Salina Police commented Friday evening on an online video that is critical of a traffic stop conducted last fall, denying any officer misconduct.
KSAL News was made aware of the video Friday afternoon, and provided police with a link to it.
Police issued the following statement Friday evening:
On Friday, March 27, 2015, the Salina Police Department was contacted by several individuals regarding a police video, which was recorded on September 19, 2014. This video was recorded with a body camera by a Salina Police Officer during the course of his duties. The video was apparently obtained through a defense attorney discovery motion and was released to the general public by an unknown person. This video displays an individual being stopped, investigated and subsequently arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The individual arrested during this police contact had been a previously registered Drug Offender. On February 9, 2015, the individual pled guilty to and was convicted of one count of Possession of Marijuana in Saline County District Court, as a result of this traffic stop.
The posting of this video on YouTube was done by an individual associated with a public watch group, who call themselves KCK CopBlock. The person who posted the video has numerous postings of police contacts around the Kansas and Missouri area.
The Salina Police Department has viewed the version of the video posted on YouTube and have found the video to be clearly edited as it has been cut and manipulated in several places. The video runs in slow motion at times and contains a dramatic soundtrack, apparently to manipulate the viewers beliefs that illegal acts occurred by the officer. We strongly dispute these inferences.
The editing of the video was apparently made to insinuate unethical or illegal K-9 search practices were committed by our K-9 handler. The Commander of the K-9 Unit and other Police Commanders have reviewed this YouTube video and the unedited video which was captured at the scene by the Salina K-9 Officer. We have found no unethical actions by the K-9 Officer. The K-9 officer followed universally accepted K-9 practices to perform the search on this particular traffic stop.
Like a multitude of police agencies, the Salina Police K-9 program uses an item known as a “Kong ball” as a reward for the K-9 performing his duties successfully. All Salina Police K-9’s are trained to detect drugs and are “proofed off” of food items, meaning the K-9 will not stop or alert on food; only illegal drugs.
Apparently, the creator of this video is of the belief that the officer placed food inside a Kong ball and then placed the odor of food onto the side of a car for the K-9 to indicate which resulted in the dog alerting on the vehicle.
The Salina Police Department emphatically denies these allegations. We take allegations of misconduct very seriously and investigate each thoroughly, even when they are brought to our attention via an edited YouTube video. An investigation into this video posting has shown the K-9 handler followed proper and ethical protocol during this traffic stop resulting in a voluntary plea of guilty from the subject arrested.
“The creators of this video are simply in error in their belief that the K-9 officer acted inappropriately or unethical during this car stop. The fact that the arrested individual did not make a complaint and pled guilty to this charge certainly confirms my belief.”