It was announced by the FBI on Monday that the three white Missouri police officers were under official investigation after they were seen allowing their K-9 dog to attack a black man, according to reports from St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Randy Halstead, Woodson Terrace Police Chief, wrote an e-mail to the outlet noting that his office is “fully cooperating” with federal agents working on the case.
In a separate announcement, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office said it would also look into the arrest from Monday (September 20). In an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the police department is already reporting to federal investigators that an arrest was made.
A man who allegedly broke into a local business in Woodson Terrace, a city near St. Louis, was reported to the police last week. The man, authorities maintain, was on drugs, threatening officers and claiming to be a “sovereign citizen,” a concept referring to someone who believes that they are not subject to government law.
A police officer tried to arrest the suspect, but he allegedly resisted.
According to the police department, the suspect resisted, causing one of the officers to suffer a minor injury, so the K-9 was released and the dog successfully controlled the suspect’s foot.
During the incident, there was cellphone video captured showing the man taunting the police dog in pain. In NBC’s report, the officer allowed the dog to attack the gentleman for about 30 seconds before finally grabbing it by the leash. Following that, the man tried to stand up but was knocked down once again, and the police officer allowed the dog to continue biting him for 30 seconds.
After the accident, the man barely walked after his injuries, was treated at a hospital and released. His crimes have not been reported.
A gathering of protesters protested outside the Woodson Terrace Police Department last Friday (Sept. 24) to demand the appointing of the arresting officers before the FBI investigation began. As a prosecutor in St. Louis County, Wesley Bell had promised to conduct a “thorough investigation” into the incident.