Salisbury police respond to public backlash; K-9 in video is ‘removed from the handler’s care’

North Carolina news

SALISBURY, N.C. (WJZY) – After being silent for a number of days, the Salisbury Police Department has come forward and addressed the public’s ongoing concern with what’s being done after an alarming video surfaced showing questionable actions taken by an officer against K-9 Zuul.

“We appreciate your concern for K-9 Officer Zuul. He was removed from the handler’s care when we were made aware of this incident,” Salisbury Police said on social media. “Zuul was taken to a veterinarian this week for another checkup and received a clean bill of health. He is in good hands, happy and healthy, and taking some time off.”

Video was sent to WJZY by an anonymous source that showed a Salisbury police officer hanging a K-9 by his leash and hitting the dog, later identified as Zuul by the police department.

In the nearly minute-long video, a K-9 handler with the Salisbury Police Department is seen with the dog that jumps out of the police vehicle. After the dog exits the car, the handler yells, walks up to the animal, and puts a leash on. He then picks the dog up by the leash and puts the K-9 over his shoulder walking back to the vehicle.

Video shows the handler then slam the dog into the car and it appears he then proceeded to hit the animal once it was in the car. Someone in the video is heard saying, “We’re good, no witnesses.”

“The officer involved has been administratively separated from K-9 Officer Zuul and K-9 operations. We cannot comment further regarding the officer because it is an ongoing personnel matter,” the Salisbury police said on social media. “When we are able to release information to the public we will, within legal limits.”

Salisbury police said a thorough investigation of the specific incident and of the entire Salisbury Police Department’s K-9 operations is still ongoing by an outside agency and internal affairs.

“Once complete, we will take appropriate action to ensure that the department’s canine program follows the industry’s best K-9 practices,” the police department said on Friday.

For more information from the Salisbury Police Department, please click here.

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