An Ohio police officer was placed on leave after he was recorded on a body camera releasing his police dog on a Black truck driver who had his hands up after he was pulled over, the authorities said this week.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said in an incident report that the driver, Jadarrius Rose, 23, of Memphis, had been operating a semitrailer with a missing left rear mud flap on July 4 when he failed to stop for an inspection on U.S. 35 in Jackson County, Ohio.
After a lengthy pursuit, the Highway Patrol deployed tire-deflation devices known as “Stop Sticks” and the truck came to a stop, the agency said in a statement. “The driver eventually exited the vehicle,” it said.
“As troopers were attempting to gain compliance by providing verbal commands to the suspect, the Circleville Police Department deployed their canine, which resulted in the suspect being bitten by the canine,” the statement said.
Dash-camera and body-camera video released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol shows troopers with their lights and sirens on following a semitrailer before the truck stops.
As troopers approach Mr. Rose, he can be seen with his hands up outside the truck. A trooper yells: “Don’t release the dog. Do not release the dog with his hands up.”
A police officer, identified by Circleville Police Department as Officer Ryan Speakman, then releases a dog and uses his hand to direct it toward Mr. Rose, who gets on his knees, with his hands up. The dog attacks Mr. Rose.
“Get the dog off of him! Get the dog off of him!” a trooper yells. Mr. Rose can be heard screaming, “Get it off!” and wailing, “Please!” He has blood visible on his arm.
After officers pull the dog off Mr. Rose, they handcuff him and bandage his arm on the median strip.
Mr. Rose was taken to a hospital, where he was treated, the incident report states. He was charged with failing to comply, the report states.
On audio recordings of 911 calls released by the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Rose can be heard telling a dispatcher that he had parked his truck and “was about to comply” but that officers had their guns drawn.
He said he was not sure why he was being pulled over and said: “I don’t know why they’re trying to kill me.”
A dispatcher urged Mr. Rose to comply and told him: “No. They’re not trying to kill you.”
On another 911 call, Mr. Rose said: “Right now, I have police officers following me for a long time. And I’m trying to figure out why they’ve got their guns pulled out. And it’s all really white people; they’ve got their guns out.” He added, “It’s like 20 police cars behind me and I don’t feel safe.”
Nana Watson, president of the NAACP branch in Columbus, Ohio, said that Mr. Rose clearly violated the law when he failed to stop but that he was obviously in fear, with his hands up, when he got out of his truck and the officer released his dog.
“It was a horrific incident,” Ms. Watson said in an interview on Tuesday. “It took me back to the ’60s when Bull Connor released the dogs and the hoses on Black people during the Civil Rights movement.”
Chief G. Shawn Baer of the Circleville Police Department said in a statement on Monday that Officer Speakman was on administrative leave, with pay, “in connection with the ongoing investigation into his actions during and after” he released the dog.
“We continue to follow our policies and procedures as Circleville’s Use of Force Review Board conducts its investigation of the incident,” Chief Baer said. “The decision to place Officer Speakman on leave is part of that process. We take all such incidents and the actions of our officers very seriously.”
Chief Baer said that when the Review Board’s investigation was completed, the department would release the results and disclose any action taken. “Until that time, we do not plan to have any further comment,” he said.
In its statement on the episode, the Highway Patrol said: “This case remains under investigation and the Patrol is unable to provide any further details at this time.”
Officer Speakman did not respond immediately to messages left at numbers listed under his name. The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said in a statement that its senior counsel was representing Officer Speakman and that it was awaiting the results of the City of Circleville’s investigation.
The association said it was “committed to due process” for its members and the public. It said would not comment further until the investigation had been completed.
Mr. Rose declined to comment on Tuesday. Speaking to The Columbus Dispatch last week, he declined to talk about why he had not initially stopped the truck. He added, “I’m just glad that it was recorded. What you saw is what pretty much happened.”
Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, told reporters on Tuesday that the episode “should be a lesson, a wake-up call to everyone, that police training in the state of Ohio is not equal,” The Associated Press reported.
Mr. DeWine said that he planned to propose a “scenario-based training facility” and would seek permanent funding for it so that departments of all sizes could use it, The A.P. reported. He said that smaller police departments may lack the resources for such training.
Kirsten Noyes contributed research.