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Police Dog Rips a Suspect’s Eye from Its Socket after Pretextual Traffic Stop

by Jo Ellen Nott

On the evening of July 10, 2022, an officer with the Gainesville Police Department (“GPD”) in north central Florida stopped Terrel Bradley, 30, on a pretextual traffic stop. Bradley fled the scene, and within an hour, a police K-9 had ripped his eye out of the socket while mauling him. 

The GPD officer claimed that he saw “contraband” when he stopped Bradley. He then asked Bradley to exit the vehicle for a pat down, but Bradley, a former felon, took off before the officer could complete his search. The officer was unable to catch Bradley but found his ID card, a stolen gun loaded with ammo, and weed.

Police on the scene called for K-9 backup because of Bradley’s prior. Within an hour, he was apprehended hiding in the bushes with severe injuries to his body and hand from the police dog. The animal had also latched onto his left eye and yanked it from the socket. EMS transported Bradley to a local hospital. 
Bradley was released from the hospital on July 13 and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa. On July 19, a judge ruled he would be allowed to await trial from home. Bradley faces charges of two counts of firearm possession, possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis, and resisting an officer.
Community activist Danielle Chanzes organized protests to highlight the racial profiling of Bradley’s case, saying that he suffered a punishment that did not fit the crime he was suspected of. Chanzes noted to the press that “Terrell didn’t feel safe, so he ran. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for a Black man in America to run from police in a situation like that.” 

Protestors have demanded the release of the body camera footage. They have asked the department to ensure officers do not pursue suspects who do not pose an immediate threat to others, to terminate both the K-9 handler and the officer who conducted the traffic stop, and finally, for the police dog who attacked Bradley to be taken out of service.

Chanzes noted that the Bradley family plans to take civil legal action soon. The GPD began an investigation on July 14, saying it would conclude in seven to ten days. In 2020, the Marshall Project reported that police K-9s caused more hospital visits than any other use of force by police.

Source:  Vice News

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