Horrifying Precedent — Court Rules Cops Can Allow Dogs to Maul Innocent People

By Matt Agorist

A disturbing and reckless precedent was just set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit which held that the US Constitution does not necessarily require cops to stop a K9 from tearing an innocent person to shreds. Seriously.

According to the ruling in the case of an innocent homeless man being mauled, nearly to death by a K9, police officers who deliberately allow their K9 to maul innocent people will be immune from liability and victims will have zero recourse.

As Slate reports:

The grisly facts of the case are uncontested. One night in 2010, Officer Terence Garrison and his police dog, Bikkel, were tracking a robbery suspect in High Point, North Carolina. Bikkel led Garrison to an abandoned house, then attacked a man crouched behind a bush near the front stoop. Garrison quickly realized that the man did not match the physical description of the suspect. (In fact, he was Christopher Maney, a homeless man accused of no crime.) But Garrison decided that the man might still be dangerous, so he demanded that Maney show his hands before calling off Bikkel. But Maney was using his hands to try to protect himself against the dog and pleaded with Garrison to stop Bikkel’s attack, insisting that he had done nothing wrong. After allowing the mauling to continue for 10 seconds, Garrison finally told Bikkel to stop. He then put Maney in handcuffs and called medical support.

Because Garrison allowed his K9 to continue mauling Maney, the innocent homeless man suffered severe injuries. By the time he was brought to the hospital, Maney was in critical condition. Bikkel had torn apart the top of Maney’s head, removing an entire two-square-inch section of hair, skin, and tissue — which would later require a 16-inch skin graft. The dog also bit Maney’s arms and legs so severely that it led to a brachial artery blood clot with massive blood loss, bruising, and swelling.

After making a long and painful recovery, Maney attempted to hold the officer accountable for his sadistic and torturous act. He then sued Garrison for violating his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures.

As it stands, a dog bite qualifies as a seizure under the Fourth Amendment. So, Maney argued that the time Garrison allowed the K9 to rip him apart was unreasonable.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit did not agree. Insanely enough, the court concluded that Garrison was shielded from liability because he did not violate a  “clearly established” constitutional right.

According to the majority, as Slate reports, Fourth Amendment precedents do not unambiguously prohibit officers from “prolong[ing] a dog bite seizure until a subject complies with orders to surrender.” The majority analogized the mauling to a “Terry stop,” during which an officer may briefly stop and frisk individuals on the basis of “reasonable suspicion.” Garrison, the majority concluded, had really just engaged in a type of Terry stop in which “the classic Terry tableau is replaced by something more dynamic.”

Simply put, the court ruled that Garrison’s use of his K9 to maul a man nearly to death, was reasonable because it is no different than a stop and frisk.

Judge Pamela Harris, the only judge with enough humanity left in her to dissent, explained why this ruling is nonsensical and disturbing.

Maney was not himself suspected of any crime, armed or not, and he did not attempt to flee or to resist. Nevertheless, Officer Garrison deliberately subjected him to a canine attack in order to rule out any possibility that he might pose a threat. Whether or not a more customary Terry stop might have been authorized, I think it is clear enough that the circumstances did not justify the sustained mauling of Maney. Clear enough, that is, to warrant denial of qualified immunity to Garrison on Maney’s excessive force claim.

Harris noted that justifying the mauling by comparing it to a Terry stop was particularly ludicrous because “there was not reasonable suspicion sufficient to support a Terry stop” in the first place.

He (Garrison) was aware that there was a perfectly innocent explanation for Maney’s presence near the abandoned house. And I would not count against Maney his failure to stand and identify himself, which Maney—quite reasonably, in hindsight—attributes to his fear that a sudden movement might prompt a dog attack. Citizens are under no free-standing obligation to identify themselves to the police.

While Harris disagreed, the rest of the court believed Garrison “intentionally prolong(ing) a violent assault on Maney to determine whether he might pose a threat,” is entirely just. 

It is likely that Maney will appeal this ruling. However, the mere fact that a court would rule in such a manner illustrates a much larger problem in America. Because Americans support a system that continuously refuses to hold police accountable while simultaneously granting them special privileges, cops can quite literally get away with murder.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. . and now on Steemit

  • ddearborn

    Hmmm

    here is a news flash: If I was witness to a dog, any dog attempting to “maul” or in anyway attack a member of my family, in short order there would be one less dog in the world.

    Here is the thing people. The courts have ruled that “police” dogs are officers of the state. Fine because that means they must abide by all the laws, rules, and regulations of every other officer. In other words, the dogs as officers of the state cannot violate the rights of the citizenry. No citizen in the “free” world accepts the crazy fantasy that officers of the law, or their dogs can indiscriminately attack citizens. This is not Nazis Germany or the USSR circa 1968 my friends. Naturally the Justices who handed down this insane, unconstitutional and thus illegal ruling clearly are trying to prime the pump generating armed insurrection to justify martial law.

    In the final analysis in America, everywhere for that matter, ultimately the government answers to the people, not the other way around. History has given us countless examples of failed civilizations where the “leaders” failed to heed that truism.

