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11 N.Y.L. Sch. J. Hum. Rts. 279 (1993-1994)
When K-9's Cause Chaos - An Examination of Police Dog Policies and Their Liabilities

handle is hein.journals/nylshr11 and id is 295 raw text is: NOTES
WHEN K-9s CAUSE CHAOS-AN
EXAMINATION OF POLICE DOG POLICIES
AND THEIR LIABILITIES
With a nick, nack, paddy whack, throw your dog a
[suspect].'  Although    this  nursery   rhyme    distortion   grossly
oversimplifies the law enforcement tactics employed by K-9 division
police officers, nonetheless, the amount of force permissible in a K-9
assisted  arrest has    come    under   increasing   scrutiny.2    More
specifically, an intense controversy has arisen over the seek, find,
and seize the suspect, by biting if necessary policy;3 its
D Copyright 1994 by the New York Law School Journal of Human Rights.
INICHOLAS TUCKER & ROGER McGOUGH, THE OXFORD BOOK OF RHYMES 123
(1992). It should be noted that the exact quotation, With a nick, nack paddy whack
throw your dog a bone, relates to the reward and punishment style of training used to
motivate an animal to accomplish a desired goal. Id. The concept of allowing a K-9
police officer to bite a suspect as a reward for finding the suspect is frightening. This
type of conduct was exemplified on a videotape broadcast nationally on the CBS Evening
News in December, 1991. LAPD, Dogs and Videotape; Police Commission Must
Examine Allegations About Police Dog Attacks, L.A. TIMEs, Dec. 27, 1991, at B6
[hereinafter Dogs and Videotape]. The tape showed a police dog repeatedly biting an
unarmed 14 year old suspect of auto theft, who was hiding under a sofa in a back yard.
A K-9 handler explained on the tape that a patrol dog's reward is to bite the suspect.
Id. Moreover, on September 20, 1989, Christopher Brizelle, a suspect in a stolen car
case, claims his arresting officer told him, [y]ou know, we must reward the dog for
finding you. Andrea Ford, Critics Call for LAPD K-9 Unit Moratorium, L.A. TiMES,
Dec. 24, 1991, at B3. Though convicted of joyriding, he later won a $95,000 award
from the City of Los Angeles in a police misconduct suit. Los Angeles Police Dogs
Routinely Bite Suspects, NPR radio broadcast, Jan. 8, 1992, available in LEXIS, News
library, Omni file.
2 Sheryl Stolberg, Lawsuit Charges Improper Use of Police Dogs; Law Enforcement.:
Rights Group Says Hundreds of People Who Posed No Threat to Officers Have Been
Mauled by LAPD Canines. Most of Those Attacked by Animals are Blacks or Latinos,
Attorneys Assert, L.A. TIMES, June 25, 1991, at Bi.
' Under this policy, the K-9 officer's goal is to subdue the suspect by biting his arm
or leg. Kerr v. City of West Palm Beach, 875 F.2d 1546, 1550 (11th Cir. 1989).
Should such appendage be inaccessible, the dog is taught to bite any other available area
of the suspect's body. Id. Once bitten, the suspect often tries to release the dog's grip

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