The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case of three Missouri Officers who allegedly let a dog bite a black man after a video of the disturbing incident went viral on social media.
According to a report in People magazine, the FBI has started investigating The Woodson Terrace Police Department regarding the incident that took place on September 20. The move comes amid increasing demand by the public for the termination of the three police officers.
The 2-minute clip of the incident, which surfaced online late last week, showed the policemen manhandling the man after pinning him against a patrol car despite him seemingly cooperating with them while he was being arrested. The man is heard repeatedly crying out "No!" and "Help" as he pleads with the officers to pull him away from the police dog who was biting him on the ankles.
However, instead of helping, two of the officers pulled the man to the ground, while the third one directed the animal to "bite him." They went on to pull the man up only to let the dog latch on him again and bring him down. The dog continued biting the man while he was on the ground being handcuffed.
In a statement regarding the incident, the Woodson Terrace Police said that they had responded to a trespassing call at a business that morning, and encountered the man, who was leaving the area. In the press release, the police claimed that when the cops approached the man, he "immediately started threatening to kill the officers and identified as a sovereign citizen."
"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 police said, adding that the man was "under the influence of a narcotic."
The statement added that the cops first warned the man of an attack by K9 if he continues to refuse to cooperate, and unleashed the dog only when he continued to resist arrest. "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," it read, adding that he was later taken to the hospital for treatment.
The police said the man who was in possession of methamphetamine at the time has not been charged with a crime and released pending application of warrants. Meanwhile, protests started against the department with black activist Zaki Baruti comparing the cops' actions to the use of police dogs against civil rights protestors in the 1960s.
Names of all the officers involved, as well as the victim, are being withheld.