    • G’ma G

      The US is now just the newest fascist regime. Unfortunately, with more power than any other fascist regime in history. We are in trouble.

      • guestimate

        Operation Paperclip: the CIA nationalized german nazis to US following WWII.

      • guestimate

        Project Paperclip nationalized nazis to US following WWII.

  • David Cee

    If these judges and communist cops were made to live in mortal fear for their and their families lives, there would be no more incidents of this tyranny.

    • Joe Blow

      “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Jefferson

    • Reggie

      I’m glad you’re happy with the way this government is run I can feel the backlash coming

    • nathenism

      cops are brainwashed to live in fear of the citizens…they are taught to see us as a threat and an enemy…that is part of the reason they constantly attack people for no reason…they have no fear of being held accountable for their crimes…if they were held accountable for their crimes and if we had the right to defend ourselves with equal force, then and only then would the tyranny end

    • Joe Blow

      Phone books, Who’s Who editions, web search engines all are a great resource to locations.

    • Anti Everything

      Yes indeed. They are trained to be bullies and like all bullies they are scared little children.

  • Menzo

    If this happens to a loved one or me, the mutt and the pig die.

    • Louis Charles

      I am sorry to say, your prescription is the only thing pigs respect.

  • Joe Blow

    “Simply put, the court ruled that Garrison’s use of his K9 to maul a man nearly to death, was reasonable because it is no different than a stop and frisk.”

    Yeah, frisking someone death seems very reasonable. 😳

  • emmanuelozon

    The dog is considered a police officer. SUE THE DOG!!!

    • DarkEyes

      Which means, you have been levelled by the state to be equal to the dog?

      • Jas

        No, the dog is superior. His body and safety is protected from you by law, and he can over rule your 4th amendment ‘right’….cause he’s a good boy

      • Obie Miller

        Well, either that, or they have given the dog the same authority as that of a police officer.

    • Obie Miller

      This is true…..So if you seriously hurt or kill the attacking dog, you would probably have some very serious charges made against YOU…even if you have committed no other crime!

  • GAZOO

    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS !

    • Joe Blow

      in eventus consequuntur actus

  • DarkEyes

    Well done, America. You insist on being “exceptionalist”. You clearly show the world now again.
    Germany 1933-1945 has been overridden.
    Congratulations America, you have now reached GESTAPO-levels.

  • sallyM

    This is my problem with ‘law enforcers’ many are sadistic.

    • Joe Blow

      The mind set changed from “Peace” officers in various colored uniforms nation wide to mini me, dressed in black, SWAT wannabe “law enforcement.”

  • David E

    About a half-second into a K9 attack on their own persons and these judges would rule differently, I think.

  • Rudy Campilii

    This ruling just backs up the Supreme Court ruling that the police are under no obligation to protect citizen’s. In the Land of the Free, the police can and will rob (civil asset forfeiture), beat, rape, and kill any citizen for ANY reason at any time they feel like. All they have to say is they feared for their life.This is ordinary procedure in a hyper-fascist police state. So you better get used to it. The evil beauty of it is, they sell it to you as protection for your own safety. And the heartbreaking reality is that millions and millions of American sheeple buy it.

    • Joe Blow

      COMPLY, COMPLY, STOP RESISTING…BANG ☹️

  • G’ma G

    We will be subjected to the level of injustice we tolerate. The court knows no one will stand up for this man. And this is how it is done. They pick a case that clearly lacks the resources to make a big splash (we didn’t hear about it until now that the dirty deed is done). Now they have their precedent and the sheeple will shrug and go back to grazing on their bread in the circus.

    • Windy

      We have all been tolerating it.What are we going to do.I believe we need to start an organization to be able to join together.is it possible to hire attorneys to go after these things I am sure there are thousands of tolks fed up. $10,00 a month from thousands

  • Jim Steele

    So where does the cop and the judges live???

    • guestimate

      Release the hounds

      • Anti Everything

        Ya, and we’ll call off the dogs once we are satisfied they (judge and cop) aren’t corrupt any longer

    • Joe Blow

      See my post above…

      • StaggerLee360

        Joe Blow is a Holocaust denier, calls blacks “nigg@rs.” Simply a terrible human being.

  • Louis Charles

    a rogue dog can be neutralized by a juicy hamburger. Sadly, we have come to learn that only one thing neutralizes a rogue cop. Thusly, only forming a WELL REGULATED MILITIA via the deputiz’m plan will work.

    • Joe Blow

      Yeah, that damn constitution thing. Gotta work on a way around it don’t they?😕

  • ben dover

    WTF fellow Americans get this story out ASAP to everyone . Those judges need to be euthanized

  • Jaime Glibb

    Just how wrong can it get? Clearly, any normal person instantly recognizes this as a very definite, very strong No-No.

  • Lakshmi

    This ruling judge is obviously very evil and is furthering the agenda of CRUEL TYRANNY. I hope that the victim Maney gets a very substantial monetary reward and compensation for being so severely attacked and injured. That would be justice. I think that the cop should be punished for this cruel attack.

  • Exador

    I want both of those judges to be mauled ‘for only 8 to 10 seconds’ by a K-9. Should be just like a stop and frisk.

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