PETITION TARGET: Vacaville Police Department
UPDATE (4/29/2021): Vacaville’s police chief recently told the city council that an officer caught on camera repeatedly punching his service K9 in the face will no longer be handling K9s but will remain on the force. The officer’s name, as well as whether he will be in any other way held accountable, were not disclosed and will not be, with a city spokesperson citing as reasons concerns for the officer’s safety and the Peace Officer Bill of Rights.
Gus, the K9, was returned to Sworn K9 Services LLC, with the only update about what will happen to him being that he is reportedly “doing very well,” the city spokesperson said.
Lady Freethinker deplores the utter lack of transparency and accountability in Gus’s case. We are continuing to search for details and other steps to demand accountability in this situation.
If you haven’t already, please sign our petition asking the Vacaville City Council to review the city’s contract with its K9 vendor and take other critical steps to ensure other service K9s are not abused and to rebuild community trust and transparency.
A terrified police dog yelped in pain as his handler repeatedly punched him in the head, according to a horrified onlooker who watched the situation unfold in Vacaville, Calif.
Disturbing footage shows the dog in a submissive, defenseless position as the officer strikes his face.
“Before the video, I saw him give at least 10 punches to the dog,” witness Roberto Palomino told ABC 7 News, adding that the animal cried for at least five minutes.
Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon initially defended the officer’s actions, claiming the dog became aggressive and refused to give back a toy he had received as a reward for completing a routine training exercise.
When investigative reporter Stephanie Sierra asked Lydon if it was necessary to punch the canine in the head 10 times, he declined to comment.
The dog has been removed from his former guardian’s care, but the officer remains on duty, despite his harmful actions.
There is no excuse for beating a subdued animal. Sign this petition urging the Vacaville Police Department to thoroughly investigate this disturbing incident and revisit their department-wide training protocols to protect K9s from abuse.