Body cam video has surface of Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Dews turning a police dog loose on an unarmed inmate in a jail in Columbia County, Oregon, in August.
The video shows the inmate, Christopher Bartlett, cowering while the dog attacks and deputies shout at Bartlett: “Stop resisting!”
According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Bartlett refused to place his hands through a small port in his cell door in order to be handcuffed and moved.
Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson defended the brutal dog attack to the Columbia County Spotlight:
We bring the dog in and we give him a command to bark. We need people to realize there is a dog and the dog is ready to go at it if you continue to push the issue. The dog is trained so that the officer doesn’t have to get in there and get into a fist fight with somebody.
Dickerson claimed that inmates who are mauled by police dogs are actually being protected from severe injury:
We do not relish having to resort to force. We do what we can to minimize the length and intensity of these confrontations to protect the staff AND the inmates from severe injury.
Bartlett has since been released from jail.