This post contains graphic content.
A video trending on Reddit and Twitter filmed by a man in Vacaville, CA, shows a police officer punching a police dog during training on Monday.
“I hear the crying, and it caught my attention. As I looked over, I see an officer punching over and over a dog,” said Roberto Palomino to Fox 40. “Disturbing to watch.”
Palomino told Fox 40 he was near Vaca Valley Parkway, close to his worksite when he saw someone punching a dog several times. The video was posted to Reddit’s popular r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut page.
“Unfortunately, I only record the one punch. But the reason I pulled my phone is because of the hard beating the dog was taking from the officer,” said Palomino. “Before I pulled my phone, I saw the officer (punch the K-9) sometime around ten times, and that’s the reason why it made me pull my phone.”
Somehow Vacaville Police Capt. Matt Lydon, seeming to justify the abuse, suggested that context was paramount.
Per Fox 40, “he said the dog was doing an exercise to find narcotics and was rewarded with a toy. But when his handler took the toy away from him, Capt. Lydon said ‘that angered the dog.'”
“And then the dog, in turn, lunged at the officer and attempted to bite the officer,” Lydon said.
According to Lydon, the police dog did not bite the officer; however, the attempt had to be addressed to establish dominance.
“And why it’s important is the handler has to have complete control over that K-9 to ensure public safety,” Lydon said to Fox 40.
Palamino told NBC Bay Area the cop hitting the police dog “looked and sounded like abuse to him.”
“I think he should have a better life, that’s all,” he said. “I was concerned about the dog.”