A jury cleared a Wilmington, N.C., police officer of any wrongdoing on Monday after controversial video surfaced showing the cop crashing into a suspect’s car and then shoving his trained K-9 into the driver’s window to attack the surrendering criminal.
Convicted felon Johnnie Williams reportedly blew through a DWI checkpoint on Halloween in Wilmington, sparking a police chase. Williams reportedly rammed a police cruiser and ran several stop signs before officer Stafford Brister slammed into Williams’ driver-side door to stop his vehicle.
Williams is then seen putting his hands up, indicating he was prepared to surrender. It is unclear if Brister realized the suspect was ready to give up as he immediately picked up his attack dog and shoved him into the window.
The dog reportedly tore flesh from Williams’ face and upper body for about 30 seconds before officers were able to break the passenger-side window and pull the K-9 off of him. He required stitches on his face and shoulders following the incident.
Watch some of the incredible video below (Warning! Graphic content):
Brister was ultimately put on paid leave until a jury decided whether or not to bring charges against him. Because “case law” has apparently determined that a “properly trained police dog is not a deadly weapon,” Brister faced only a misdemeanor assault charge.
In the end, a group of 15 jurors decided against charging Brister on Monday. Williams, the DWI suspect, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, traffic violations and a habitual felony-related charge.
“An ongoing internal investigation is currently underway. Officer Brister will remain on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the internal investigation,” WECT-TV reports.