Police suspend

Salt Lake police suspend K9 program after video shows dog biting Black man with his hands up – NBC News

The Salt Lake City Police Department suspended its K9 program on Wednesday, one day after the release of an officer’s body-camera footage that showed his dog appearing to repeatedly bite a Black man kneeling on the ground with his hands up.

In a statement, the department said it was enlisting outside experts to conduct a thorough review of the program’s policies and procedures while various investigations examine the April 24 incident that left Jeffrey Ryans, 36, with severe injuries that his lawyers said may require amputation.

The K9 officer involved in the encounter, Nickolas Pearce, was placed on administrative leave while the city’s civilian review board and internal affairs investigators investigate, the department said.

“I am disturbed by what I saw in that video, frustrated by how the situation was handled, and am committed to working to ensure neither happen again,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted Wednesday.

Jeffrey Ryans, who was bitten by a police K9 while complying w/police orders to lie on the ground.White & Garner Trial Lawyers

Lawyers for Ryans, a train engineer, said in an interview Wednesday that he was getting ready to go to work early that morning when officers arrived at his wife’s home, where he was staying.

In disturbing body-camera footage first published by the Salt Lake City Tribune and obtained by NBC News, the officers can be seen talking with Ryans, who’s standing in the home’s backyard. “I’m just going to work,” he says. One officer asks how they can get to the yard; another appears to say Ryans is going jump the fence.

Pearce then appears to walk to the other side of the house, where he approaches Ryans and says, “Get on the ground or you’re going to get bit.”

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As Ryans kneels with his hands up, Pearce appears to say “hit” and “good boy” while his dog bites Ryans, who repeatedly shouts in pain and asks why the dog is biting him.

The Salt Lake Police Department declined a request for an interview with Pearce, and the Salt Lake Police Association did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday night.

In a notice of claim dated June 29 that was filed with the Salt Lake City Recorder’s Office — the first step in filing a lawsuit — lawyers for Ryans said Pearce’s dog, Tuco, bit him several times for roughly one minute.

On each side of his leg, Ryans suffered two-inch gashes, one of his lawyers, Gabriel White said.

“We’ve seen lots of dog bites, but this one looks like something else,” he said. “I would’ve assumed he had an accident with a chainsaw.”

Salt Lake City police spokesman Detective Greg Wilking said that authorities had been called to the home because of a report of domestic violence. Citing the pending lawsuit, Wilking declined to discuss details of the incident, but in the body-camera footage, officers can be heard telling Ryans after he was bitten that he violated a protective order and wasn’t allowed to be there.

In an interview Wednesday, Gabriel White and another lawyer, Daniel Garner, said Ryans’ wife had secured the order last year amid “disagreements.” The arguments weren’t violent, they said, though she told Ryans to move out in December. They later reconciled, and he moved back in when the coronavirus outbreak began, when she asked for help with their three children, they said.

After speaking with someone in the local district attorney’s office, she believed the protective order had been lifted, they said.

“Unbeknownst to her, a judge has to lift it,” Garner said.

A request for comment left with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office was not returned Wednesday. Garner and White declined to make Ryans or his wife available for an interview.

The lawyers said they weren’t sure who reported the alleged domestic violence on April 24, but they said there are no allegations that anything violent occurred. “It was just a marital disagreement,” White said. “Then she went to bed.”

Wilking said that Ryans was arrested on suspicion of violating a protective order, charges that are pending.

Garner and White said that Ryans was laid off after he was injured. Multiple surgeries have left him tens of thousands of dollars in debt, they said.

They said the officials named in notice of claim have 60 days to respond. “If they take responsibility, there won’t be a lawsuit,” Garner said.

“My client’s main goal is to see the reforms that the nation has been having a conversation about,” Garner said. “And he’s got a mountain of medical bills he has to deal with now.”

Tim Stelloh

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News, based in California.

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suspend Trump

Trump to suspend entry of certain foreign workers despite business group opposition – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will suspend the entry of certain foreign workers, a senior administration official said on Monday, a move the official said would help the economy, but which business groups strongly oppose.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Trump will block the entry of foreign workers on H-1B visas for skilled workers and L-1 visas for workers being transferred within a company through the end of the year, the official said. Trump will also block seasonal workers on H-2B visas, with an exception for workers in the food service industry.

(Graphic: here)

Businesses including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have said the visa suspension would stifle the economic recovery after the damage done by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Critics of the measure say Trump is using the pandemic to enact his longstanding goal to limit immigration into the United States. Trump owned- or Trump branded businesses have used the H-2B program to hire seasonal guest workers.

The immediate effects of the proclamation will likely be limited, as U.S. consulates around the world remain closed for most routine visa processing. A senior Department of Homeland Security official said the proclamation will not affect valid visa holders already in the United States.

Republican Trump is running for re-election on Nov. 3 and has made his tough immigration stance a central pitch to voters, although the coronavirus, faltering economy and nationwide protests over police brutality have overshadowed that issue.

The visa suspension announced on Monday will open up 525,000 jobs for U.S. workers, the senior official said on a call with reporters, saying it was geared at “getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible.” The official did not explain how the administration arrived at that figure.

The temporary visa suspension will include work-authorized J visas, which are available for cultural exchange opportunities in the United States, and visas for the spouses of H-1B workers.

BSA, The Software Alliance, whose members include Microsoft and Slack, strongly urged the administration to “refrain from restricting employment of highly-skilled foreign professionals”, adding that “these restrictions will negatively impact the US economy” and decrease job opportunities for Americans.

Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless, a pro-migrant group that helps families navigate the U.S. immigration system, said the fact that H2-A visas used to bring in foreign farmworkers were exempt signals that “big agriculture interests are the only stakeholder with any sway over immigration policy in this administration.”

Many other business groups were lobbying against a temporary visa ban before it was announced.

“The immigration restrictionists would like us all to believe that every single company bringing over foreign-born workers is nefarious and just wants to bring in people who are underpaid,” said Rand. “That is a false premise.”

Trump also will renew an April proclamation that temporarily blocks some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States, the senior administration official said on Monday. The official said that proclamation freed up roughly 50,000 jobs for Americans, but did not provide details.

An exemption for medical workers in Trump’s April ban on permanent residence will be narrowed to people working on coronavirus research and care, the official said.

In addition to the new visa suspension, the Trump administration will take several other moves to tighten rules around temporary work visas.

The administration plans to rework the H-1B visa program so that the 85,000 visas available in the program each year go to the highest-paid applicants, instead of the current lottery system.

In addition, the administration plans to issue rules that make it harder for companies to use the H-1B visa program to train foreign workers to perform the same job in another country, the official said.

Both moves would likely require regulatory changes.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia will use the department’s statutory authority to investigate abuse of the H-1B visa program, the senior official said.

The Trump administration also finalized a regulation on Monday that will lift a requirement to process work permits for asylum seekers within 30 days, a move that will likely result in longer waits for work authorization.

    Trump rolled out new health-focused rules in March that allow for the rapid deportation of immigrants caught at the border and virtually cut off access to the U.S. asylum system.

At the same time, he announced the land borders with Canada and Mexico would be closed to non-essential crossings, a measure that has been extended several times.

Reporting by Ted Hesson and Steve Holland in Washington; Additional reporting by Raphael Satter in Washington and Mica Rosenberg in New York Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool

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