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Man speaks out after police release K-9 on him during traffic stop: 'Traumatized'

Man speaks out after police release K-9 on him during traffic stop: 'Traumatized'

A Black Ohio man said he is "traumatized" after police released a K-9 on him during a traffic stop during an investigation of a vehicle that was mistakenly believed to have been stolen, body camera footage shows.

The Toledo branch of the NAACP this week called the release of the police dog "unwarranted" and "inhumane."

Brandon Upchurch, 38, of Toledo, told ABC News he was bitten seven times on his forearm and elbow by the K-9 after being pulled over on April 11 and has been unable to work since.

PHOTO: Brandon Upchurch speaks with ABC News, April 20, 2024. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Brandon Upchurch speaks with ABC News, April 20, 2024. (ABC News)

"My elbow was already messed up," he told ABC News correspondent Ike Ejiochi. "I can't do anything."

PHOTO: Photos of injuries Brandon Upchurch said he sustained during a traffic stop after officers released a K-9 on him. (Brandon Upchurch)
PHOTO: Photos of injuries Brandon Upchurch said he sustained during a traffic stop after officers released a K-9 on him. (Brandon Upchurch)

Upchurch said he was driving his cousin home from work when officers pulled him over.

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"They instantly came out with the guns drawn," he said. "They did not come to my car and ask me for license, insurance, etc., anything."

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Upchurch was pulled over on suspicion of a stolen vehicle, body camera footage released by the Toledo Police Department shows. Police repeatedly ask him to get out of the vehicle, as Upchurch can be heard on the footage asking why they pulled him over.

Once he steps out of the truck, officers order him to face away from them, Upchurch repeatedly asks, "What am I stopped for?" Officers order him to get on the ground several times. As Upchurch takes several steps away from the curb and begins to kneel, an officer releases the K-9 on him, the footage shows.

"Man, I'm not even doing nothing," Upchurch says in the footage, then repeatedly asks the officers, "What did I do?"

PHOTO: A still from body-camera footage released by the Toledo Police Department during a traffic stop involving a K-9 on April 11, 2024. (Toledo Police Department)
PHOTO: A still from body-camera footage released by the Toledo Police Department during a traffic stop involving a K-9 on April 11, 2024. (Toledo Police Department)

While handcuffing Upchurch, an officer told him the truck had a stolen license plate, which Upchurch repeatedly denied.

After Upchurch requests medical attention, an officer tells him "That's coming." After walking away, the officer tells a colleague that Upchurch was a "petulant child" for requesting medical attention.

Following Upchurch's arrest, officers can be heard on the footage realizing that the information they had on the license plate was incorrect and was a "mishit" or "misread" by the license plate reader and that the license plate on the vehicle Upchurch was driving was not a match for the plate on the alleged stolen vehicle.

"Now I know it's not the plate," the officer says.

Upchurch told ABC News he wasn't a threat or trying to run.

"This is uncalled for over a stolen tag," Upchurch said. "All they had to do was run the plates again and found out it wasn't stolen."

"I have license, insurance, everything is clean with me," he said. "He even said it on his body cam that he messed up."

Upchurch was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction. The complaint alleged that he ignored "multiple commands" from officers while they investigated a stolen vehicle and "refused to comply throughout the entirety of the event."

ABC News has reached out to the Toledo Police Department and the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office for comment.

MORE: K-9 officer put on leave after police dog attacks surrendering suspect

The Toledo branch of the NAACP has demanded a thorough investigation into the incident and said the incident was reminiscent of police using K-9s on Black demonstrators during the Civil Rights era.

"Our police are here to serve, not to occupy, our neighborhoods even when they believe a violation of the law has been committed," the organization said in a statement on Friday. "We count on our police to be fair and just when dealing with community members because, as in this case, officers can be misinformed."

"Incidents of this type not only set back any progress of positive community and police relations but demonstrates a glaring need for training," the statement continued. "We will not go back to the 1960s!"

Upchurch told ABC News that he needs "justice served."

"It scared me. I'm traumatized for real," he said. "Somebody's got to be held accountable."

"If we would have sneezed wrong, it would have ended bad, I think," he said.

Man speaks out after police release K-9 on him during traffic stop: 'Traumatized' originally appeared on abcnews.go.com