- Written by Bernd Debussmann Jr.
- BBC News
Authorities in Ohio are investigating an incident in which a police officer unleashed a dog on a black truck driver who was trying to surrender.
The incident, which occurred in the town of Circleville on July 4, began after police tried to stop a truck that failed to stop for a search.
After a chase, driver Jadarrius Rose appears with his hands up, but is bitten by a police dog.
Mr. Rose, 23, told dispatchers he feared for his life during the chase.
Circleville police were responding to a request from the Ohio Highway Patrol for a vehicle that failed to stop after inspectors noticed a missing fender, according to Mayor Don McIlroy.
Body camera and vehicle camera footage from the crash shows a prolonged chase that ended with police and vehicles surrounding the truck.
Once the car is stopped, one of the officers can be heard telling Mr. Rose to “get on the ground or you’ll get bitten”.
But another officer, believed to be an Ohio State Trooper, can be heard repeatedly giving instructions “not to release the dog with his hands up.”
Mr. Rose complied with the officers’ instructions by raising his hands in the air. But the police dog – a German Shepherd – is released and is seen dragging Mr. Rose to a grassy area near the road.
In a 911 call during the chase, Mr. Rose said he worried the officers were “trying to kill me” and that he couldn’t understand why they were “all up.” [their] Guns are fired for a reason.
“I don’t feel safe with the stop,” he said in the call released by Circuitville authorities to CNN on Monday. The dispatcher repeatedly told Mr. Rose to stop during the 911 call.
The Associated Press reported that Mr. Rose was treated at the scene before he was taken into custody and charged with non-compliance. Since then he has been released.
The incident is currently being investigated by the “use of force” council, made up of five members of the local community.
McIlroy told local news outlet Fox 28 that the officer who released the K-9 police dog has been disciplined in the past and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
BBC News has contacted the Circleville Police Department for further comment.
The BBC’s American partner, CBS, quoted Nana Watson, president of the nearby Columbus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as saying the officer’s actions were “barbaric”.
She added that the incident evoked “horrific memories and images of dogs shooting civic activists in the south in the 1960s.” “We hope for a thorough investigation and justice, including disciplinary action/dismissal of the officer involved,” she said.
Preliminary results from the review committee are expected next week.