The victim was on his knees with his hands in the air when he was savaged by the K-9.
UPDATE 9/17/2020 10:27 AM
The K-9 officer has been criminally charged.
In an unusual move, Salt Lake County prosecutors announced on Wednesday Officer Nickolas Pearce was being charged with aggravated assault
District Attorney Sim Gill said his office decided to bring the charges after determining Pearce used "unlawful force" by siccing his dog on the compliant victim, per the Salt Lake Tribune, who "wasn't resisting arrest."
"He certainly wasn't posing an imminent threat of violence or harm to anyone and he certainly wasn't concealed," Gill said. "He was fenced in an area and was being compliant."
If convicted of the second-degree felony, Officer Pearce could face up to 15 years in prison.
"I felt like a chew toy," he told the publication. "I didn't know why this was happening to me. That's what was going through my mind. Why?"
He said he suffered nerve and tendon damage, infections, and has difficulty walking, while doctors have not ruled out the possibility of amputation.
His lawyers believe the attack on Ryans, who is Black, was racially motivated.
Police said they were arresting Ryans for violating a protection order his wife had filed in December; he claims his wife told him it had been lifted, and that he had been living at the house for weeks before the night of the dog attack, oblivious that it was still pending.
Following the release of the video, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced that the officer had been suspended pending an investigation — as had all use of police dogs on suspects.
The officer involved in the incident documented by body cam footage published by the Tribune Tuesday has been suspended from duty, pending an investigation into their use of force. In addition, the use of K9s to engage with suspects has been completely suspended until
"The officer involved in the incident documented by body cam footage published by the Tribune Tuesday has been suspended from duty, pending an investigation into their use of force," she tweeted Wednesday.
"In addition, the use of K9s to engage with suspects has been completely suspended until the policies and practices of that program can be fully reviewed."
"Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that it took a news outlet publishing this video for it to be brought to the attention of senior police department leadership and myself. We will conduct a thorough review of the breakdown in communication to ensure that it does not happen again."
"I am disturbed by what I saw in that video, frustrated by how the situation was handled, and am committed to working to ensure neither happen again."