When police arrived at Jeffery Rian’s home one day in early April, the 36-year-old was shocked, but said his reaction was almost spontaneous.
Growing up as a black person in Alabama, he said, you are taught to cooperate. Keep your hands up when you are asked. If they say so, then get down on the ground.
On April 24, when he was summoned to his home by the Salt Lake City Police, someone overheard him arguing with his wife.
Body camera footage of the officers reveals that Ryan was smoking cigarettes in his backyard – he says he was about to quit his job as a train engineer – when officers shined lights on him and began shouting.
“get on the ground!” An officer yelled, as his police dog barked. “Get on the ground or you go a little bit!”
Ryan dropped what was in his hands and threw them into the air.
He recalled in an interview that he was confused. He did not know where to go or what to do: one officer was yelling at him to come to him, while another shouted that he was on the ground.
He worried that if he did the wrong thing, he would get shot.
“I wasn’t running away,” he recalled. “I was not fighting. I was just cooperating. We have been through it. We have seen this. Always cooperate with the police, whatever it may be. “
Bodycam shows that although Ryan was kneeling on the ground with his hands in the air, the K9 officer still ordered his dog to attack.
The dog, Tuso latch onto Ryan’s left leg, footage shows. Even as another officer sat on top of Ryan and handcuffed the man, the K9 officer continued to instruct his dog to “hit” – and Tuso responded by biting and tearing Ryan’s leg .
“Why are you doing this?” According to the video, Ryan shouted. “Why are you cutting me?”
“Good boy,” the officer said to his dog, as Ryan screamed in pain.
(Warning: The following video contains violence and oaths.)
This is body camera video that Ryan can no longer watch. It is very difficult to see a dog biting, pulling his leg, knowing that the injury has limited many surgeries, a lost job and the ability to play sports with his children.
“I felt like a chew toy,” he said. “I didn’t know why it was happening to me. That’s what was going on in my mind. Why?”
Rynes has taken the first step toward filing a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department. In the notice of claim, which is required before filing a suit, his attorneys, Daniel Garner and Gabriel White, alleged that the officer’s use of force was unnecessary – and caused an injury that would have caused the officer to perform Could have been avoided Appropriate action ”arresting Ryan.
They say that Ryan has suffered nerve and tendon damage, infection, and difficulty walking. Doctors have not ruled out the possibility that he would need to dissect his leg.
White alleged that officers reacted to the way his client was black.
The lawyer, who is white, said he has been in similar situations where he had an argument with his wife or drove his dog out in his backyard in the middle of the night. But the police never come, especially not with the K9 dog.
“What is it between us that can happen to him, but I can’t imagine it happening?” he said. “Never been shown to anyone at my house.”
Salt Lake City police officials said they could not comment on Ryan’s case because of the expected trial.
It is not clear from the body camera footage that called the police to Ryan’s house, but the man said it was not his wife.
Police demanded Ryan be arrested because his wife filed a protective order last December and she was not going to stay in his house. Court records show Ryan is facing domestic violence charges for an incident that occurred around that time, but the charging documents provide no other details about what happened.
Ryan said his wife had told him that the protective order had been lifted, and that he had returned to his home before calling police in April. He did not know that his request for a protective order taken was still pending – so he was technically violating it at the time of his arrest.
Ryan is now accused of violating that protective order, but no court date has been set.
The man, who has lived in Salt Lake City for more than 15 years, says he wanted to talk publicly about what happened to him at a time when people who supported Black Lives Matter and police Those who opposed barbarism had been protesting for months.
He says the police often treat black people differently, and he wanted Utahns to see that this is happening here.
Ryan says he has worked hard to get where he is. He went to college, made a career and raised a family with his wife. But he said that when that officer ordered his dog to bite him, it showed none of that case.
“People need to know Black Life Matter,” he said. “Everyone matters, but you can’t just treat people differently because of their religion or the color of their skin. I want to develop myself where I am now. I should be respected like others . we have not got. “