Ohio police fire officer who unleashed K-9 on unarmed man

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CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — An Ohio police officer who unleashed his K-9 officer on an unarmed Black man has been fired.

Officer Ryan Speakman was fired two days after Circleville Police officials had placed him on administrative leave, the department confirmed Wednesday.

In announcing Speakman’s firing, the department said the city’s Police Use of Force Review Board — which isn’t listed on the city’s board and commission website — concluded that Speakman followed department policy when he set the K-9 officer on 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose, despite other officers’ requests not to.

Still, the department determined that Speakman “did not the meet the standards and expectations we hold for our police officers,” a press release stated.

On July 4, Rose was driving on U.S. Route 35 in Jackson County when an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper attempted to pull him over. Body camera footage showed troopers giving verbal commands to Rose as he continued going on U.S. Route 23 and did not stop. Troopers deployed stop sticks on U.S. 23 to end the pursuit, which lasted nearly 30 minutes.

At the end of the pursuit, Rose got out of the car with his hands empty and in the air, per OSHP trooper accounts in the incident report.

While officers told Rose to walk toward them and get on the ground, Speakman stood to the side with his K-9 officer. A state trooper repeatedly told Speakman not to release the K-9.

Speakman then released the dog and pointed it toward Rose to attack him. As the dog attacked Rose and began to bite his left arm, multiple troopers shouted to get the dog off of him.

Rose was taken to Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe to be treated and charged with failure to comply, a fourth-degree felony. Since the incident, he has been released from jail. Rose’s attorney has declined to comment further.

Audio recordings of 911 calls show Rose told emergency dispatchers that the officers pursuing him were “trying to kill” him and he didn’t feel safe pulling over. He also said he was confused about why the officers were trying to stop him and why they had their guns drawn after he briefly stopped the truck before driving away.

OSHP said Rose was pulled over for driving without a left rear mud flap on his truck and failing to stop for an inspection.

Circleville police’s K-9 officers will be sent for “evaluation and annual training” to Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania, where the K-9 who attacked Rose was trained, the department said.

The department otherwise declined to comment.

The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a police union Speakman belongs to, said Wednesday it had filed a grievance on his behalf and that he was fired without just cause.

An organization called Dismantle Circleville Police is hosting a protest at the Circleville Police Department on Saturday, the group announced Wednesday. The group’s demands included Speakman’s termination as well as reducing the department’s budget by 50%, retiring the K-9 officer, and dropping charges against Rose.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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