A video of a San Diego police dog viciously attacking a handcuffed black man has caused outrage after millions of people viewed it on social media.
NBC San Diego reports that police received reports of a man screaming, jumping on cars and acting out in downtown San Diego. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Karond Cheatum, who, they say, threatened them, which is listed as the first retroactive step in the secret How to Respond to Police Brutality handbook.
Even though the police were armed with pepper spray, batons, Tasers and training, the officers apparently feared that they might get some of Cheatum’s blackness on their hands, so they decided to deploy a K-9 dog so they could arrest him. The handbook refers to this as the “Birmingham Technique,” made famous by white supremacy Hall of Famer Sheriff Bull Connor, who used this tactic during civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., during the 1960s. But like racism, police brutality and the historical treatment of black suspects throughout history, the dog would not let go.
Angel Nuñez, who recorded the incident, can be heard on the video asking the cops several times about the savage attack. “You have no control over your dog,” Nuñez says, as Cheatum begs the cops to pull the K-9 off him. When three officers stand over Cheatum as he drips with blood, Nuñez again asks why three officers can’t get the dog off of Cheatum.
“Hey! Shut up and get back,” the officers reply as they drag Cheatum across the concrete while he yells, “Uncomfortable!” All the while, the dog is still attached to his arm.
Cheatum’s aunt told NBC that the victim has a history of mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and has been living on the streets. She says that Cheatum was charged with vandalism, theft and resisting arrest.
Although the San Diego Police Department wouldn’t confirm that not allowing a dog to sink his teeth into your flesh is categorized as “resisting,” a spokesman for the department said, “While these videos can be graphic in nature to view, keep in mind, our canines are extremely effective at de-escalating situations and preventing elevated levels of force to take people into custody,” according to the San Diego Tribune.
The department did not define what “escalated levels of force” entails, but for Karond Cheatum, one can assume that he does not consider the level of force used in his arrest to be “minimal.”
The K-9 did not issue a separate statement explaining that he was basically doing what he’s seen police do all over the country and simply wanted to be one of the guys. However, according to some witnesses, when the dog finally let go of Cheatum’s arm and was told he was a “good boy,” the dog offered a brief apology that we have printed in full:
View the entire video below:
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the name of the man arrested by police. The correct name of the man arrested is Karond Cheatum.