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Salisbury, NC — Over the years, the Free Thought Project has reported on numerous officers who have shown zero restraint when killing harmless animals who mean them no harm. In some extreme cases, these officers are so abusive that they have no problem hurting their own K9 partners. As the following case out of Salisbury, North Carolina illustrates, fellow cops allow the abuse to happen and even laugh about it.

Utterly heartbreaking video was released this week showing a Salisbury police officer abusing his K-9 partner. The department now claims that the "incident is under investigation." However, no investigation needs to take place as the abuse and cruelty is on video for the world to see.

“The health and safety and well-being of Salisbury Police officers, both human and K-9, is our top priority,” Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes said. “The Salisbury Police Department is aware of a video that has been provided to the media that depicts a Salisbury officer during a K-9 training, but we cannot comment on the details because it is an ongoing personnel matter.”

If the well-being of their K-9s is a "top priority" the officer in the video below should be fired, charged with animal cruelty and arrested immediately. Unfortunately, however, that has not happened and likely won't happen.

The only thing that has happened was that the K-9 was removed from the officer's custody.

“SPD can confirm that as a matter of course, the officer has been administratively separated from the K-9 while SPD conducts the review,” Chief Stokes said.

Stokes went on to assure the public that the dog being strangled and hung in the air by his handler in the video below is just fine.

“The K-9 was not harmed and is healthy and being well-cared for,” Stokes added. “To insure the integrity of this investigation of this matter, an outside agency has been charged with leading the inquiry.”

As the heartbreaking video below shows, the officer and the K-9 are conducting a training exercise when the K-9 jumps from the vehicle without being told to do so.

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When the dog realizes his mistake, he immediately drops down into a submissive position. This seeming apology was not enough for the officer, however, who then wrapped a strap around the dog's neck and proceeded to strangle him while whipping him around in circles as if he was trying to kill the animal.

As he carries the dog to the car, by his neck, two feet off the ground, the officer then slams the dog into the side of the cruiser before throwing him back in the vehicle. He then hits the dog in the face for good measure.

Highlighting the nature of the blue code of silence, while the officer is abusing the dog, the cops filming it laugh at the abuse they see unfolding before them and say, "we're good. No witnesses," as another cop chuckles.

When the cop continues abusing his K-9, the officers begin asking each other if their "cameras are on," in a likely move to try and avoid official video of the incident.

When local media published the video showing the abuse, Stokes told the public not to jump to conclusions and attempted to downplay it by claiming the handler must maintain control of the dog and that "corrective measures" can sometimes be alarming to the untrained eye.

“It is important to understand that police K-9s are trained to use force against criminal suspects and the handler must insure that they have complete control over the dog at all times so that any use of the K-9 in the field is appropriate and lawful,” Chief Stokes added. “When a K-9 is non-compliant with the handler’s commands, the handler is trained to correct the dog. K-9 training tactics and corrective measures can sometimes be alarming when provided out of context. SPD cannot and will not comment on whether the training tactics used in the video were appropriate because it’s still being reviewed.”

While there is no question that stricter tactics are used in training police K-9s, attempting to justify what's happening in the video below by calling it "corrective measures," shows that the department is already conducting damage control and has no plan on holding the officer accountable.

What's more conducted a brief search of police K-9 training policy and nowhere did we find choking, hanging, and slamming dogs into doors as part of standard practices.