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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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