By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
An incident involving a police dog attacking a compliant semi-truck driver has ignited public outrage, drawing comparisons to the dark era of pre-civil rights when police routinely unleashed dogs on Black Americans.
The incident, which occurred on July 4 on U.S. Route 23 near Circleville, Ohio, came to light when body-camera footage of the arrest was released on July 21 by the Ohio State Highway Police.
The harrowing video shows 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose obeying orders from troopers to get on his knees and keep his hands in the air.
Despite complying with the commands, Rose became the victim of a police dog attack, further fueling concerns about law enforcement’s excessive use of force.
“There is a very particular and sordid history of training dogs on Black people as a form of police terror in the U.S. that is both dehumanizing to victims and underscores the barbarism of law enforcement,” Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc., wrote on Twitter.
The chain of events leading to the incident began at approximately 9:30 a.m. on July 4 when troopers from the state Highway Police Department’s Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspector unit attempted to stop Rose on westbound U.S. Route 35 for an alleged traffic defect violation, according to an initial incident report.
Allegedly refusing to pull over, Rose led the troopers on a chase spanning two counties.
Eventually, troopers deployed spike strips, causing Rose to surrender on Route 23 in Pickaway County.
In the released footage, a German Shepherd K-9, a member of the Circleville, Ohio, Police Department, is seen arriving at the scene, initially held back by its handler as troopers order Rose to comply.
Despite pleas from other officers not to release the dog while Rose had his hands up, the K-9 is let loose, attacking Rose, and gripping his arm as he cries out in pain.
Fellow officers, including the dog’s handler, intervened to remove the animal from Rose.
In a statement, the Ohio State Highway Police asserted that they were attempting to gain compliance through verbal commands when the Circleville Police Department deployed the canine, resulting in Rose being bitten.
After receiving medical attention at a hospital, Rose was taken into custody and booked at the Ross County Jail for failure to comply, classified as a fourth-degree felony.
It’s still unclear why Rose didn’t stop right away when the troopers ordered him to.
The Circleville Police Department’s Use of Force Review Board is investigating the incident.
The K-9 Officer involved in the arrest has been identified as Circleville Police Officer R. Speakman, but it is unknown whether he will be placed on leave during the investigation.
Nana Watson, president of the NAACP Columbus Chapter, expressed deep concern after watching the body-camera video.
“I was afraid for him. I was fearful for him,” she said.
“It saddens me that in 2023 we have officers who are unleashing dogs on a person who clearly had his hands in the air. That did not matter to the Circleville Police Department.”