According to the Seattle Times, the city of Tukwila, Washington has agreed to pay $100,000 in order to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed in 2014. In addition to the $100,000, the city of Tukwila has also agreed to pay the attorney fees, though the exact amount is currently unknown. The suit was filed by Linson Tara who was punched, tased, and bitten by a police dog during an arrest in 2014.
Officers Brent Frank and Mike Boehmer were called to a freight yard of the Tukwila UPS where they found Tara “walking around, dancing, and yelling.” Video evidence shows Tara in an argument with UPS employees, but neither appeared to be behaving violently. One of the officers, Frank, can be seen walking toward Tara trying to take him back to the police cruiser. Tara tried to pull away from the officer’s grasp. Officer Frank then grabbed Tara by the neck and slammed him onto the hood of his patrol car. Officer Boehmer can be seen removing his Taser as Frank drops Tara onto the concrete parking lot.
The video goes on to show Frank punching Tara several times in the face as Boehmer repeatedly tases Tara in the stomach and thigh. While Tara is on the ground, the police dog is released from the car and can be seen attacking him. It is around this time that a third officer, Don Ames, arrived on the scene. Ames handcuffs Tara and the dog is then called off, but Tara appears to be unconscious by this point.
After the arrest, Tara was taken to the hospital where he was treated for several injuries that included multiple dog bites. After being treated, Tara was arrested and charged with several accounts of assaulting a police officer, but those charges were eventually dropped.
In addition to being a victory for Tara, this case might have more longterm consequences. Officer Frank mentioned in his report that he released the dog in order “to assist in providing pain compliance.” Tara’s attorney, Joseph R. Shaeffer, argued that using police dogs in such way is an unconstitutional use of force and has filed an injunction to prevent the department from using them in the future.
The full video can be seen below via YouTube:
Featured image is a screen grab from the video.