A California police department is investigating after a video of one of its officers pinning down and punching a K-9 in the head is going viral.
Roberto Palamino, a Vacaville resident, shared the disturbing video on Facebook on Monday, December 28. He explained in the caption he was returning to his work warehouse, located next to the Vacaville fire station, when he heard “a dog crying.”
What happened next inspired him to begin recording, he said, writing:
When I looked, the officer was punching the dog over and over and got shocked about it, only thing I could think was recording, I as soon as I did at the end of the video you can see he looks towards me, and I hide behind the door of my warehouse, as I kept picking, he was looking towards my doors, so I’m sure he saw me, he stopped beating the dog when he saw me and went behind those trailers in the video were I could see their legs only, I finish loading my truck and as I left I saw him getting to his K-9 unit and put some stuff on the trunk and I left, it was all weird and I’m sorry if I fear for my life and didn’t confronted him….
The video has since amassed over 500 comments and more than 300 shares, sparking a wave of criticism and questioning online.
The man in the video has been identified as a Vacaville police officer, NBC Bay Area reported. Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon told the station that the department is now investigating the incident.
If abuse is determined, the officer could face forfeiting the dog, the station said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Palamino Said the Video Does Not Capture the Worst of the Encounter, According to Local Media
According to NBC Bay Area, Palamino expressed that the video does not show the worst of the encounter.
“The dog was crying like somebody was running him over or something like that,” he told the station. “It was bad crying.”
He added that he saw the man punch the dog at “least 10” times before he began recording, NBC Bay Area said.
The video shows the officer pinning down the animal and appearing to hit it in the head multiple times.
“I think he should have a better life, that’s all,” Palamino said of the dog, according to NBC Bay Area. “I was concerned about the dog.”
The Vacaville Police Department Says There Might Be More to the Story
Lydon told NBC Bay Area that it is still too early to denounce the encounter as animal abuse.
“There is times during K-9 training, as I understand, that the dog can be struck,” the captain said to the station.
Lydon said officers at times need to sit on their dogs in order to regain control if the animal attempted to bite or lunge at them, NBC Bay Area continued.
“This requires immediate action in the training of the canine and to create that and establish the dominance over that dog to let the dog know that the handler is in charge,” Lydon said.
According to NBC Bay Area, the police department is working with a third party specializing in in K-9 training to determine whether any abuse occurred.
Lydon added that he would like to reach out to Palamino and discuss what he witnessed, NBC Bay Area reported.