A Ramsey County, Minnesota Sheriff’s deputy was busted on camera beating his K-9 partner during a training session. Brett Arthur Berry was observed on surveillance video attacking the dog, Boone, during a K-9 training and certification event at Black Bear Casino in Carlton on June 14.
Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the casino just before 3 a.m. on June 15 when cameras caught Berry abusing the dog. Berry had been asked to leave the casino’s Cobalt Lounge earlier in the night after other customers reported that he was making “unwanted advances.”
Video shows a visibly-upset Berry going to his hotel room and leaving with Boone five minutes after he was kicked out of the bar. Photography Is Not a Crime reports:
After going to his room to collect his belongings and the dog, Berry is seen in the parking lot picking up the animal by its collar and slamming it around like a rag doll. The frightened animal managed to get away, but the deputy chased behind him.
The dog managed to get back to the hotel, and attempted to run inside, but it became stuck between the sliding doors. When Berry caught up, he began brutally abusing the dog with his fists.
Berry, an 18-year veteran of the force, can be seen hitting his partner at least six times.
“We hold our staff to the highest standards, and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is troubled by these allegations,” Sgt. John Eastham, public affairs and data compliance officer, wrote in a statement, adding that “Deputy Berry was sent home from the K-9 trials and placed on administrative leave. The K-9 was evaluated by a veterinarian and no injuries were found. The K-9 partner is currently in the care of others.”
Berry was charged with assaulting a public safety dog and animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for each charge.
Berry was hired by the department in 1996, and has one previous complaint on file for “poor public relations” during a 2007 traffic stop. He was cleared when the department investigated itself.
Pioneer Press reports that:
Berry is the third Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy to be investigated this month. Thomas Rudenick, who retired in January, is being investigated on suspicion of stealing police evidence and selling it to pawnshops.
Earlier this month, Deputy Glen John Pothen was charged with drunken driving for the second time since 2014.
This goes to show that more than just house pets are at risk from police officers. Every 98 minutes, a member of law enforcement kills a dog. Sometimes, it truly is self-defense. But it seems that, more often than not, the killings are not justified.
Cops abusing their K-9 partners is not unheard-of. In 2014, an Indiana police officer was caught on camera beating his canine with a leash and picking it up by its neck after it failed to return a ball given to it as a reward to the officer upon command after the dog signaled positive in a drug sniff.
“In some cases the dog figures out that standing on his hind legs also releases pressure and it appears the handler is hanging the dog but in reality he is applying the same pressure,” said Dan Parker, director of law enforcement operations at Vohne Liche Kennels. Parker noted that the Indiana officer’s actions were not in line with his training. However, he also says the the officer was not abusing the dog.
“Under no circumstances should a handler ever slap his K9 in the shoulders with his leash as a distraction technique to get them to release the ball,” Parker said. “The handlers technique was not the way he was taught but was not abuse.”
He says the officer’s “technique” was “outside the normal routine and training,” but explained that the officer needed to get the dog back to its kennel as quickly as possible so he could return to more important matters: looking for drugs.
The officer was not charged with a crime, and received “further training” as a punishment.
Watch the Minnesota deputy abuse his partner, below:
Featured Image via Photography Is Not a Crime