Group Calls For Criminal Investigation, Cruelty Charges
For Immediate Release:
March 4, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Salisbury, N.C. – In response to video footage showing a police officer swinging a K-9 dog named Zuul around, hauling him off the ground by the neck, keeping him in a “choke hold,” body slamming him, and punching him, PETA supporters will descend on the Salisbury Police Department tomorrow with signs proclaiming, “Justice for Zuul!” to demand that the abusive officer be prosecuted for cruelty to animals and barred from any future contact with animals.
When: Friday, March 5, 12 noon
Where: Salisbury Police Department, 130 E. Liberty St., Salisbury
People inside the police car who recorded the video can be heard saying, “We’re good—no witnesses” and “Can you go flip my cameras off?”—making them, in PETA’s eyes, accessories who took no action to stop the abuse. Chief of Police Jerry Stokes has described the incident as a “personnel matter” and claims that “corrective measures can sometimes be alarming out of context.” In a letter sent to Stokes, PETA notes that there is no context in which such cruelty would be excusable and that his remarks suggest that abusive treatment of police dogs is nothing out of the ordinary in the department. The group is calling for a criminal investigation and prosecution of the abuser depicted in the video by an independent, outside agency.
“Slamming a dog into a car, choking him, and punching him are not only a violation of a dog’s trust but also, PETA believes, a violation of state law,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “If the Salisbury Police Department defends such indefensible violence to an animal, the department’s K-9 unit should be disbanded.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.