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  • Your thoughts on this case.

    My chief showed me this information about a female officer being charged and convicted for releasing her dog on a fleeing burglary suspect. Here is the link.

    What are your thoughts.

  • #2
    Sad case... The prosecutor should be ashamed of themselves.


    • #3
      > If memory serves me correct there is more to this than just that incident. I will look into my archives, but at one time the feds were allegedly after the whole unit.Terry Fleck may have some insight on this also. I received an e-mail about donating to help her defense fund also awhile ago

      > They just can't leave us alone!


      • #4
        Snopes addresses this case at

        They offer a decidedly different version of events combined with an interesting history as to the officer's prior use of the dog. Granted, you take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt. However, Snopes has a history of separating fact from fiction and if what they state is even remotely true, I can understand why this matter went to trial.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5
          I figured there was more to it, at least hoping there was.


          • #6
            Leaving this case aside for the moment it does raise another issue. Yes we all want our dogs to perform when it comes to criminal apprehension, we all enjoy stories where an offender who is violent, or has attempted to flee and has had to be apprehended by a dog..... but with all dogs aggression is a one way street, you travel up the street, but it's one way, you can't come back.

            A professional confident police dog handler understands this. He (she) never drives a dog into confrontation and avoids unnecessary bites. Every weekend during the football season it was a nightmare with crowd disorder, I learned the hard way. During my service I have known a small number of handlers take great delight in dogging some arse for no other reason that they are from the criminal classes, and they can, and frankly I haven't much time for them. It's dangerous, unproductive, unprofessional and more importantly detremental to the dogs temprement.

            I thought that in the case in question the sentance harsh in the extreme, and the admission of 'hear say' evidence puzzelling. But it does sound a warning bell for those handlers who have forgotten why they joined the police service that assaulting and bullying people with a police dog can have dire consquences..............................
            Last edited by Eurodog; 12-02-2008, 11:54 AM.
            "That's funny, he's never done that before!"


            • #7
              There are two sides to every story:

              The Federal government’s and the Court's version:

              Takoma Park (TP), Maryland, had a commercial burglary in progress with two suspects seen on a roof. Prince George’s County (PGC), Maryland, Police K-9 Officer Stephanie Mohr and her dog responded to assist the allied agency, along with one other PGC K-9 unit.

              The suspects were ordered off the roof. They complied. The two suspects were compliant with their hands in the air. They were surrounded by about nine officers, with guns drawn. A police helicopter was overhead, illuminating the suspects. Mohr had her dog with her, standing near the suspects.

              The other PGC K-9 handler asked the TP on-scene Sergeant, “Sarge, can the dog get a bite?” The Sergeant responded, “Yes.” With the suspects still being compliant, Mohr commanded her dog to bite one of the suspects. One suspect was bit in the leg. That suspect fell to the ground, screaming. The suspect was compliant, even while being bit. After a period of time, Mohr removed the dog from the bite.


              Evidence proved graphic demonstration that Mohr unreasonably released her dog on an innocent, unresisting young person.

              In prosecuting Mohr for unlawfully releasing her police dog, evidence of a subsequent release of a dog by Mohr was admissible to prove Mohr’s willfulness. Evidence showed that on at least one other occasion, Mohr used her police dog in a way that violated a citizen’s right to be free from the use of excessive force.

              Mohr was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison. That is the MAXIMUM allowable time under Federal sentencing guidelines. Mohr remains there today.

              The TP Sergeant was sentenced to 15 months in Federal prison. He has sevrved his time.


              I personally interviewed one officer that was on-scene. His version is the same as above.

              Stephanie’s version:

              I attempted to interview Stephanie, however she is in Federal prison. I did get a letter from her. She stated that she did EXACTLY as she was trained. I believe her, as many of us have been taught old methodologies in K-9 training and deployment, that due to evolving case law, we no longer do.

              I can tell you this. Ten years in prison, the maximum allowable time, is a very graphic way of telling our K-9 industry to police ourselves. We, as an industry, must police ourselves in order to insure, as the Court’s state, that we do not have “misbehaving handlers" and "misbehaving dogs”.

              Terry Fleck
              Canine Legal Update and Opinions

              (530) 545.2855


              • #8
                With the information Mr. Fleck provided I can now clearly see whey she is sitting in the pokey. I was a little on edge when reading the case provided by Police Defense but with the "rest of the story" I have no worries with my use of force policy concerning my dog. Thanks everyone for the replies.


                • #9
                  That's scary...10 years...

                  If that didn't send a message, not sure what will. I think 10 years is a bit excessive, but should not have happened in the first place.


                  • #10
                    I'm curious ---- what did the burglar's get?


                    • #11
                      > knowing the systm probably a 6 figure settlement with most of it going to the attornies!!


                      • #12
                        Based on reading what has been posted, including Terry's piece and the Snopes article, for me it comes down to these issues:

                        1. Is is legal to use a police dog to apprehend a fleeing, non-threatening suspect? Obviously, whether or not someone is threatening is highly subjective, but, if Officer Mohr's story is true, the facts here seem to be that the dog was set loose on a commercial burglary suspect with no history or acts of violence known to the officers at the time.

                        2. The alleged conversation between the sergeant and Mohr. According to Terry, it is supported by the testimony of one of the officers on scene. It is not clear whether that officer testified to that in the court case. If the only evidence of that conversation was the testimony of the two scumbags, I would have a problem believing that it happened.

                        3. The prior allegations against Mohr. As we all know, any one can make an allegation against an officer. I am not familiar with the precise legal reasoning as to why this evidence was allowed in, and I don't know whether the defense offered anything to rebut it. Still, it doesn't seem right that this evidence should have been brought in to this case.

                        All in all, if using the police dog in that manner was illegal and the conversation in #2 actually occurred, I don't have a problem with the conviction. I think the sentence was much too harsh however. Prison, especially ten years, was totally unwarranted IMO.
                        Before science, it was believed that autumn was caused by Chuck Norris simultaneously roundhouse kicking every tree on the planet.


                        • #13
                          I also recall more to this story, than what's above. If my memory serves me correct she also had some statements against her from fellow Officers stating that the suspect had given up and she sent the dog anyways. The statements also stated that with all this work her dog was getting this bite whether he liked it or not. I believe that was what was so damaging against her. Like I said If I recall correctly her ship got sanked by damaging statements from her fellow Officers.

                          I had a LT who did the same exact thing to me (he hated me) in the SAME exact situation (fleeing burlary call) The only thing saved me was the statemets from the other 7 Officers on the scene. Subsequently their statements said, he was not even in a position to see any of the events taking place with the Officer and the K9 or the suspect. The LT got suspended for 2 weeks

                          He tried to write me up again, 6mo later and I was unaware of it until a Capt from IA laughed about it to me 2 months after they received the write up. He said, as soon as he left his office he put it in "File 13" Said he had lost all credibility on write ups regarding me. That same LT now has the mind frame of if I can't beat'em Join'em. He tries to be all in my face smiles, and cool with me, I treat him VERY professional when he talks to me or is around me.
                          Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08


                          • #14
                            This is a classic case of over punishment. If Officer Mohr did send the dog on a bite on a passive suspect, knowing that the suspect had no intentions to flee, then 10 years in the Fed. Pen. is way to harsh. The information provided was that there had been past burglarys in the area. We have all been on this type of call, where no suspects were located. When a suspect is finally located, we are amped up, and ready to take action. If she was 100% guilty, then the punishment needs to fit the crime..For geezzzz sakes, a child molester, bank robber, etc. would get less time....Go figure
                            Those that hide will be found, Those that run will be bitten...I dare ya.


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