Police chief asks for patience while they conduct a ‘thorough and credible’ investigation into Vacaville cop seen on video punching K-9 partner

Vacaville Police Chief John Carli on Tuesday told The Reporter that the investigation into an officer’s punching a K-9 partner in training, an action recorded on video that went viral, prompting outrage and headlines nationwide after it was posted on social media, will take time and asked: “for patience from our community.”

“What’s needed here is a thorough and credible investigation,” something that requires “extensive work in the city,” he added in a telephone interview.

Carli said he understood the public’s dismay and anger generated by the video, recorded on Dec. 28 and later posted on Facebook by witness Robert Palomino, showing the officer atop of and straddling the dog while punching it in the face.

The chief cited “concerns that have been raised and we raised them as well.”

A review of department training policies and practices related to the officer’s behavior is “going to take some time”  and will need “support and structure,” so that the outcome is not jeopardized, said Carli.

Vacaville Police Chief John Carli. (File photo) 

Providing as much transparency as possible during that process “is who we are,” he said, adding, “It’s always good. It’s good for us and good for the community.”

“What I do ask for is patience from our community,” said Carli. “We’ve been working hard to make sure our investigations are thorough.”

Again emphasizing the need for transparency, he said, “As soon as the information is publicly available and we are clearly able to share it, that will occur.”

And if there “are some issues surrounding criminality, rest assured that that is part of the evaluation,” added Carli.

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In defense of his department’s responses to media and citizen inquiries, he said, “At no time was there any attempt to somehow avoid or defend the actions that are seen in the video.”

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible,” Carli said. “That’s what we live by. At its conclusion, I hope our community realizes that trust is paramount and that’s never lost on us.”

He revealed that the K-9 and handler were “new” and “in training” when the incident was recorded by Palomino more than two weeks ago. Since then, protesters have called for the firing of the officer. The news was carried by several Bay Area media outlets, by newspapers and TV stations, discussed in online chat rooms, and even made headlines in the New York Daily News, a tabloid newspaper in New York City.

As noted in a department Facebook post, the dog has been taken to a “third-party handler” and separated from the officer seen in the video. The dog has been examined by a veterinarian and shows no sign of distress or injury.

Carli said that while a police dog in training “is not a pet in training,” it does not justify the officer’s behavior.

But he said it was still important to understand what the trainer was doing and why before the video recorded the moments when the handler punched the dog in the face more than once.

Acknowledging the video was “disturbing to look at,” Carli said, “We must …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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