Our quest for the law relating to issues of self-defense leads us to study the companion issue of how much force is reasonable and when does it become excessive. This subject matter is particularly germaine to LEO's and law enforcement agencies.
Police are constantly sued by criminals for the use of excessive force and often in federal courts for related alleged civil rights violations.
Onne case recently went to the dogs (pun intended).
The caption of this post came directly from a news article in the January 17, 2002 edition of the Boston Herald, written by J.M. Lawrence and I quote:
"A federal jury yesterday fouund Yarmouth police dog Shadow did not use excessive force when he sank his teeth into a fleeing thief in 1997.
In the third lawsuit agains the dog's bite out of crime, jorors took laess than a half hour to toss convicted felon Duane Comez's suit against Shadow's partner, Yarmouth offocer Peteer McLelland, and state touper Robert Pinto.
"Officer McClelland is relieved this cloud has evaporated," his attorney Leonard Kesten said.
Shadow, a Belgian Malinoirs who is now 14, came to court during the three-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Edward F. Harrington.
Gomez, who admitted he stole an auto and and ran from police, claimed police sicced the canine on him even though he surrendered. He showed the jury the scars on his arm.
An October 2000 jury ruled in favor of the canine's tactics but Shadow's handlers lost in a June case that year.
Jurors found excessiveforce was used, but awarded the suing suspect only $1.
Atttorneys for Shadow's handlers, however, yesterday expressed confidence the dog would have his day on appeal in that case."
"Shadow can now retire with a clean record" said Pinto's attorney, Joseph Kittredge. (end of quoted article).
Maybe we can prevail on Shadow to confer with GEM-sensei's dog Tia to reveal his viewpoint and if considered worthy by Tia, award Shadow with the title of Martial Arts Dog of the year.
Ed. note, Belgian Malinois look a lot like German Shephards.
I think at this point, I will bark out of this post.