In Lansing, Michigan, a Michigan State Police trooper who was placed on unpaid suspension after setting his police dog on a driver for nearly four minutes, regardless of the driver’s pleas for help. He is now being charged. Trooper Parker Surbrook, a police officer and canine handler, faces a charge for a single count of felonious assault during an arrest in November when a driver with an armed passenger fled a traffic stop and crashed into a tree.
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According to MSP’s statement, Surbrook had, “left his canine deployed on the driver for an extended period of time,” violating policies when he had ignored the driver’s pleas for help. Surbrook’s actions were discovered during a routine review by a supervisor who “immediately recognized multiple policy violations” and filed a complaint.
Dash Cam Video of the Incident: Michigan State Police Trooper Sets Police Dog on Driver
The police department’s criminal investigation report explained that the four minutes in which the dog was kept on the driver included two minutes after the passenger had already been handcuffed by another officer. The driver had already suffered a broken hip and appeared to not be resisting while begging that the dog be called off. Officers also recovered a gun in the passenger’s arrest.
Col. Joe Gasper, the director of the Michigan State Police, explained in a statement that although force is necessary, “care and concern for human life should always be at the forefront of any police officer’s actions,” and that “This makes Trooper Surbrook’s disregard of the driver’s pleas for help totally unacceptable.”
According to the police report, a state police canine unit supervisor and trainer explained to an investigator that at first, the dog’s use in the arrest was within police policy. However, the situation’s handling eventually breached the standards of professional conduct as Surbrook should have helped the other officer handcuff the driver. Instead, the K-9 handler kept the dog on the driver while the driver could be heard begging for help at least five times during two minutes.
Surbrook has been working for state law enforcement since 2012 and has been a canine handler since 2017.