A Texas police department says it is currently investigating one of its own after surveillance video posted to Facebook this week shows one of its officers kicking his own K-9 after an arrest.
The Amarillo Police Department issued a statement to the public saying they are investigating Amarillo Police Department K-9 handler Corporal Cody Lavery on two fronts after he was seen kicking his K-9 “Koss.”
The department stated they have removed the dog from Lavery’s home and care and currently have him Kenneled with the department’s K-9 supervisor while the investigations are pending.
So far, Corporal Lavery has received no discipline.
The incident occurred on December 30 just after midnight before a member of the public took the initiative to post the video to social media.
Corporal Lavery can be seen in the video releasing “Koss” on a suspect who stole a vehicle after its owner left it running.
While other officers are busy handcuffing the car thief suspect, video shows Corporal Lavery kicking his police K-9 as he walks to his patrol car.
An Amarillo police spokesperson stated an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation would determine if Lavery violated department policy or procedure.
Corporal Lavery’s chain of command may determine disciplinary actions if the investigation finds he committed policy violations when he abused his own police dog.
A Criminal Investigation Division detective will also review the video to decide if the case will be referred to prosecutors for interfering with a police service animal.
Under Texas Penal Code 38.151, a person commits a Class C misdemeanor offense if the person recklessly, taunts, torments, or strikes a police service animal.
A department spokesperson stated “Koss” is scheduled to be seen by a veterinarian to check for injuries.
Corporal Lavery will continue reporting to duty without a K-9 parter as the department continues to investigate.
Corporal Lavery and Koss have previously been in several news stories.
In 2017, Koss returned to work after being shot while searching in a crawl space for Billy Joe Elmore, who was wanted for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot.
In 2018, the Amarillo Police Department gifted “bravery” awards to Corporal Lavery and Koss for their efforts apprehending Elmore.
Together, Corporal Lavery and Koss have seized over $7 million in illegal drugs over the past four years, according to the department.