FBI Investigating Missouri Officers Who Let Dog Bite Black Man in Disturbing Viral Video

The names of the three officers in Woodson Terrace, Mo., are being withheld

Woodson Terrace Police Department
Photo: Woodson Terrace Police Department

Calls are growing for the termination of three Missouri police officers seen in viral footage letting a police dog bite a Black man who was pinned up against a patrol car and seemingly cooperating with authorities who were arresting him.

The Woodson Terrace Police Department is now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after disturbing footage of the Sept. 20 incident surfaced online late last week.

In the video, which runs over 2 minutes, the man is heard repeatedly crying out "No!" and "Help!" as he pleads with the three officers to pull the dog off of him. The footage shows the dog biting the man's ankles as the officers stand by.

Two of the officers then pull the man to the ground, as the third directs the animal to "Bite him." They pull the man up, and the dog latches on again, bringing the man down. The dog continues biting the man while he's on the ground, being handcuffed.

The man's name has not been released, and the officers' names are also being withheld.

In a statement, the Woodson Terrace Police confirm they responded to a trespassing call at a business that morning, and encountered the man, who was leaving the area.

"Our officers made contact with the subject and the subject immediately started threatening to kill the officers and identified as a sovereign citizen," reads the statement. "The subject continued yelling obscenities and telling the officers he would not comply and he 'will not obey your contract.' The subject continued to walk away from the officers and several commands to stop were given by the officers but the subject failed to comply and continued to walk away into rush hour traffic."

The statement alleges "the subject was under the influence of a narcotic," and explains that the officers "advised him he was under arrest." He was asked to put his hands behind his back, "but he refused," it is alleged in the statement, "and when the officers attempted to place the subjects hands behind his back, the subject resisted and refused to comply."

The statement continues: "The officers attempted to get the subject to cooperate with them but the subject continued resisting. The subject was then warned several times that if he did not comply the K9 would be released. The subject continued to resist, causing minor injuries to one of the officers, so the K9 was released and the K9 gained control of the suspect's foot. The suspect went to the ground and the K9 was pulled off the subject.

"After the K9 was pulled off of the suspect, the officers attempted to place the subject into handcuffs but due to the subject being under the influence of drugs, he continued to resist and the officers were unable to restrain the subject."

Authorities allege the man "got up and attempted to flee from the officers and the K9 was released again, biting the suspect on his leg. The officers were able to handcuff the subject and the K9 was pulled off."

The statement says the man was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

It also claims the man, who has not been charged with a crime, was in possession of methamphetamine at the time.

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"The subject was released pending application of warrants," the statement ends.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered a protest Friday outside the Woodson Terrace Police Department. Activist Zaki Baruti compared the officers' actions to the use of police dogs against civil rights protestors in the 1960s.

"We were outraged by the vile and despicable behavior of the Woodson Terrace police officers," Baruti told the paper, while the Rev. Darryl Gray, also attending the protest, called the officers' actions "reprehensible and inexcusable."

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