Salt Lake City police body camera footage from April 24 shows an officer ordering a K-9 to attack a Jeffery Ryans, a Black man, while responding to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance.
The footage recently surfaced when Ryans announced he was planning to file a lawsuit against the police department for excessive force, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
The police department said in a statement that it has suspended the officer, who has not been publicly named and launched an investigation into the incident.
A Salt Lake City police officer has been suspended and is under investigation after video surfaced showing him ordering a K-9 to attack a Black man while responding to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance.
The Salt Lake City Police Department said in a statement that it "immediately launched" a use-of-force investigation after it became aware of the April 24 incident involving an officer, who has not been publicly named, and Jeffery Ryans.
Police were called to Ryans' home on April 24 a neighbor called 911 when she heard arguing coming from the property, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Body camera footage obtained by The Tribune shows Ryan telling officers he was leaving before they start yelling at him.
"Get on the ground or you're going to get bit!" one officer can be heard saying. Ryans then knelt on the ground with his hands in the air.
Six seconds after the initial threat, an officer told his K-9 to attack with the phrase, "Hit, hit."
"I'm on the ground, why are you biting me? I'm on the ground, stop," Ryans can be heard saying, as the officer praised the K-9 with a "good boy."
The dog continued to bite Ryans' leg as another officer put Ryans in handcuffs.
Video of the altercation between the officer and Ryans surfaced earlier this week after Ryans started taking steps toward filing a lawsuit against the police department for excessive force.
According to CBS News, police said Ryans had violated a protective order filed by his wife before 911 was called. Ryans said the protective order was lifted.
Ryans told The Tribune that he was confused during the incident and that as one officer told him to get on the ground, another told him to come toward him. He was left with nerve and tendon damage after the attack, and has had multiple leg surgeries, lost his job, and continues to have difficulty walking.
Officials from the police department said in a statement that they didn't know about the incident until Ryans announced his lawsuit, saying no complaint had been filed with the department's office of internal affairs.
"When senior leadership became aware of the situation yesterday, they immediately launched an Internal Affairs investigation to determine if the use of force was within policy and why the use of force was not referred to Internal Affairs at the time," the police department said in a statement.
It said that along with suspending the officer involved, the department has also launched a review into the K-9 apprehension program.
Ryans' lawyer, Gabriel White, told the Tribune that he believes Ryans was treated the way he was because he is Black. He said he has also fought with his wife, but the police never came to his home.
"What's different between the two of us that could make this happen to him, but I couldn't imagine happening to me?" he said. "No one's ever shown up at my house."
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