Aurora pays $80,000 settlement after police ordered dog to bite woman being restrained by officers – The Denver Post – Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado 2021-02-24 20:23:28 –

Aurora last week ordered a police dog to bite a woman lying on the ground while one of the city’s K-9 police officers was detained by multiple police officers, and then 80,000 to settle a federal civil rights proceeding. I paid the dollar.

According to body camera footage of the incident, then 22-year-old Keilan Connor raised her hand when a policeman surrounded her and threw her to the ground in March 2019. According to the footage, when Officer Robert Wong ordered the dog to bite her leg, she was talking to the police with two police officers on board.

In a police report, police officer Nicholas Langdon said Connor was “pretending to be in compliance” and her right hand was “directly headed to the waistband.” Wong ordered the dog to bite because Connor may have had a weapon, the report said.

Police reported that she was unarmed and instead of getting a weapon, she was getting methamphetamine in a sunglasses case. Connor said in a proceeding that his hands were fixed under his body and could not be moved.

Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said Wednesday that the dog bite was “in compliance” with the training and policies of the department at the time, after first learning about the 2019 case and reconciliation and reviewing the circumstances of the case. It was.

“I can’t say this was an excessive use of force,” she said.

Police began auditing the K-9 unit in October, revising how dogs are trained and used in the field, Wilson said.

“We are changing the way we place these animals,” she said. “We are definitely considering best practices and are discussing contacting national experts to ensure that the public does what they expect from us.”

One of those changes is to send police dogs only to a specific list of violent crimes. Jeremy McKelroy said. The situation surrounding Connor’s arrest (parked stolen vehicle) is no longer subject to K-9’s response, he said.

According to the proceedings, police stopped Connor on March 29, 2019, after entering the driver’s seat of a parked van where Connor was reportedly stolen. She believed the car belonged to a friend, the proceedings said.

The policeman pulled her out of the minivan, threw it to the ground, and tried to handcuff her. She was angry under her body with one hand when Wong told her to bite a dog named Loki.

The dog initially did not respond to Wong’s repeated orders, a body camera video show, until Wong pushed his head toward Connor’s leg.

“We can see that the dog doesn’t really want to bite her,” said Matthew Graef, a Baumgartner law lawyer who represented Connor in a proceeding against Aurora. “She isn’t hanging out, she’s not doing anything. The dog isn’t trained to bite such people.”

According to McElroy, dogs are brand new dogs, and dogs are trained with decoys, so it is common for newly trained dogs to hesitate to bite humans at first, regardless of the circumstances of their arrest.

Connor shouted in suffering as the dog bit her paw and hit her head. When Connor pleaded for the dog to stop, Wong praised the dog and shouted “good boy” several times. Wilson said executive praise was part of dog training. According to McElroy, the dog was able to hold for a few seconds because the collar had removed it after it was bitten.

“I find this video hard to watch,” Wilson said. “… it’s very hard to see, and I understand it, and I’m not going to rob it from those who see it, but I’m behind what’s happening to you and others I want you to know that there is a context in. Unfortunately, when a dog is deployed, it never becomes beautiful. “

Mr. Graef said the police report did not match the body camera footage. The police officers involved were not disciplined.

“The fact that no one catches that (mismatch) in a review of the use of force is either a terrible incompetence by the reviewers or intentionally didn’t want to do anything about it,” he said. “Neither option is appropriate. Both are quite annoying.”

Aurora pays $80,000 settlement after police ordered dog to bite woman being restrained by officers – The Denver Post Source link Aurora pays $80,000 settlement after police ordered dog to bite woman being restrained by officers – The Denver Post

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