K9 pushed through suspect's window
Man left with stitches to face, shoulders
WILMINGTON, N.C. – A North Carolina driver doesn't believe police had any reason to put a police K9 through his window and onto his lap, leaving him with stitches on his face and shoulders.
It happened after a police chase that was caught on dash-cam.
Seconds after smashing into Johnnie Williams' car, Wilmington Police Officer Stafford Brister lifted a police K9 into his car.
Investigators say Williams had blown through a DUI checkpoint and tried to run over officers three times before they caught up to him.
Channel 4 Crime and Safety Analyst Ken Jefferson says the video clearly shows the suspect complying, and believes the officer should have stayed behind his car, pulled out his weapon for defense and used verbal commands instead.
"That's wrong, that's totally wrong," Jefferson said. "That's a violation of that person's rights. That dog only knows one thing to do and that's to attack. You could stand with cover, with your weapon out and point at that particular individual and order him, since he appears to be complying, and order him out of the vehicle and put him in a felony prone position and take him into custody. That's one way you can do it, but to willfully and intentionally place an animal in the car, to me, is totally unnecessary force."
Williams later admitted to making mistakes, but says he did comply once police cornered him, and didn't believe the dog should have been used.
"I didn't have the opportunity to raise my hand all the way until the dog got into the car and bit me," Williams said. "It hold on to me. It was at least about 30 or 40 seconds before the guy came and got him off my shoulder."
Although a grand jury cleared Officer Brister of any criminal charges, the Wilmington police chief says there is an internal investigation underway.
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