According to prosecutors, a Salt Lake City police officer was charged with aggravated assault on Wednesday, five months after he ordered his police dog to attack a black man with his hands on his knees in the air. Was.
Nicholas J., according to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Pierce ordered the officer to bite the dog to the man, even though Mr. Ryan was doing nothing to protest the officers during the April 24 domestic violence.
Repeatedly saying “good boy,” Officer Pearce encouraged the dog, Tuso, as he dipped his teeth into Mr. Ryan’s leg, and Mr. Ryans cried in pain, with the district attorney’s office probing the probable cause. Said in the statement.
The episode surfaced in August, when The Salt Lake Tribune published a report on the encounter, which included body-camera footage.
Utah state law allows officers to use force, but “when you cross that threshold, you should be held accountable, like anyone else,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Wednesday Said in an interview.
Aggravated assault, a felony, a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
According to the Salt Lake City Police Department, 39-year-old Officer Pierce, who is white and has been on the force for 14 years, was placed on administrative leave in August and remained on leave on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer. There were no answers to the phone numbers listed under his name.
Officer Pearce has said that he believes Mr. Ryan was clutching a fence to try to stand up and, according to a report from the city’s Citizen Review Board, “a preamble to fight those actions to the authorities Interpreted as “. The report stated, “He opted to use his K-9 to stop these actions” and said that he described the dog as a “good guy” because dogs respond to positive reinforcement and are naturally used to people. Don’t want to bite, the report said.
However, the review board concludes that “the key element, which is the reason for the deployment of the K-9, that was attempted to stand, was not evident only on the two cameras capturing this part of the incident.” The board said that it was found that Officer Pierce used excessive force.
Mr. Rhines to his lawyer Gabriel. White has filed a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department. “We are optimistic, with criminal charges, there will be some measure of justice for Jeffrey,” he said.
The encounter began when several officers responded to a report of domestic violence and found Mr. Ryan in a backyard, the probable cause statement said.
The statement said Officer Pearce told Mr. Ryan to get on the ground or he would be cut off, while other officers ordered Mr. Ryon to come to the fence and ask him how they could enter the backyard.
The statement said Mr. Ryans obeyed the officers’ orders, raised his hands and told them that they could enter through a gate. The statement said that Mr. Ryse kept his hands clean and stayed where he was.
The statement said that when Officer Pearce came around the corner of the house with his dog, he once again asked Mr. Ryos to meet on the ground or be bitten.
The statement said that three seconds later, the officer beat Mr. Ryan to the leg, even though Mr. Ryan was not protesting. Mr. Ryan dropped to his knees and put his hands up. Officer Pierce then ordered Tuko to cut Mr. Ryan.
The statement said Mr. Ryans was taken to a hospital with two lections – 4 inches by about 4 inches and the other by 5 inches. He said he experienced “prolonged damage” to the use of his left leg after surgery to treat wounds, the statement said, adding that complications from the dog’s bite “distorted loss of Mr. Rance’s foot and visible scars.” “As a result.
In August, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Police dogs use Officers will be suspended “for engaging with suspects” until they review the city’s policies and practices. Ms. Mendenhall said Wednesday that the police department is holding the outcome of the review pending and a review on racial equality in the police.
A Democrat member, Ms. Mendenhall, said in a statement, “I appreciate the quick work of the District Attorney on this investigation and am committed to the mandate before us.” We will not back down from the work that will take our policies, culture and budget It should be done in developing to ensure that SLCPD is the gold standard in law enforcement. “
In a statement on Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Police Department admitted the allegations against Officer Pearce and said it had received a civil review board report.
“The department takes the district attorney’s decision and the Civilian Review Board’s findings very seriously,” the statement said. “Both will be evaluated and taken into account as the department is finalizing its internal affairs investigation.”
If an internal affairs investigation finds that Officer Pierce has violated the policy, the police chief will follow the disciplinary process required under state and federal law, the department said. “It may take some time,” he said, but we will pursue it as quickly as possible to conclude the matter expeditiously.