UPDATE: “Officer Speakman has been terminated from the department, effective immediately,” Circleville Police said in a statement on Wednesday. Read more.
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — A police K9 handler in Ohio was placed on administrative leave while he’s investigated for deploying his police service dog (PSD) on a reticent truck driver as state troopers told the handler to hold the K9 back.
Ryan Speakman is the police K9 handler who was placed on paid leave, Circleville Police Chief G. Shawn Baer said in a statement Tuesday. The move is standard protocol in cases where use of force is investigated, Baer noted, according to WTOP.
The chief said no further details would be released or discussed until the town’s civilian Use of Force Review Board completes its investigation.
Law enforcement authorities engaged a truck driver, identified as Jadarrius Rose, 23, in a lengthy pursuit on July 4. The chase terminated in Circleville.
Speakman deployed the police K9 despite an officer in the background repeating, “Do not release the dog … Do not release the dog with his hands up.”
Once the K9 moves in to apprehend the offender, the officer shouts, “Get the dog off of him … Get the dog off of him,” as others join in the instructions for the handler to get the PSD off the bite.
Both the pursuit and the ensuing attack were captured on a police bodycam footage.
The chase began when troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol tried to conduct a traffic stop of a commercial semitruck that was missing a mudflap and failed to halt for an inspection, according to state officials. The nearby Circleville Police Department was called to assist, including a police K9. WTOP reported.
Rose, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, initially refused to get out of the big rig, and later failed to comply with orders to get on the ground, according to the Highway Patrol incident report and the bodycam video. Rose eventually got on his knees and raised his hands in the air when the highly controversial deployment occurred, much to the dismay of fellow law enforcement officers at the scene.