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Utah Police Officer Suspended After Ordering Dog Attack On Black Man, Department Investigating

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A Salt Lake City police officer was placed on administrative leave Wednesday after releasing a police dog onto a black man.

The Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) said in a statement that it became aware of the April incident on Tuesday after the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about it and is conducting an internal investigation. Jeffrey Ryans, the man who was arrested, is suing the SLCPD for excessive use of force.

“At this time, we have placed the officer on administrative leave pending the results of these investigations,” the department said in an update. “SLCPD has also launched a thorough review process of the K9 apprehension program by external subject matter experts.”

Body camera footage obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune shows the arrest of the 36-year-old.

“Why are you guys doing this?” Ryans said, the video shows. “What the fuck did I do?”

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Ryans said he was smoking a cigarette in his backyard before leaving for his job as a train engineer, according to the Tribune. The officers approached him and began yelling instructions, video shows.

His attorneys said the incident caused him to need surgeries and may still result in a leg amputation, the Tribune reported.

“I wasn’t running,” he told the Tribune. “I wasn’t fighting. I was just cooperating. We’ve been through this. We’ve seen this. Always cooperate with the police, no matter what.” (RELATED: Incredible Body Cam Video: Police Officer Pulls Wheelchair-Bound Man From Tracks As A Train Barrels Toward Him)

Police showed up to arrest Ryans for violating a protective order, which his wife filed last December around the same time Ryans was charged over a domestic violence incident, according to the Tribune.

Ryans said his wife told him the protective order was no longer in effect and that he had been in the home for weeks, the Tribune reported. The request to lift the protective order was still pending at the time of the arrest, according to the Tribune.

“I am deeply concerned that it took a news outlet publishing this video for it to be brought to the attention of senior police department leadership and myself,” Democratic Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted Wednesday.

“I am disturbed by what I saw in that video, frustrated by how the situation was handled, and am committed to working to ensure neither happen again,” she added.

Ryans did not file a complaint with SLCPD internal affairs after the incident, police said.

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