LANSING, Mich., March 5, 2021 – Michigan State Police Trooper Parker Surbrook has been charged with felonious assault after a video appeared to show Surbrook directing his K-9 to attack an unarmed black man who was not resisting arrest. The trooper, who is now on unpaid administrative leave, let the K-9 continue to attack the man for four minutes during the Nov. 13 arrest. In response, state Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) issued the following statement:

“Today, I watched an unarmed Black man be mauled by police dog for nearly four minutes under the direct orders of a Michigan State Police Officer trooper. This is a blatant abuse of power and can only be described as torture. This incident, and every one we’ve witnessed liked it, is heartbreaking and infuriating.

Even those who acknowledge the reality of racism and police brutality may try to comfort themselves by thinking of these as issues that exist ‘somewhere else,’ but that simply isn’t true. We face these challenges right in our own backyard, evidenced this most recent case of police brutality in Lansing. After the work of so many over the past year to shed light on systemic issues within law enforcement, I’m beyond disappointed to see this happening in our own city.

I commend the Ingham County Prosecutor for bringing formal charges against the officer involved and sending a clear message that these actions are unacceptable in Lansing, unacceptable in Michigan, unacceptable in the United States and unconscionable as human beings. If this behavior aligns with police training, then that training needs to change. If incidents like this are considered ‘normal,’ then our definition of normal needs to change.”