This is the horrifying moment a police dog was ordered to attack a black man who was on his knees with his hands in the air, leaving him with injuries so severe that his leg may be amputated.
Salt Lake City police scrambled to the home of Jeffery Ryans, 36, after a call was made when someone heard him arguing with his wife who had previously filed a protective order against him for domestic violence.
Ryans says he had been back in the home for several weeks and was smoking outside before he was due to leave for his job as a train engineer when cops in Utah used excessive force on April 24.
Ryans – an Alabama native who has lived in Utah for 15 years – says police in the city treat black people differently and as he prepares to sue the department, his lawyer says he was attacked in such a forceful way because he’s black.
‘I felt like a chew toy,’ Ryans told the Salt Lake Tribune. ‘I didn’t know why this was happening to me. That’s what was going through my mind. Why?’
Jeffrey Ryans is suing the Salt Lake City Police Department after he was attacked by a K9
The police instructed the dog to launch an attack on Ryans, savagely mauling his leg on April 24 outside his Utah home
Ryans’ attorneys say medics have not ruled out the possibility that an amputation may be necessary due to the severity of his injuries
‘What’s different between the two of us that could make this happen to him, but I couldn’t imagine happening to me? No one’s ever shown up at my house’, attorney Gabriel White told The Salt Lake Tribune.
They have shared the police body camera footage amid racial injustice discussions following the killing of George Floyd that happened a month later.
Dressed in a white top with dark trousers, officers startle Ryans as they beam their torches and scream: ‘Get on the ground or you’re going to get bit’.
A dog barks ferociously as Ryans raises his hands in the air and responds calmly: ‘I’m just going to work’.
Officers rush into Ryans’ backyard as one claims that he is trying to jump the fence.
They repeatedly order him to get on the ground and threaten that the dog will bite him if he doesn’t.
Despite Ryans kneeling on the floor with his hands raised, officers order the dog, Tuco, to launch its attack.
They repeatedly instruct the canine to ‘hit’, and Tuco rushes forward to maul Ryans’ leg.
‘I’m on the ground, why are you biting me?’ he pleads, begging the officers to ‘stop’.
Despite this, the officers appear to order the dog to continue its attack.
Ryans kneels on the floor and raises his hands, appearing to comply with officers’ orders but Ryans – who moved to the city 15 years ago – has said police treat black people differently there
Ryans’ blooded lower left leg is seen above. He says the injuries he suffered led to multiple surgeries, a lost job, and means he can’t play as much sport with his children
Tuco is seen clamping its jaws around Ryans’ leg as he screams in pain.
Officers praise the ‘good boy’ while Ryan rolls onto his front in agony.
He yells ‘Why are you doing this?’ and begs ‘What did I do?’
Officers proceed to cuff Ryans while he is laying police down as Tuco remains latched to his leg.
‘I was just getting my clothes to go to work’, he says.
After Tuco retreats form his attack an officer pats the dog on its side and tells it ‘Good boy’.
One officer radios through for a medic for a ‘dog bite to the leg’.
He then says to Ryans: ‘Bro, you’re listening great now, you weren’t listening great a minute ago.’
Ryans said that the devastating injuries he suffered to his leg led to multiple surgeries, a lost job, and means he can’t play as much sport with his children.
He told the Salt Lake Tribune: ‘I wasn’t fighting. I was just cooperating. We’ve been through this. We’ve seen this. Always cooperate with the police, no matter what.’
Ryans has since taken the first steps to filing a lawsuit against the Salt Lake City Police Department.
In a notice of a claim on July 20, his attorneys say Ryans suffered nerve and tendon damage as well as infections and still has difficulty walking.
They say doctors have not ruled out the possibility that his leg will need to be amputated.
Jeffrey Ryans points at his ankle as he discusses his encounter with Salt Lake City police at his attorney’s office on August 5. They say doctors have not ruled out the possibility that his leg will need to be amputated
Ryans’ attorneys, Daniel Garner and Gabriel White, allege that the officers used an unnecessary level of force because Ryans is black
‘People need to know Black lives matter. Everybody matters, but you can’t just treat people differently because of their religion or their skin color,’ Ryans said. He filed a notice of his intention to sue on July 20
Ryans’ attorneys, Daniel Garner and Gabriel White, allege that the officers used an unnecessary level of force.
White alleges that officers reacted the way they did because Ryans is black.
Police say they went to arrest Ryans because he was violating a protective order filed by his wife that meant he was not supposed to be in the home.
It is not clear who called police to Ryans’ home, but the man said it was not his wife.
Court records show he is facing charges of domestic violence for an incident that occurred around the time of December.
But Ryans claims his wife told him that the protective order had been lifted.
He said he had been back in their home weeks prior to the the police call and that didn’t know her request to have the order lifted was still pending.
Ryans is now facing a charge of violating that protective order though court dates have yet to be set.
He said he wanted to tell his story during a time when people have been supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrating against police brutality.
‘People need to know Black lives matter. Everybody matters, but you can’t just treat people differently because of their religion or their skin color,’ Ryans said. ‘I developed myself to get to where I’m at right now. I should have the same respect as others. We don’t get it.’
They have shared the police body camera footage amid racial injustice discussions following the killing of George Floyd (pictured) that happened a month later
Protesters are seen outside the Cottonwood Heights Police Department on Monday, August 3 in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Groups of dueling protesters faced off outside the suburban Salt Lake City police department in response to use of force by officers at a protest the night before that resulted in the arrest of eight people
The Salt Lake City Police Department responded to The Salt Lake Tribune’s reporting.
They said: ‘As there is pending litigation, we are unable to discuss specifics of the case.
‘Although this incident occurred in April there was never an Internal Affairs complaint filed, when we became aware of the situation this morning, an Internal Affairs investigation was immediately launched by our department to determine if the use of force was within policy.
‘That investigation will consider the totality of the events that occurred that night.
‘As with every complaint regarding use of force The Salt Lake City Civilian Review Board has the opportunity to conduct their own separate investigation.’
Mayor Erin Mendenhall also pushed for a probe on Tuesday evening: ‘While I am unable to fully comment because of the pending litigation, I have conveyed to the urgency to complete the internal affairs investigation in the matter of Mr. Jeffery Ryans and be as transparent as possible with the public about the process and results.’
Police have faced more scrutiny than ever as widespread protests against brutality swept across the globe after the killing of the unarmed black man George Floyd in May.
All four of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired by the Minneapolis police department.
Lane, Kueng and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. All four were fired.
Locals said they planned on protesting this forthcoming Sunday regarding Ryans’ case.