AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Police have released more information regarding a video posted to social media showing what police say is an officer kicking a K-9.
It happened on December 30 around 12:30 a.m.
According to police, the officer deployed his K-9 to assist officers in apprehending a suspect who they say stole a vehicle that a driver left running.
Police said as other officers handcuffed the suspect, the officer kicked the police dog once as he returned the K-9 to the police vehicle.
Amarillo Police told MyHighPlains.com they are investigating the incident on two fronts.
They said in a statement:
There is an Internal Affairs investigation to determine if the officer violated any department policies or procedures. The officer’s chain of command will determine disciplinary actions if there are sustained allegations of policy violations. Under Texas Penal Code Section 38.151, a person commits an offense if the person recklessly, taunts, torments, or strikes a police service animal. This offense is a Class C misdemeanor. A Criminal Investigation Division detective will review this incident and determine if we will refer a case to the Municipal Court for prosecution.
APD said K9s live with their handlers and their families. The department said they have removed the K9 from the officer’s home and have kenneled him with the K9 Unit supervisor while the investigations are ongoing.
Police said the dog does not appear to have sustained any injuries from the incident, but he is scheduled to be checked by a veterinarian to be sure.
The officer is expected to continue reporting for duty but without a K-9 partner while the investigations continue.