Salt Lake City Police Department suspends K-9 officer policy

Aug 12, 2020, 7:25 PM | Updated: 7:27 pm
(Screen grab from the body camera footage released by the attorneys of Jeffery Ryans)...
(Screen grab from the body camera footage released by the attorneys of Jeffery Ryans)
(Screen grab from the body camera footage released by the attorneys of Jeffery Ryans)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Changes are on the way for the Salt Lake City Police Department to use K-9 officers.  The new changes for K-9 officers in Salt Lake City stem from a recent complaint about the officers using excessive force. 

The lawsuit against SLCPD states Jeffery Ryans was bit by a K-9 officer, Tuco, between 45 and 60 times on April 24, at the command of his handler.  Police were called because Ryans reportedly violated a protective order. 

In the body camera footage released by Ryans’ attorneys, you can hear him yelling, “I’m on the ground!  Why are you biting me?”.  Attorneys say those bites led to serious infections as well as causing nerve, muscle, and tendon damage on Ryans’ left leg. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall issued a statement, saying she’s disturbed by what she saw, frustrated at how the situation was handled, and will work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

She writes, “Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that it took a news outlet publishing this video for it to be brought to the attention of senior police department leadership and myself. We will conduct a thorough review of the breakdown in communication to ensure that it does not happen again.”

As for the case itself, Salt Lake investigators say they’re not at liberty to talk about it because of the litigation against the city.  However, Deputy Chief Jeff Kendrick says no one ever filed a complaint with the department’s Internal Affairs Office.

He says, “We did not receive the complaint, and that’s another portion of it.  We’re looking at how the notification can work on our end.  We’re always striving to improve that process, as well.”

Kendrick said Salt Lake City Police Department launched its own investigation into the possible use of excessive force after reading about it in the Salt Lake Tribune. Additionally, Kendrick claims they would have investigated sooner had the complaint gone straight to the police department. 

“We would prefer that that would have happened so we could’ve done this review,” he says.

In the meantime, the department will suspend its policy on the use of K-9 officers to apprehend suspects while a third party reviews the policy. Dogs will still be used for all of their other duties in the meantime. 

“They’ll still be looking for explosives.  They’ll still be sniffing for narcotics,” says Kendrick.

Police say the Salt Lake County Attorney’s Office is also reviewing the case.

Today’s Top Stories


paramore attack great saltair...
Simone Seikaly

Paramore condemns reported homophobic attack at concert

Paramore said the attack happened outside of their view and that they didn't find out about it until after the show.
2 days ago
Gov. Spencer Cox appointed John D. Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals on Tuesday....
Mark Jones

Gov. Cox appoints John Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals

Cache County Attorney John Luthy has been appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox to serve on the Utah State Court of Appeals. Luthy has been practicing law since 2003.
3 days ago
Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill...
Simone Seikaly

Salt Lake County DA will not file charges in officer-involved incident

Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill says an incident on March 17, 2022, doesn't fall into the category of an officer-involved critical incident.
4 days ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
The Associated Press

Supreme Court’s top cases for new term, new Justice Jackson

Already the Supreme Court has said it will decide cases on a range of major issues including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.
4 days ago
pig poop power...
Elizabeth Weiler

Nations largest pig farm exposed, two face criminal charges

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A jury selection is underway after two activists filmed their theft of dying piglets from Utah’s Circle Four Farm in an attempt to save them.  Advocates are calling it a landmark case to establish the “Right to Rescue” animals in distress.  Animal rights activists Paul Darwin Picklesimer and a former Northwestern […]
7 days ago
Follow @SimoneSeikaly...
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Sheriff arrests man for felony sex offenses against a child

The Utah County Sheriff's Office said that the case is being prosecuted by Juab County Attorney Ryan Peters.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Salt Lake City Police Department suspends K-9 officer policy