Missouri Cops Under Investigation After Video Shows Them Letting Police Dog Attack Black Man

Police have since defended their actions in a poorly worded press release. Criticism has been swift, however, including in the form a local editorial board.

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Graphic footage showing Missouricops allowing a police dog to attack a Black man is drawing nationwide criticism, with one regional editorial board comparing the graphic video to Civil Rights Movement-era tactics used by now-dead Alabama racist Bull Connor

The footage in question, initially shared to Facebook and excerpted in the news clip above—viewer discretion is advised—first shows two Woodson Terrace cops arresting the man while another officer stands nearby with the dog. The dog is then released on the man, who is heard screaming for help. Once officers force the man to the ground, the dog is eventually pulled away for a brief moment before being released on the man again. 

According to the Associated Press, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is now investigating the incident.

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The man seen being attacked by the police dog in the video was released from custody and—as of Tuesday—had not been charged. Police claimed in a Facebook-shared press release that the man had repeatedly resisted arrest, though the footage doesn’t appear to show that. As for why the dog was allowed to bite the suspect multiple times, police argued that their belief that he was under the influence of a drug was the cause. The man was ultimately taken to a hospital.

In a letter shared earlier this week, the editorial board at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the three white Woodson Terrace police officers were keeping “Connor’s legacy alive” by using such tactics on a Black man.

“There was nothing so urgent in the Woodson Terrace arrest that prevented officers from trying alternative techniques so cooler heads could prevail,” the board wrote. “The sole message seemed to be: If you as a Black person show the slightest resistance, here’s what we can do to you.”

Complex has reached out to the City of Woodson Terrace Police Department, the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office, and the Woodson Terrace mayor’s office for comment.

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