Vacaville, CA -- 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.
Inside police departments across the country, hundreds of dogs are trained for various purposes. Some dogs sniff out drugs and bombs while others train to take out suspects who refuse to comply. In order to forge the bond between dog and handler, these K-9 units live with the officers whom they go out with every day. We often see stories in the media when K-9 officer is injured or dies and we are shown how the handler is suffering from a loss in this bond. What is not pushed to the front pages of the paper and the local news outlets, however, is when an officer abuses their K-9.
A man on his way to work this week witnessed one of these incidents and pulled out his phone to document it.
"It was like 'ohhh' cries the dog was crying like someone was running him over or something," said Vacaville resident Roberto Palomino. "It was bad."
Palomino said the sounds of the dog crying are what got his attention.
"Before the video, I saw him give at least 10 punches to the dog. At least," Palomino said.
Palomino said the abuse lasted for at least 5 minutes. While many dog owners have likely gotten frustrated with their dogs at some point, the idea of spending 5 minutes beating a dog is utterly sadistic and is evidence that this man is a danger to the citizens he ostensibly protects.
"He was straight up beating the dog on the face," Palomino said. "It was hard to watch."
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When police were contacted about the savage beating caught on video, they chalked it up to a training mishap and essentially defended the cop.
As ABC 7 reports, according to police, the officer was doing routine training in the back parking lot of Vacaville Fire Station 73. Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon says the K-9 handler was conducting a search for narcotics. The dog performed well in the training exercise and the handler rewarded his partner with a toy. But, the dog didn't want to give up the toy.
"The dog became angry with the handler and lunged in attempt to bite the handler," said Lyndon, confirming that the dog never actually bit the handler
When ABC7 asked if it was necessary to punch the dog so many times, Lyndon dodged the question.
"I'm not prepared to speak to anything that I did not observe myself," he said, ignoring the video evidence.
ABC7 also spoke to Renee Lancaster who is a retired police officer and has been a K-9 handler for 22 years and a police dog trainer for 15 years.
When asked about the cop repeatedly beating his dog, Lancaster said she couldn't imagine ever doing that.
"Personally, I can't imagine having to get to that extent where you have to sit on your dog and punch it when you couldn't even see the dog moving," she said. "Even if he's an inexperienced officer or didn't know what to do... that's not an excuse."
According to Lydon, the video is being investigated. However, based on how Lyndon has already begun defending the officer, it is quite clear that they have made up their minds on how to move forward.