A sickening video appears to show a cop brutalizing his helpless canine partner as the dog sits pinned under the officer.
Although the video evidence seems indisputable, the department claims the apparent abuse was a training incident gone wrong.
The clip was recorded by Roberto Palomino, who says he became worried Monday when he saw the officer’s shockingly violent treatment of a police dog outside of a warehouse in Vacaville, California
Palomino, floored by the treatment of the defenseless animal, documented what he saw on camera.
He posted the clip to Facebook, and the contents are damning. While Palomino did not catch the entire encounter, what he did capture shows the officer kneeling astride the dog while delivering a violent blow to its head.
WARNING: The video, which can be seen here, contains graphic violence that some viewers may find disturbing.
Palomino claims the officer appeared to scan the area for witnesses during the animal abuse.
While the video has garnered outrage from viewers, the Vacaville Police Department claims the clip is an out-of-context look at a “training” incident gone wrong.
“We understand how disturbing the video appears to many who view it and the range of emotions it creates,” the department wrote on Facebook.
“What the video doesn’t show is the moments prior, when the canine became aggressive towards his handler. We want to assure the public this incident is being evaluated in its entirety and will be investigated appropriately.”
An update indicates the department is now taking the allegations seriously, and is working to get to the bottom of the matter.
While the K9 unit may have been aggressive, it’s obvious that the appropriate response is not to pin it and punch it in the head.
We wanted to update our community with the following:
*The canine involved in this incident has been removed…
As anyone who has teamed up with working dogs will tell you, the animals are intelligent, brave and fiercely loyal. Given a consistent training regimen from puppyhood, these dogs are born and bred to work as professionals alongside their human handlers.
In the case of police K9s, their role is so important that harming one of these animals is oftentimes treated like an assault on the human officer in charge.
Thankfully, the Vacaville K9 unit has been removed from the care of his handler and is now with a third party outside of the department.
An investigation into the alleged abuse is currently underway.
It’s unclear if the dog will be allowed to continue training and go to serve the community after its traumatic experience, or what punishment the human officer faces if he’s found to have abused his partner.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.