Last week we reported that now-former Circleville, Ohio, Police Department officer Ryan Speakman was fired after he released his K9 on Black truck driver Jadarrius Rose, who clearly had his hands in the air at the time. Well, it appears that the egregious act of blatant police brutality was not the reason Speakman got his pink slip. Instead, the ex-cop was terminated because he just couldn’t keep his mouth shut about it.
In fact, per usual, the police department decided after investigating itself that Speakman did nothing wrong.
From ABC News:
The documents, released by the Circleville city law director in response to a public records request from ABC News, indicate Speakman was an emotional wreck following the police dog mauling of 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose and was repeatedly crying at work. He was also upset a local newspaper published the initial report of his involvement in the July 4 arrest.
Circleville Police Chief Shawn Baer disclosed in a July 25 written report that at one point Speakman came to him “crying and very upset,” concerned that he was going to take away his K-9 partner, Serge — a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois Shepherd mix.
“He was begging I do not take his best friend from him,” Baer wrote, according to the report. “I told him that we had not taken K-9 Serge from him and that he was scheduled to go to training. I told him again, if you haven’t done anything wrong, we would not take (the) K-9 from him.”
Baer, according to the documents, said he also told Speakman, “The review board had convened, and everything appeared that the deployment was within policy and training guidelines.”
Baer said he received a report from the chairman for this use-of-force review board, acting Capt. Kenny Fisher of the Circleville Police Department, who wrote, “The board concluded that all personnel involved acted within departmental policy regarding the use of force and canine operations policy.”
Where to even start?
First of all, Speakman was “crying and very upset,” but not because he had committed a senseless act of violence against a frightened citizen who was trying to surrender—but because he didn’t want to lose custody of his comfort animal-slash-brutality device.
ABC noted that Speakman immediately tried to justify weaponizing the dog he loved so much.
“I gave you three warnings. Did I not? You didn’t comply, so you got the dog,” Speakman told the 23-year-old who had his hands in the air while another officer explicitly shouted at Speakman multiple times not to release the dog because, again, HE HAD HIS HANDS IN THE AIR!
“I think it’s a justifiable bite,” Speakman told another officer at the scene.
Apparently, the department didn’t disagree with him and decided it was perfectly OK to use that degree of force on a visibly unarmed citizen who visibly poses no threat to officers.
Mind you, audio 911 dispatch recordings indicate that Rose did initially pull over for the officers involved, but he pulled off because they approached him with their guns drawn, which is a strange way to approach someone they pulled over because his truck was missing a mudflap.
Anyway, back to the reason Speakman was actually fired.
More from ABC:
The newly released records, first reported by the Scioto Valley Guardian newspaper, show Speakman was terminated for “unauthorized and inappropriate intentional release of confidential or protected information,” disobeying orders from his superiors not to discuss the incident with anyone other than investigators and for lying to Baer as well as investigators about whom he spoke to in the days after the dog attack.
In his July 25 report, Baer wrote that he initially placed Speakman on paid administrative leave “pending a fit-for-duty review.”
In the document, Baer said he met with Speakman on July 19 — 15 days after the dog attack — and spoke to him “about reports I received that he was crying and talking to other employees about being stressed over the July 4, 2023, K-9 deployment.”
During a meeting, which was also attended by the police department’s deputy chief and human resources director, Baer ordered Speakman to stop talking to people about the incident, according to the records.
“I explained to him that his conduct was not beneficial to himself or the agency,” Baer wrote.
Baer said when he asked Speakman who he had spoken to about the K-9 deployment, the officer initially replied he had only spoken to a few employees of the Circleville Police Department (CPD) and no one outside the agency.
The chief wrote in his report that even after ordering Speakman to keep quiet about the incident, Speakman “continued to approach CPD employees upset and crying.”
So, what it sounds like is Speakman was fired because he wouldn’t stop talking about the thing the department would rather quietly declare justified and sweep under the rug. Speakman was terminated, not because he committed a violent and obviously unnecessary act against a surrendering citizen, but because he violated the unwritten “hush” protocol. He was chipping away too much at the blue wall of silence.
He was messing with the routine.
“Circleville police officer Ryan Speakman’s actions during the review of his canine apprehension of suspect Jadarrius Rose on July 4 show that officer Speakman did not meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers,” Baer said when announcing Speakman’s termination last week.
Imagine stating explicitly that it wasn’t the violent “cabin apprehension” that got Speakman the axe, but his “actions during the review” of the incident that did not meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers.”
It’s just more evidence that the problem in policing isn’t “a few bad apples”—the entire orchard is rotten to the core.
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