Police officer fired after unleashing dog on Black man in Ohio traffic stop

(Reuters) – Police in Circleville, Ohio, on Wednesday fired an officer who unleashed his dog on a Black man during a highway traffic stop and ordered the animal to attack even though the man had his hands raised, according to video of the incident.

“Officer (Ryan) Speakman did not meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers. Officer Speakman has been terminated from the department, effective immediately,” police in a statement.

Speakman could not be reached for comment, but the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a police union, said in a statement that Speakman was fired “without JUST CAUSE” and it was filing a grievance on his behalf.

The incident unfolded on July 4 after law enforcement officers engaged in the lengthy pursuit of a semi-tractor trailer driven by Jadarrius Rose, 23. The vehicle was missing a mud flap and it had failed to stop for an inspection, a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) said.

It came to a halt on a state highway about 40 miles (64 km) south of Columbus after officers deployed tire deflation devices, known as “stop sticks,” for a second time.

In a video provided by the highway patrol, Rose is standing by the vehicle with his hands raised as law enforcement officials order him to get on the ground.

Moments later, an officer with the Circleville Police Department unleashed a police dog on Rose even though a state trooper told the local officer not to release the dog.

“Do not release the dog – with his hands up,” the trooper can be heard shouting on the video.

The video shows the dog running towards Rose, now on his knees, and appears to show the canine biting and pulling the driver. Rose screams loudly and can be heard saying, “please get it off.”

A social media campaign that formed after the story came to light last week has called a protest for Saturday. A Facebook group called Dismantle Circleville Police demanded the dismissal of Speakman and Police Chief Shawn Baer, in addition to dropping all charges against Rose.

Circleville police department declined to comment beyond the statement.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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