As Jadarrius Rose drove his 18-wheeler through rural Ohio, a missing mudflap caught the highway patrol’s eye. The trip ended with a police dog’s jaws clamping down on Rose as he tried to surrender in Circleville, the Associated Press reports As he stood with his hands up beside the highway on July 4, at least six law enforcement officers surrounded him at a distance, one calling forcefully to the K-9 handler: “Do not release the dog,” highway patrol video shows. Nevertheless, a Belgian Malinois is seen either breaking free or being set loose. As the 23-year-old trucker was on his knees, hands held high, an officer shouts, “Get the dog off of him!” Rose joined a long list of Black people attacked by police dogs, a history well documented by journalists, academics and filmmakers. Investigations into such cases have been launched regularly.
In Birmingham, Ala., a 1963 photograph shows two police officers setting a pair of K-9s on 15-year-old Walter Gadsden. One of the dogs lunges straight for the teenager’s belly. Over the past five years, controversial police K-9 attacks have made headlines. The Ohio State Highway Patrol used drug dogs in 28% of its stops involving Black motorists from 2013 through 2017, although the Black population accounts for only about 11.5% of people old enough to have a driver’s license. The Salt Lake City police department suspended its dog apprehension program in 2020 after a Black man was bitten and an audit found 27 dog bite cases during the previous two years. The FBI investigated the police department in Woodson Terrace, Mo., in 2021 after cellphone video showed three officers allowing a dog to bite a Black man repeatedly. In 2020, a Black man in Lafayette, In., was placed in a medically induced coma after police dogs mauled him as he was arrested.