Police officers have the right to use their K-9s on suspects in certain situations, but certainly not all. An attack from a police dog can be a terrifying experience that can lead to long term injuries, scarring and even death. These dogs are not trained to play nice and will treat every fleeing suspect with the same uncompromising force, regardless of the crime. But obviously the dog is not at fault for simply doing what it was trained to do. The officer, however, who commands the K-9 dog attack can be held liable for using police excessive force unnecessarily to detain a suspect.
When is Using a Police Dog Considered Excessive Force?
In the City of Los Angeles, K-9 dogs are considered “multi-functional assets.” They can be used for a wide array of law enforcement activities from sniffing for drugs and bombs to subduing suspects. Just like a taser or mace, this police tool can be used excessively in certain situations.