him he was under arrest.” He was asked to put his hands behind his back, “but he refused,” it is alleged in the statement, “and when the officers attempted to place the subjects hands behind his back, the subject resisted and refused to comply.”
In their statement, the Woodson Terrace Police Department claims the subject continually resisted and “warned several times that if he did not comply the K9 would be released. The subject continued to resist, causing minor injuries to one of the officers, so the K9 was released and the K9 gained control of the suspect’s foot. The suspect went to the ground and the K9 was pulled off the subject.”
The man was reportedly taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment. He has not been charged with a crime, but authorities claim he was in the possession of methamphetamine at the time.
On Friday (September 24), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered a protest outside the Woodson Terrace Police Department. Activist Zaki Baruti said the officers’ use of a dog on the man compares to when civil rights protestors were frequently menaced and attacked by police dogs during the 1960s.
“We were outraged by the vile and despicable behavior of the Woodson Terrace police officers,” Baruti told the newspaper.