UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. ET, July 27
Originally published July 24
An Ohio police officer has been fired after he released a police dog on an unarmed Black man who was in the process of surrendering earlier this month.
Officer Ryan Speakman has been “terminated” from the Circleville Police Department “effective immediately,” according to a press release from the department located in suburban Columbus.
Strangely enough, while the Circleville Police Department said Speakman “did not meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers,” its press release also noted the Circleville Police Use of Force Review Board determined that “the department’s policy for the use of canines was followed in the apprehension and arrest.”
The press release also rebuffed Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s comments about the department needing more training, saying in part that “we meet or exceed all current Ohio laws and standards for police training for our canine teams.”
Pro-cop bootlickers will always run (no pun intended) with the same narrative: If you comply with police, you will be fine. If Black people would stop running from the police, they wouldn’t be harmed or killed. Cops must use force (deadly or otherwise) when they run because the runner might be dangerous. They run in the first place because they’ve done something wrong and don’t want to get caught. It’s simply easier to imagine Black people as criminals trying to escape than it is to imagine us being fearful of cops no matter how many times they prove themselves to be worthy of our fear.
From that report:
Ronald Greene died after he fled from Louisiana state troopers who caught up with him, beat the life out of him and told officials Greene died from injuries sustained in a car crash. Javier Ambler died after he fled from Texas police who caught up with him and tased him over and over again while he frantically pleaded with them to stop, told them about his heart condition and repeatedly told them, “I can’t breathe.” Antonio Harris survived after fleeing cops who beat him and gleefully bragged about the “whoopin’” they said that would go on to give him “nightmares for a long time.” At 17, Devin Carter “was left with bruises on both eyes as well as scratches on his face and back” after California police officers arrested him after he failed to stop when they attempted to pull him over for speeding. (In this case, Carter said he didn’t realize the cops were trying to pull him over.)
In all of these cases, the default assumption is that police violence happened because Black men (and boys) fled. Not enough people ever consider the possibility that Black males flee because police officers seem to be violent, particularly against Black males. People don’t consider that the cops in the aforementioned cases ultimately proved there was plenty of reason to fear them.
This brings us to 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose.
According to NBC News, Jadarrius Rose was driving a semi-tractor trailer in Ohio on the Fourth of July when a Motor Carrier Enforcement inspector with the Ohio State Highway Patrol tried to pull him over because his truck “was missing a left rear mud flap,” an incident report stated.
From NBC News:
Rose was traveling westbound on U.S. Route 35 and failed to stop for the inspector and troopers who were called in for help.
Stop sticks were deployed twice before the vehicle came to a stop on U.S. Route 23.
“After several times of being ordered to exit the vehicle, the suspect exited the vehicle from the driver’s side door,” the incident report said. “The driver was given orders to get down on the ground and the suspect would not comply.”
Rose can be seen on video released by the highway patrol standing in front of troopers with his hands in the air.
So, what happens next? Well, obviously, all of the officers of the law involved in the pursuit instantly realized a man who has his hands in the air is posing no threat to them even if he didn’t immediately comply with their exact demands and they arrested him without using any excessive force.
Nah, I’m lying—a cop released his canine on Rose for no discernable reason whatsoever.
In video footage of the incident, a Circleville police officer identified in the police report as “R. Speakman” can be heard telling Rose to “go on the ground or you’re gonna get bit” by the police dog he has with him. Another officer can be heard instructing Rose to “come to me.”
A trooper can be heard shouting at Speakman multiple times, “Do not release the dog with his hands up” just before the officer, well, releases his dog while Rose had his hands up. (Why didn’t Speakman just comply?)
Jadarrius Rose can be seen going down to his knees as the dog is released and just before it started biting him and pulling on his arm as he screamed loudly and repeatedly for the officers to “Get it off!”
Eventually, the dog was pulled off of Rose and officers rendered first aid to the victim after taking him into custody. The highway patrol, likely realizing the storm this clear and blatant act of police brutality would stir up, clarified that “the canine involved in the incident is from the Circleville Police Department and not the Ohio State Highway Patrol.”
As for whether the officer who weaponized the dog against an unarmed Black man whose hands were in the air will receive any disciplinary action, Highway Patrol Sgt. Ryan E. Purpura said in a statement, “This case remains under investigation and the Patrol is unable to provide any further details at this time.”
All I’m saying is—maybe there’s a reason why Black folks run.
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