Video shows officer punch K-9 partner during training

Police officer seen punching K-9 partner during training

VACAVILLE, Calif. — A veteran California police officer still learning how to handle a K-9 was seen Monday punching his partner in a parking lot during a training exercise.

Roberto Palomino had just driven to work when he heard a dog yelping behind a fire station nearby, KTVU reported. He looked out the window and saw a Vacaville police officer seated on top of the upside down dog and repeatedly punch the K-9 before he started filming.

Content Continues Below

“It was like ‘ohhh!’ the dog was crying, like someone was running him over or something. It was bad,” Palomino told KGO. “Before the video, I saw him give at least 10 punches to the dog. At least.”

Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon said the officer, who has worked many years with the department, was conducting routine training — a narcotics search. The K-9 performed well and was rewarded with a toy but later refused to release it, Lydon said. He first said the dog became angry and tried to bite the officer before later confirming that the dog never bit the handler, KGO reported.

“There is times during K-9 training, as I understand, that the dog can be struck,” Lydon told KNTV.

Lydon said the officer was correcting the dog.

“The K-9 handler placed the dog in a position of dominance, which is common in police K-9 training,” Lydon told KGO. “To create that dominance and teach that dog who’s in charge.”

The officer is one of the department’s four K-9 handlers, although he is still finishing the K-9 training program, he has three months to complete, KGO reported.

He said the agency is investigating the video but would not further comment on the officer’s alleged actions.

“I’m not prepared to speak to anything that I did not observe myself,” Lydon told KGO.

Yesterday evening a video surfaced of an interaction between one of our officers and his canine partner during training....

Posted by Vacaville Police Department on Tuesday, December 29, 2020