Police Abuse

Florida K-9 Handlers Sure Seemed to Enjoy Mauling This Suicidal Young Man



The officers claimed there were no lights in the garage, which makes the existence of this photo a mite bit confusing.
Herald Tribune

Not mad enough at excessive law enforcement behavior and reports of misconduct today? Let's head down to Florida (again, for those who read Ed Krayewski's post about Bal Harbour earlier today) and check in with the K-9 unit of North Port. The Sarasota-based Herald Tribune analyzed five years of dog bites reported by police K-9 units and found that North Port (population 59,000) had much higher numbers than nearby communities.

When the Herald Tribune investigated why this was happening, it discovered remarkably lax policies on when attack dogs should be used, and even more dangerously, officers who seemed to enjoy freeing their dogs to attack suspects. In a story posted earlier in the year the newspaper reported:

North Port handlers commanded their police dogs to attack unarmed juveniles and citizens whom police did not have sufficient evidence to charge with a crime. In at least two cases, police dogs bit unarmed, suicidal citizens.

And they have department policies on their side.

North Port's police canine policies state canines may "assist in the pursuit, apprehension or prevent the escape of a person reasonably believed to have committed a crime." That is an uncommon amount of leeway when compared to model policy set forth by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The people hurt in these attacks claim permanent injuries. And over this holiday weekend, the newspaper published contents of texts between two K-9 officers who were clearly showed that they were looking forward to the possibility of having their dogs attack an 18-year-old young man. His mother had called the police because she feared her son was suicidal. The man, Jared Lemay, was wanted for a probation violation. K-9 handlers Keith Bush and Michael Dietz responded:

On this day, before he or any other officer reached Jared Lemay's home, Bush sent a message to fellow K-9 handler Michael Dietz: "COME GET UR BITE."

Minutes later, records show, Bush messaged Dietz again: "IM GONNA TAKE UR BITE IF U DONT HURRY UP."

Dietz got their first and got his bite. Lemay was hiding in a trash can in the garage. The dog mauled Lemay's face and shoulder. An officer later messaged Deitz "CONGRATS!." And there was this exchange later:

"YOUR BITE OR (Dietz's)?" McHale inquired.

"I LET (Dietz) HAVE IT," Bush replied.

"NICE, HOW BAD?" McHale asked.

"BAD," Bush wrote. "FACE AND BACK."

"SKIN GRAFT BAD?" McHale asked.

"NO," Bush wrote.

"COULDA BEEN WORSE THEN, HE SHOULD HAVE COMPLIED," McHale said, ending the conversation.

Two other victims of police dog maulings in North Port have filed federal lawsuits against the city. One of them was mauled when police responded to a suicide attempt. The other was mauled by a police dog during an investigation of a hit and run. The police's account of the situation variess widely from the woman says happened in this case. The same holds true in Lemay's case. According to the Herald Tribune, Lemay has begun the first steps in suing North Port.  

The Herald Tribune has a page devoted to their coverage of North Port's use of K-9 units here.

(Hat tip to former Reason Editor Radley Balko)

NEXT: No Indictment in Tamir Rice's Killing, Voter Database Exposed Online, Puerto Rican Police Officer Kills Co-workers: P.M. Links

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  1. Sociopath scum are gonna sociopath.

  2. And even with this contemporaneous, written proof of bad intent, NOTHING ELSE WILL HAPPEN.

    Most people would think that the cops who rolled up on Tamir Rice didn’t intend to kill him well before they got there, but these texts show that some cops really are just that degenerate. And they are tolerated and protected by their departments.

    1. And they are tolerated and protected by their departments.

      Oh, it’s worse than that. They are looked up to as role models. After all, they’re badasses who leave a trail of pain and destruction in their wake. For people who seek out a job that allows them to use violence without consequence, brutal sociopaths are the subject of envy and praise.

  3. What do you mean ‘seemed’ to enjoy?

    They enjoyed the fuck out of it, in their own words.

  4. Michael Vick was rehabilitated, why can’t these law enforcement professionals?

    1. Michael Vick was punished, learned from what he did, and has spent countless hours since he got out of prison trying to make things right and help others not to do what he did.

      Cops are never punished, never learn, and teach the next generation to do the same things they do.

      1. help others not to do what he did

        you mean use his property in the way he saw fit?

        1. Some people, who aren’t amoral, recognize a difference between inanimate property (a chair, or a particularly dull orphan), and animate property (animals, and many spouses).

          Following from this, they recognize that there are limits on what you can do with your inanimate property (no using it to aggress against or steal from you fellows), and other limits on what you can do with your animate property (do try not to torture it to death just because you’re a sick fuck).

          1. Meh, opens up to many gray areas – factory farming, hunting, fishing, dog and horse racing, fox hunts, etc… I prefer absolutes, it’s either your property and you can do with it what you will (standard libertarian disclaimer here(ie- DWYWALAIDHTPOPOA)) or it’s not yours and top men will decide how you can use it.

            1. Welp, I guess that means you aren’t one of the some people who aren’t amoral. NTTAWWT.

              1. Also please don’t mistake my defense of dog fighting and such as my approval of same, you know defending the undefendable and all that. If an acquaintance of mine turned out to be abusing his/her pet, at the least he/she would no longer be an acquaintance of mine, and depending on how much I liked his/her pet I might risk jail time by expressing my disapproval in a – how shall we call it ?- in a more tangible way?

                1. I never thought otherwise, Hyperbole. I’m hoping the joking tone came through.

                  I’m where you are, with the possible exception that I have a hard time objecting to laws against animal cruelty. Probably based on feelz, and I know its a slippery slope, and all that, but fuckit.

