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Questions raised after BIA police dog refuses to release Lodge Grass suspect during traffic stop

red star police dog.JPG
Posted at 11:02 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 11:50:03-04

A Lodge Grass man is recovering Thursday night and a lot of questions are being asked after a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer deployed his dog onto a suspect during a traffic stop.

The disturbing video is being widely circulated on social media.

The incident unfolded after Lodge Grass resident Harris Red Star was pulled over for a traffic stop Tuesday night. The circumstances surrounding the stop are not clear. Red Star’s family told Q2 that Red Star was pulled over for a traffic signal violation.

At some point, the BIA officer deployed his dog on Red Star.

Once Red Star was handcuffed, the officer attempted to pull the dog off, but the K-9 refused to release its bite.

At that point, the officer struck the animal until it released.

The video, which was shot by a Red Star family member, is drawing mixed reactions on social media, and some are questioning if the incident constitutes excessive force.

Q2 spoke with Andrew Emanuel, the president of the Montana Law Enforcement K-9 Association, who viewed the video and shared his initial reaction.

Emanuel told Q2 the standard for K-9s and human officers is that when resistance is stopped and you have compliance, then the force that’s being applied needs to stop.

He said it will be up to the law enforcement agency to determine violations or any issues with standard operating procedures.

Red Star was taken by ambulance to a Billings hospital, where his family says he underwent three surgeries and returned home Thursday night.

Crow tribal prosecutor David Sibley said tickets were issued to Harris and other bystanders at the scene. No one was arrested.

Sibley says he does not know the reason for the traffic stop, but he also points out that he does not know what happened before the video was taken.