The Standard Examiner recently published the article, “Audit finds more incidents after police dog bites Black man”. I hold a particular issue in the disciplinary action enacted by Mayor Erin Mendenhall, as reported in this article. The proclaimed "culture of abuse" cannot solely be attributed to the numerous dog bites. It is the officers themselves, and thus the Salt Lake City police force that require investigation.

There is no denying that Jeffery Ryans was wrongfully bitten and that he experienced unnecessary pain and injury. It is K9 Officer Nickolas Pearce who remains accountable for encouraging the dog to act in such a malicious way. Police departments require necessary training to reform their preconceived notions against people of color. Sole responsibility cannot be placed on the K9 dogs, who are simply following orders from their commanding officers.

Consider the way you would want to be treated. It would certainly not be the way Officer Pearce treated Jeffery Ryans. The Salt Lake Police Department should acknowledge their faults and work towards providing appropriate and respectful work.

Tia Jochimsen


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