18 September 2020
Prosecutors say a Utah police officer was charged with aggravated assault after ordering a dog to attack a Black man. Jeffery Ryans was in his backyard on April 24 when police responded to a domestic dispute call. The Salt Lake County district attorney's office said Ryans complied with officers' orders to raise his hands.
Prosecutors say K9 officer Nickolas Pearce then told Ryans to get on the ground before kicking him in the leg, forcing him to his knees, and ordering the dog to bite Ryans. After he was bitten, Ryans underwent surgery and later experienced "prolonged loss of the use" of his leg, prosecutors said. His attorneys have said the officer caused an avoidable injury that resulted in Ryans suffering nerve and tendon damage and infections that could lead to amputation.
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