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Officer Immune From Suit for Use of Police Dog on DUI Suspect

March 4, 2021, 9:55 PM

An Arizona police officer who instructed his dog to bite a man suspected of drunk driving when he refused to get out of his car is immune from a claim of excessive force because his actions weren’t shown to be unreasonable, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday.

Scott Hernandez didn’t establish that officer Steve Gilbert’s initial deployment of the dog or the 50-second duration of the bite violated clearly established law, the court said.

And there is no clearly established law that “governed the reasonableness of using a canine to subdue a noncompliant suspect who resisted other types of force and...

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