A police department in North Carolina has ordered an investigation into a video that appeared to show an officer lifting a police dog off the ground by its leash during a training exercise and slamming the dog into the side of a patrol car.
Chief Jerry Stokes of the Salisbury Police Department declined to comment in detail on the episode at a news conference on Tuesday, saying it was “an ongoing personnel matter.” He said that the dog had been separated from the officer shown in the video and that an investigation was underway.
The 4-year-old German shepherd, whose name is Zuul, was present at the news conference. “You can see him here today,” Chief Stokes said. “He’s healthy and doing well and will be in service as normal in the near future.”
“The canine was not harmed and is healthy and being well cared for,” he said.
Chief Stokes did not take questions from reporters.
was published by WJZY-TV of Charlotte, N.C. The station said it had been submitted by an anonymous source.
It was not clear when the video was recorded. The chief did not release the name of the officer shown in the video or disclose how the department became aware of the episode.
A city spokeswoman, Linda McElroy, said on Thursday that she could not comment further because it was a personnel matter, citing North Carolina law.
In the video, an officer can be seen getting out of a police S.U.V. as a helicopter buzzes overhead, leaving the back door of the car open. The police dog leaps from the vehicle and tries to follow the officer, but immediately lies down when the officer yells at him.
The officer then walks toward the dog and wrestles him into a leash. He then uses the leash to hoist him off the ground and sling him over his back before walking toward the car.