                  1. No worries RCD, mostly playing devils advocate,.. mostly.

                2. I both defend, and approve of, chicken fighting.

                  1. That comment is Peak SIV.

            2. I try to be intellectually consistent, but I think I draw the line at being able to beat and murder dogs.

              1. Do you want to build dog penitentiaries for bad dogs that attack humans ?

  5. *searches for Tylenol bottle*

    These repeated nut punches are NOT HELPING MY DISPOSITION TODAY!!!

    1. You could buy one of these:


  6. What would happen to the mundane who dared to defend himself against a North Port Rin Tin Tin?



      1. Justified by an expert on the reasonable use of force, The Artist Formerly Known as Dunphy.

  7. Dietz got their first and got his bite

    got their first what?

    1. Got their first suicide call of the day. What, your police department doesn’t use multiple K-9 units as first responders to reports of attempted suicide? Dogs are man’s best friend, a suicidal person may need a reminder that he is loved and what shows love better than a dog licking your face? Licking, eating, whatever.

      1. My gawd – the police dogs are on bath salts!

    2. OT:
      I sent you an email regarding your bingo request..

      1. Thanks for that, however as my lack of new post may tell, I’ve kinda let that go. I’ve been toying with the idea of a election year edition so your help may come in handy after all.

        1. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner..

  8. Why do people who claim to love dogs allow them to be used as attack animals?

    1. Because the dogs love attacking?

  9. I sure hope one of these dogs is named “Ham Sandwich”.

  10. I blame the parents for everything.

    1. blame Officer Krupke’s parents – how meta

  11. So these must be some of the “good cops” we hear so much about? They DIDN’T KILL HIM for disobedience, did they? Ergo, good ones.

  12. North Port (population 59,000) had much higher numbers than nearby communities.

    I would be curious to know how those nearby communities compare to not-nearby communities. Years ago, it was just one of those “everybody knows” things that the cops down that way were pretty damn casual about siccing their dogs on anybody running or hiding. Sort of like getting a beat-down if you made the cops work at taking you in, it was just standard procedure to send a message to the mundanes. Resistance is not only futile, it’s gonna be painful.

  13. Cops with guns and dogs are not a good mix.

    What’s going on at PoliceOne these days?

    1. I was on their FB page today and they were in full apology mode for the cop’s actions with regards to Tamir Rice.

      1. That makes no sense. Cops? Apologizing?

        1. Imma guess it’s a ‘sorry not sorry’ apology along the lines of – “We wish we didn’t have to do what we had to do but we had to do it and for that we’re sorry”

          1. “We’re really sorry there was a video of this.”

            Like that?

            1. Nooo…

              “We’re really sorry you’re angry about this video. If you would let us arbitrarily seize cameras/phone… you wouldn’t have to see the to see the unsettling issues we’re forced to contend with everyday.. whilst keeping us you safe and killing you with impunity, . It’s really your own fault, and your irrational fears and outrage really compound an already awkward and uncomfortable situation.. for you.. Let’s get past this, and move on.. “

          2. The comments are terrible. There’s a couple of comments like that, but most basically boil down to “the little ni**er deserved it”.

            Since I don’t hate you guys, I’m going to link the FB post they made instead of copying and pasting them here.

      2. That is an attempt at humor, right? Because cops never apologize for anything.

        1. I meant to say that the posters were apologists for the cop’s.

  14. North Port (town) is a fly speck of shit on FL’s west coast. A blink.. and you’re through it. It was a failed G.D.C. Community with zero amenities, and miles of abandoned roads. The teenagers party and carry on in the woods of those roads to nowhere, and are frequently rousted by a bored, useless, tax-sponging police department, with nothing better to do. Dogs are their tool of choice, when fucking with these kids, because.. drugs! With the threat of disbandment lingering over their heads, they double down on strong-armed incompetence.. consequences be damned.. This is just the icing on their cake.

  15. Immunity is an arbitrary, man made concept. If the courts could get their mouths off the cock of stari decisis, the courts could alter these definitions to include these obvious heinous crimes that are committed with malice and aforethought. But they won’t because every branch at every level of governmet from local to the feds is corrupt.

    1. Look if the courts give in to the public and allow the police to be held accountable, then the next thing will be the public demanding that bad prosecutors don’t get off scot-free. If the courts give in and crush the totally made up out of whole cloth immunity for prosecutors you get two things: one, less future judges and two, the fear that judges might be held accountable (hey, waddya mean I’m supposed to read the warrant request and not just slam my approval stamp on it?). Sure, it sounds easy to just hold cops accountable, but dammit man, you are threatening the fabric of the entire criminal justice enterprise with that kind of thinking!

  16. What I love is how the K-9 torture animals are protected like police officers, so that if you killed one while defending yourself from it’s attack, you go to prison forever.

    Vote Woodchipper 2016.

  17. I gotta admit, this is the first I’m hearing of canine “officers” being used as attack dogs rather than snitches. I had no idea that was a thing.

    1. That was technically the K9’s original job, before it became a warrant on a leash.

      1. Either way I find it extremely distasteful.

        I avoid cops as much as possible – at a minimum, no eye contact –

        I will literally cross the street to avoid a human/canine cop-hybrid.

  18. This is what happens when you call the cops
    You get your rights violated or you all
    get shot^H^H^H^H fed to dogs.

  19. And they wonder why so many rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty.


  20. Dogs working with cops is like Jews working with Nazis; treason to their own kind.

    1. Doggy Stockholm Syndrome?

  21. This is not the police departments problem! The commissioners an the city manager is the major problem ! They threaten my wife an myself! These people are not nice people! They make you think there nice but there not! The United States Attorney General will soon be doing there investigation!!! STAY TUNE

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