How To Determine If I Was A Victim Of Police Abuse & Excessive Force?
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Police Dog Attack In California: ‘How To Determine If I Was A Victim Of Police Abuse And Excessive Force?’

Posted By Eugene Bruno & Associates Posted in: Dog Bite.


Being attacked and/or bit by a dog is a terrifying experience. But being attacked by a police dog in California can result in life-threatening injuries or even death.

Let’s admit it, if you have ever walked near a K-9 police dog in San Diego or elsewhere in California, you probably wondered once or twice, “What if this dog bites me for no reason?”

Unfortunately, cases when police dogs bite law-abiding citizens for no reason whatsoever or when police officers use K-9 dogs to maul, attack, or bite people suspected of minor violations are not uncommon for California.

Since police dogs are considered a dangerous and lethal weapon, being attacked by a K-9 police dog may entitle you to sue law enforcement for police abuse just like you would sue for police abuse and excessive force using a gun, taser or pepper spray.

“Did you know that bite pressure of a police dog can reach up to 1,800 pounds per square inch, which is enough to cause life-threatening injuries or even kill a person?” says our dog attack attorney at the Eugene Bruno & Associates, P.C.

What if you were attacked by a police dog by mistake?

If a police dog has been used against you by police officers unreasonably under the circumstances, you have a right to sue the police officers for police abuse. Police dogs are trained by law enforcement to perform multiple duties, including protection of their handlers. Canine fighters are also trained to track and apprehend suspects, while their bites are treated as “reward.”

“If you have been attacked by a police dog by mistake, and the encounter caused you injuries, you have a right to sue the dog’s handler for negligence no matter how ‘sorry’ that police officer is,” says our experienced dog attack attorney in San Diego. “If police dog force is unreasonable or excessive, the police officer is violating your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.”

How to determine if police dog force was excessive?

In order to determine whether police dog force was excessive or not, several factors will be taken into consideration. Police dog force is excessive and unreasonable when the nature of the dog’s involvement (the attack and resulting injury to the suspect) is not justified by the urgency of making the arrest. In other words, if you present no immediate threat and can be stopped without the use of police dog force, you may be able to hold the police officers liable for your injuries.

“However, that is a rather vague description of the reasonableness of police dog bites,” says our San Diego dog attack attorney. A judge and juries will consider the following factors to determine whether the dog attack was excessive force and police abuse or not:

  • What kind of crime were you suspected of prior to the dog attack? Was it a minor traffic violation or murder? Or was it a hit and run or sexual assault?
  • How urgent was it to make the arrest?
  • Did you present any threat or danger whatsoever to those around you, police officers, or yourself?
  • Did you resist arrest in any way?
  • Could the arrest be carried out without resorting to police dog use?
  • Did you provoke the police dogs?
  • Did the cops issue a warning prior to the police dog attack?

These are the questions that will be asked to determine whether police dog force was reasonable and justified or not. Contact the Eugene Bruno & Associates, P.C., to speak about your case. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling at 888-278-6688 or fill out this contact form.

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