Michigan State Police trooper charged with felonious assault for K-9 incident

 Michigan State Police cruisers parked outside the post.
Michigan State Police cruisers parked outside the post. (WJRT)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 10:59 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - A Michigan State Police trooper assigned to the Lansing area is facing a felonious assault charge after investigators alleged he allowed his K-9 partner to attack a suspect too long during an arrest.

The arrest took place on Nov. 13 in the city of Lansing. Trooper Parker Surbrook, who was working with a drug task force, tried to pull over a vehicle in which the passenger was believed to be armed, but the driver fled and crashed into a tree.

Michigan State Police say Surbrook deployed his K-9 partner on the driver, who was outside the vehicle, and left the dog on the suspect for an extended amount of time. Investigators say dash camera footage shows Surbrook’s actions fell outside Michigan State Police standards of conduct and the department’s K-9 policies.

An investigation into the incident started on Dec. 4 and Surbrook was placed on leave Dec. 8 while a criminal investigation took place. The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office received reports about the incident on Feb. 11 and charges were announced against Surbrook on Friday.

“While the unfortunate reality for police officers is that use of force is sometimes a necessary action to ensure the protection of themselves or others, care and concern for human life should always be at the forefront of any police officer’s actions,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “This makes Trooper Surbrook’s disregard of the driver’s pleas for help totally unacceptable.”

The Michigan State Police Professional Standards Section and detectives from the Third District, which covers the Thumb and Tri-Cities Post, conducted the investigation into Surbrook’s actions.

Surbrook, who has been a trooper since 2012 and a K-9 handler since 2017, will remain on unpaid leave while his criminal case works through the court system. He has been removed from the Michigan State Police K-9 unit and his dog already was reassigned to another handler.

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