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Teen bit by police dog during arrest may sue, appeals court rules

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A man who more than five years ago sustained injuries from police dog bites during his arrest may proceed with a tort claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Marquis Dayvon Brooks and a friend were outside an Anderson teen club in December 2006 when shots were fired and police were called. Sensing trouble, the teens, who had been drinking and smoking marijuana, fled in a vehicle, according to court records.

The car ultimately struck a house, and Brooks and his friend fled. The friend was arrested a short time later, and Anderson police officers deployed a K-9, Rex, that led them to a shed where Brooks was hiding.

Police said Brooks was verbally warned that they were searching with the dog, but Brooks said he surrendered and raised his hands when the shed door was opened, after which an officer ordered the dog to apprehend Brooks.

Brooks was bitten on the arm and scrotum, according to court records.

In 2008, Brooks filed a complaint against the city of Anderson, Anderson Police Department and Officer Chris Barnett, alleging intentional tortuous conduct and negligence. Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III granted the city’s motion for summary judgment.

“To be sure, while Officer Barnett and Brooks may not agree on many details of what occurred that night, they do agree that Brooks was on (the) ground when Rex apprehended him, causing severe injury,” Judge John Baker wrote for the unanimous court in Marquis Dayvon Brooks v. Anderson Police Dept., City of Anderson, and Chris Barnett, 48A02-1110-CT-1045.

The appeals court also noted that Anderson had promulgated orders regarding the handling of its police dogs, including a provision that “K-9 handlers will insure that their canines do not engage criminal suspects if they are not resisting, fleeing, or endangering the public’s well being.”

“We conclude that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Officer Barnett used excessive force when he permitted his K-9 partner, Rex, to apprehend Brooks in such a manner that Brooks sustained a severe scrotal laceration,” the court ruled.

“Indeed, even to answer this ultimate question, the fact-finder will be confronted with other factual questions, such as whether Officer Barnett gave a proper warning before entering the shed, whether Officer Barnett had a reasonable belief that Brooks was armed, whether Brooks immediately surrendered when the police entered the shed, and whether Brooks was already secured when Rex was permitted to bite Brooks’s scrotum after biting his arm, just to name a few. But this only bolsters our conclusion that summary judgment was inappropriate under these facts and circumstances.”




 

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  1. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  2. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  3. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  4. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

  5. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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