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Police Dogs and Excessive Force in Pennsylvania

Unlike police shootings and other instances of police brutality, there is no real database that tracks police dog bites. For those who have suffered serious injuries due to injuries from K-9 units, this may seem like a pretty blatant issue. The use of police dogs creates a high potential for excessive force, and yet it is often completely overlooked by lawmakers and authority figures. Make no mistake – a police dog can leave you severely injured and disfigured for the rest of your life. In many past cases, police dogs have killed people.

If you have been injured by a police dog, you should get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible. If there is clear evidence of negligence and excessive force, you can pursue a lawsuit against those responsible. Although the dog itself cannot stand trial, the officer in charge of restraining the animal certainly can. A settlement can provide you with financial compensation, and this can help with medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages.

Why Do Police Use Dogs?

Dogs have been used as guards and deterrents for thousands of years. Today, police use dogs for a variety of reasons. Some are trained to sniff out drugs and other illegal substances. Others can help officers find and disarm explosives. Still others are essentially trained to attack people, typically by biting suspects. The types of dogs utilized by police departments include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, or mixes of these breeds. Less common are breeds like Rottweilers and Doberman Pinchers.

German Shepherds, one of the most common police dog breeds, are capable of breaking human bones with their bite force. Dogs are used to pursue and attack suspects not just because of their high speeds, but also because of their ability to hear and smell hidden criminals.

Blind Man Attacked by Police Dog in His Own Home

One of the most well-known cases of police-dog-related excessive force in Pennsylvania occurred in 2017. A legally blind man returned to his Pittsburgh apartment after a night with friends. Because the man’s door was damaged, concerned residents reported a break-in. Police showed up at this individual’s apartment and entered with a police dog. Officers then allegedly unleashed the K-9 and encouraged it to attack the man, who suffered serious wounds.

This man was never actually charged with a crime, and he was transported to a nearby hospital soon after officers realized that he was innocent. He eventually sued the police department for excessive force and negligence, receiving a settlement of $16,000.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Pennsylvania area for a qualified, experienced attorney who can help you file a police brutality lawsuit, there are plenty of options available. These legal professionals are passionate about helping injured victims of excessive force, and they can guide you forwards in an efficient manner. Reach out and book your consultation today.