A man in handcuffs was bitten and shaken by a San Diego police K-9, which was captured on video, triggering a debate on whether it constitutes excessive force.
The graphic video shows a man, who was accused of threatening an officer, in handcuffs while the dog bites his arm. Blood is drawn.
San Diego Police officers said that officers and the dog adhered to the department’s policy, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Wednesday.
“While these videos can be graphic in nature to view, keep in mind our canines are extremely effective at deescalating situations and preventing elevated levels of force to take people into custody,” San Diego police Lt. Scott Wahl told the publication.
Facebook user Angel Nunez posted the footage online, showing the dog had latched onto the man’s arm for 30 seconds or more. Another officer then works to try and stop the dog from biting him.
Wahl noted that most of the incident was not captured on Nunez’s video.
The man was arrested after people reported he was acting erratically. Witnesses said he was running in and out of traffic, jumping on vehicles, and attacking stop signs.
He also allegedly punched a taxi driver and tried to steal a motorcycle, the paper reported.
When the officer approached him, he moved toward him and threatened the officer.
The officer told him to stop or the dog would attack him. Then, the dog is released and latches onto his arm.
“Is he going to rip his arm off? What is going to happen to the guy?” Nunez said, NBC San Diego reported. “Why can’t you get the dog off? If you can give him the simple command to attack, why can’t you give him a command to release?” Nunez said, adding that the dog bite was too long.
“Why can’t you call your dog off? Why can’t you call him off?” said one bystander in the clip. “You have no control of your dog whatsoever?” the person added. Another bystander then said, “You guys got three guys versus one. You can’t get the dog off?” And officer responds with, “Hey shut up! Get back!”
The aunt of the suspect said he’s been living on the streets.
“He has a history of mental health issues; he’s been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” the aunt told NBC. “So yeah, if you’re living out in the street, how do we expect one to act?”
An edited version of the video can be seen below (WARNING: Graphic content):