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Police Allow K-9 Dog To Attack Suspect

Police Being Investigated for Use of K-9 Dog

When you think of a K-9 dog you think of protection but you have a deep respect for the K-9 as well as the officer who has the dog. You don’t normally just assume that an officer would allow his exceptionally trained dog to maul on someone but sometimes that happens.

Local news have found a police body cam video that shows a cop allowing a K-9 to bite an unarmed, naked man. This happened for over forty seconds and this was after the officers had pinned the man to the ground. Talk about a little bit of an overkill. Sure let the dog sniff out the guy, and maybe even bite him once if the man keeps resisting, but for a long period of time is just horrible.

The first call to the police came out around 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday in August 2015. The patrol officers that are with the San Diego Police Department were asked to check on a the situation including a “naked man” who was screaming and running through the canyon in University City. For a man out of his mind at the time, he picked a pretty good hiding spot.

Police Investigate

Understandably it took the police officers to locate the man that was hiding in the rustic canyon area. The area is filled with homes and a high school. The police believe that the man was under the influence of a controlled substance. The man later told local news that he was indeed under the influence. Now the brute force is more understandable, however is it ever okay to allow a dog to attack a suspect for a long time? Just because he used tone?

When someone is under the influence of certain drugs it causes them to do some pretty crazy things and be very unpredictable. You don’t know what they’ve used or how they will react to the drug so you have to be cautious and work fast to take control of the situation.

The police video shows the officers asking the naked man to walk up the hillside towards them. The man complies with their commands until he gets to the top of the canyon.

You can hear the police ordering the man to “turn around, turn around”. The man says no multiple times and in a defiant voice. When people get hostile the police have no choice but to keep themselves and everyone else as safe as possible.

Two seconds later, without warning the K-9 officer gave his police dog the command to “bite” the subject. The dog,of course complies immediately. After the dog attacks, four officers pin the man to the ground, they left the dog to keep biting the man for at least 44 seconds. Other officer at the scene hold the suspect down and then cuff him. Seems a little shady to me, you can call the dog off after you have control of the situation. The dog is an aide, not a trained killer.

Donald W. Cook’s Statement:

It wasn’t necessary to use the dog to begin with and it sure as hell wasn’t necessary or needed or appropriate to let the dog continue to bite.

The local news team watched the video with Lawyer Cook. He’s represented hundreds of people who have been bitten by police dogs over his thirty-year career. Cook doesn’t represent the suspect in the video. He thinks the way they behaved is “barbaric”.

The man in the video is a twenty-five year old business man in San Diego for a convention. He ended up naked and a little wild after a hard night of partying.

Cook’s Statement:

I take some responsibility because I was under the influence,” said the man, who asked not to be named. But nothing justifies the cops used of such force. It’s not just a San Diego problem. It’s a problem in any department where they’re letting a dog attack and bite non-dangerous suspect.

The San Diego Police Department policy states “if possible, give at least two warnings in a loud and clear manner” before you allow the dog to bite.

However, video evidence doesn’t lie and it shows no warning was given. The K9 officer wrote in his official police report that “due to the immdiate threat I did not have an opportunity to give K-9 warnings.”

Which might be true in some cases and even this case,but to allow the dog to continue to bite is excessive.

Definition of K-9

A K-9 unit is a specialized group of law enforcement officers that train, care for and utilize service dogs to assist in criminal investigations. Each K-9 officer assumes the responsibility of a dog handler in addition to normal police duties

Maybe some of the officers at the San Diego Police Department need to study this some more and think about what they really want to do in their career. Bring Justice or Cross that line.

Daniel A. Gibalevich 
Law Offices of Daniel A. Gibalevich

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