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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.