Riverside County investigating deputy handling of K-9 officer

A Riverside County Sheriff's deputy is under investigation after video from a recent traffic stop showed the deputy slamming his K-9 partner to the ground.

It happened in Moreno Valley. A video posted to YouTube by Riverside County Accountability showed the interaction unfolding in the 14200 block of Elsworth Street. It started with two deputy cruisers pulling over to the side of the road. Two deputies got out of the first cruiser, with one holding his gun toward the photographer. Another deputy got out of the cruiser in the back, along with his K-9 partner. 

Deputies said they were called out to investigate whether the man had a gun on him. Complying with deputies' commands, the man walked backwards toward the deputies with his hands behind his head. One of the deputies handcuffed him and another searched him.

While that was happening, the deputy handling the K-9 officer walked closer. The dog's feet could be seen dangling in the air as the deputy walked forward. That's when the dog appeared to snap up at his handler's hands. The deputy responded by lifting the dog up, shoving it into the ground and shouting "No."

A Riverside County Sheriff's deputy appearing to wind up before slapping his K-9 partner on the nose. (Credit: Riverside County Accountability via YouTube)

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The deputy then tried to separate himself and his K-9 from the situation. As he walked back to his cruiser, the deputy appeared to wind up and slap the dog on the nose.

The deputies eventually let the man go, determining that he was carrying a taser, and that he hadn't committed any crime. 

It wasn't immediately clear when the video was taken.

In a statement to FOX 11, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office said it "is aware of the video of a deputy and his K-9. We also understand why this video may be upsetting to some members of our community. Our Professional Standards Bureau has received several complaints and are investigating this matter."