On December 30, 2019, at about 12:24 am, an Amarillo Police K9 officer deployed his K9 to assist patrol officers in apprehending a suspect who had stolen a vehicle that a driver left running. As other officers were handcuffing the suspect, the K9 officer kicks the K9 one time as he is returning the dog to the police vehicle.
The Amarillo Police Department is investigating this incident on two fronts. There is an Internal Affairs investigation to determine if the officer violated any department policies or procedures. The officer's chain of command will determine disciplinary actions if there are sustained allegations of policy violations.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 38.151, a person commits an offense if the person recklessly, taunts, torments, or strikes a police service animal. This offense is a Class C misdemeanor. A Criminal Investigation Division detective will review this incident and determine if we will refer a case to the Municipal Court for prosecution.
Amarillo Police Department K9s live with their handlers and their families. The K9 was removed from the officer's residence and he is being kenneled with the K9 Unit supervisor.
The dog does not appear to have sustained any injuries from the incident, but he is scheduled to be checked by a veterinarian to be sure. The officer is continuing to report for duty, but without a K9 partner while the investigations are ongoing.