Officer tosses K9 onto car on suspect
WILMINGTON, NC. (CNN) – A North Carolina driver doesn’t believepolice had any reason to put a police k-9 through his window and onto his lap.
It happened after a police chase.
Ashley Kosikowski reports the dashcam video went before a grand jury.
The dramatic end to a police chase caught on dashcam:
The pit maneuver stops Johnnie Williams’ car.
Then, Wilmington police officer Stafford Brister lifts a police K-9 into Williams’s car.
A grand jury, made up of 15 people, watched this video several times before deciding to clear the officer of any criminal wrongdoing.
District attorney Ben David said he wanted a grand jury to decide if officer Brister should be charged with assault inflicting serious injury.
Ben David, District Attorney: “I believed it was a close enough legal question that the community should decide whether the use of force was reasonable, and I would not rule as a matter of law that it was.”
David says Williams tried to run over three officers during the chase.
Today, the grand jury indicted Williams on charges of being a habitual felon, assault with a deadly weapon, and other traffic violations.
We talked with Williams after the incident.
He admitted to making mistakes, but told us he didn’t deserve to have the dog unleashed on him.
Johnnie Williams, Bitten By Police Dog: “I didn’t have the opportunity to raise my hand all the way until the dog got into the car and bite me. It hold on to me. It was at least about 30 or 40 seconds before the guy came and got him off my shoulder.”
Even though the officer was cleared of criminal charges, Chief Ralph Evangelous says there is still an internal investigation underway.
Chief Ralph Evangelous, Wilmington Police: “Sometimes the job we do is not very pretty. It’s just a fact. There are sometimes bad guys out there who are violent. The K9 incident is still pending, and administratively, there is an administrative investigation going on as we speak.”
But as far as criminal charges, David says the case is closed.
“That use of force can be called into question by reasonable people looking at it, and I will let the people watching at home, tonight, who I am sure are going to watch this tape multiple times decide for themselves whether they believe force was reasonably necessary.”