Missouri cops charged with letting dog bite black man

WOODSON TERRACE, Mo. (AP) – Racial injustice activists in the St. Louis area called for the dismissal and prosecution of three white police officers on Friday after a cellphone video showed them on the train allowing a police dog to repeatedly bite a black man during an arrest.

St. Louis County District Attorney Wesley Bell said he was investigating the Woodson Terrace incident Monday, but declined to comment further. Police declined to comment, except for a press release posted on Facebook.

About 20 racial injustice activists, at a press conference outside Woodson Terrace police headquarters, vowed to pressure Bell and town leaders to act quickly.

“We were outraged by the despicable and contemptible behavior of the Woodson Terrace police officers,” activist Zaki Baruti, who compared it to the use of dogs to attack civil rights protesters in the South in the 1960s.

Another activist, Reverend Darryl Gray, called the officers’ actions “reprehensible and inexcusable”.

Officers were called Monday morning to report that a man had broken into a business. Police wrote on Facebook that the man appeared to be drugged and threatened by police. The ad said the man had been warned that the dog would be used if he continued to resist arrest.

Cellphone video of a spectator shows the dog biting the man’s foot as he screams in pain. The dog’s handler keeps him on a leash but lets the bite last for about 30 seconds.

After the officer removes the dog, the man appears to take a step to run but stumbles and the dog throws himself at him again, biting one leg for another 30 seconds until the officer stops the animal .

The man was treated and released to a hospital.

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