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SLCPD releases bodycam video from 19 K-9 bite incidents from 2016-2020

Posted at 3:19 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 20:06:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Two weeks after the Salt Lake City Police Department announced it was suspending its K-9 apprehension program and had referred 18 cases to the Salt Lake County District Attorney for further review, the department released body-worn camera footage from each incident under investigation.

SLCPD released 19 videos Friday — one from each case that the department identified as needing further review. Initially, the department said it had audited 27 incidents back through 2018, and Friday's announcement stated that they had audited a total of 34 from 2016 to 2020 and has now sent them all to the DA's office.

"The K9 Unit videos released today by the Salt Lake City Police Department are extremely disturbing," the Salt Lake City Council said in a statement released Friday. "City Council Members are distressed by officers who appear to order their dogs to bite suspects unnecessarily, causing pain and injury."

The earliest bodycam video is from Dec. 26, 2016, and the most recent is from June 5, 2020. Each video includes a description of the incident, including the date, location and nature of the report officers were responding to. Some portions are also blurred or have redacted audio to preserve the privacy of those involved.

The K-9 apprehension program remains suspended, as do the four dogs included. Six officers involved in the incidents under review have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigations.

Since SLCPD's referral of its own cases involving "K9-caused injuries to civilians," District Attorney Sim Gill's office announced Friday that it is also now working with other police agencies in the county to gather information and make recommendations on the use of K-9s.

Gill said he understands the anger stemming from a lack of checks and balances when it comes to being able to review the actions of government offices and police departments.

"There certainly should be a concern from our the community given there's a process failure," Gill said. "We have the responsibility and a duty as the district attorney's office to make sure there was no violation of the law."

Below are the videos released by SLCPD on Friday:

VIDEO 1 - DECEMBER 16, 2016 - Officers respond to a report of a female being assaulted. Officer deploys K9 to take male suspect into custody

VIDEO 2 - JANUARY 2, 2018 - Suspect wanted on several felony warrants for aggravated assault found in back bedroom. K9 used to apprehend suspect.

VIDEO 3 - JANUARY 3, 2018 - K9 dispatched to take carjacking suspect into custody by opening passenger door.

VIDEO 4 - AUGUST 6, 2018 - During foot chase, K9 released to apprehend suspect. K9 was unsuccessful, but used while suspect was handcuffed.

VIDEO 5 - OCTOBER 20, 2018 - K9 bites armed robbery suspect unintentionally, but allowed to remain on as suspect resisted arrest,

VIDEO 6 - JANUARY 3, 2019 - K9 used to apprehend suspect who had assaulted occupant of home and destroyed property.

VIDEO 7 - JANUARY 9, 2019 - K9 used to assist officers in handcuffing car prowl suspect who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

VIDEO 8 - JANUARY 13, 2019 - K9 sent into motel room where robbery suspect was hiding.

VIDEO 9 - JULY 28, 2019 - Fleeing jaywalking suspect put in custody with assistance of K9.

VIDEO 10 - NOVEMBER 20, 2019 - K9 dispatched into building where burglary suspects are hiding.

VIDEO 11 - JANUARY 25, 2020 - Burglary suspect in abandoned building taken into custody by use of K9.

VIDEO 12 - FEBRUARY 8, 2020 - K9 used to apprehend suspect inside building and attempted to hold door closed.

VIDEO 13 - FEBRUARY 25, 2020 - Suspect who had stolen ambulance apprehended by K9.

VIDEO 14 - MARCH 15, 2020 - K9 dispatched to take into custody a domestic violence suspect with gun.

VIDEO 15 - MARCH 16, 2020 - Male suspect who kicked in front door of house and hiding in basement apprehended by K9.

VIDEO 16 - APRIL 9, 2020 - K9 takes an assault suspect outside convenience store into custody.

VIDEO 17 - APRIL 24, 2020 - After domestic violence suspect refuses to get to the ground, he his apprehended by K9.

VIDEO 18 - MAY 17, 2020 - Burglary suspect taken into custody with assistance of K9.

VIDEO 19 - JUNE 5, 2020 - Juvenile suspect attempting to start a fire inside a business is taken into custody by K9.