Indiana police officer put on leave after video surfaces of K9 abuse

HAMMOND, IN - A video captured by a witness has put a northwestern-Indiana police officer on leave after it shows him abusing his K-9 companion out in broad daylight.

The video -- which could be considered graphic by some -- was posted to the internet recently and shows a Hammond Police Department officer lifting his K-9 off the ground by his collar and hitting him with a leash. See for yourself in the video player above.

It reportedly happened on a busy street with other officers nearby.

According to affiliate ABC7 in Chicago, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott says the officer has been put on administrative leave for the incident, and the dog in the video was removed from his control.

Mayor McDermott said in a statement: "Anybody who loves dogs as much as I do is always saddened and shocked anytime you hear of a dog's abuse. When you find out it happened with an employee of yours, it makes it that much more shocking and disturbing." 

The Hammond Police Department is not releasing the officer's name, citing the fact that this is a personnel issue.

An online petition was created after the incident to take further action against the officer involved. The mayor reportedly took a stance against the dog on radio programming, causing outrage to members of the community, according to the petition creator.

An Indiana resident sent ABC15 a recording of the radio interview. In the interview the mayor reportedly said the person who filmed the abuse video was a "jack***" and he was worried about the impression the video would give.

The mayor said he is a dog lover and a dog owner and soon after seeing the video changed his profile picture to his dog.

He also stated the officer involved had a clean record as an officer and they are trying to protect his rights.

The Hammond Police Department is not releasing the officer's name, citing the fact that this is a personnel issue.

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