Local

Gastonia police release video of veteran’s arrest that shows officer stunning dog

GASTONIA, N.C. — After an Army veteran spent months urging them, Gastonia police released the body camera video of his 2021 arrest Thursday morning.

Joshua Rohrer said police officers shocked his service dog with a stun gun during an arrest in Oct. 2021. The dog died in a crash a few days later.

For months, Rohrer had been petitioning to have the video released.

Now that a judge ruled in favor of Rohrer, police had to send that footage to him. He lived through it and he’s already seen it, but he claims it’s like seeing a horror movie. He said he wanted the public to see how he says police treated him.

“It’s very important for the public to know that stuff so that this never happens again,” Rohrer said in court in December. “I hope that this situation sheds some light on that.”

>> In the interest of transparency, Channel 9 has the full two-part video provided by the Gastonia Police Department below. Viewer discretion is advised.

The more than two hours of police body camera video shows two days of interactions between officers and Rohrer.

“It’s just so hard to comprehend all of the things that they did wrong,” Rohrer told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon.

Rohrer said police accused him of panhandling in the street, on Cox Road, with his service dog named Sunshine. He held her vest during the hearing Wednesday.

Officers Maurice Taylor and Cierra Brooks warned they could arrest him and take his service dog. Things then went bad when they tried to get his ID to write a ticket.

Rohrer said police roughed him up, separated him from Sunshine, which he said violated a right afforded to everyone with a service animal.

In the video, Taylor can be heard saying the dog bit his shoe, but it’s not seen. Seconds later, the dog jumped on the hood of the police cruiser but seemed calm.

“Call your dog off. Call your dog off. Call your dog off. Call your dog off,” Taylor can be heard saying.

That’s when Taylor used a stun gun on the dog.

Rohrer said she became disoriented for days and was later hit by a car.

“They have no idea what they took from me. It’s like they took my leg,” he said.

Rohrer said his dog helped him through his PTSD from his tour is Afghanistan.

Police attorney Laura Burton wanted some video withheld, claiming social media attacks have been relentless on the department and have also have been aimed at the two officers involved. She read some of the posts in court on Wednesday.

“‘Every one of you should be hunted down and killed, then all of your family members including husbands, wives and children because you don’t deserve to live in this world,’” Burton read.

“They just don’t care. They have no remorse whatsoever for what they did,” Rohrer said.

He said the officers could have deescalated the situation and none of this would have happened.

Rohrer said the two officers involved should be charged. One has already left the force.

(WATCH BELOW: Mother of man shot by Concord police wants body camera video released)

Latest Trending