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We’re tracking police dog bites across the country

Police dogs bite thousands of Americans each year, including innocent bystanders, children, police officers, even their own handlers. But there’s no data collected on a national scale. In a year-long investigation, The Marshall Project—in collaboration with AL.com, IndyStar and the Invisible Institute—examined more than 150 serious cases nationwide. Here’s some of what we learned:

Deaths are not supposed to happen. But we found 3 cases where a police dog attack led to the victim’s death.

Many people bitten don’t have a weapon, are not accused of violent crimes or aren’t suspects at all.

Men are the most common targets of police dog bites.

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Our reporters tracked 150 incidents nationwide from 2010-20.

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Race of victim included if known.

Aug. 2, 2020 Hendersonville, North Carolina Hendersonville Police Department

A K-9 in North Carolina broke loose and bit a retired army officer who lived nearby, injuring his eyes and groin, according to a local news report. The dog, Sunny, was removed from duty.

July 13, 2020 San Lorenzo, California Alameda County Sheriff's Office

Police escorted a 30-year-old man to a squad car after a domestic disturbance. Video shows an officer allegedly opened the wrong door and unintentionally released the K-9, which bit the man on the leg and backside, according to a local news report.

July 7, 2020 Yakima, Washington Yakima Police Department

Police used a K-9 to bite a DUI suspect who was restrained on the ground, in an incident captured on cellphone video. Police say the actions of Zorro were justified because the man refused to comply with their orders, according to local news reports.

June 24, 2020 Selma, Indiana Delaware County Sheriff's Office

A 35-year-old man out for a walk was accidentally bitten by a K-9 who got loose from his handler's home, according to a local news report.

June 16, 2020 Huntsville, Alabama Huntsville Police Department

A K-9 bit a teen accused of burglarizing an Alabama elementary school, according to a local news report. Huntsville police said they responded to a nighttime burglary and found three suspects. One of them, a 17-year-old, tried to run but was caught by the dog.

June 1, 2020 Walnut Creek, California Central County SWAT - Contra Costa

A Black architecture student was mauled by a K-9 at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in a San Francisco suburb. He suffered wounds to his back, leg and hand.

May 31, 2020 Merrillville, Indiana Lake County Sheriff's Department

Police released a K-9 on a 23-year-old Latino man during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in northern Indiana. The dog bit the man's leg, buttocks and thigh.

May 30, 2020 Hammond, New York New York State Police

A man in upstate New York was bitten by a state police K-9 during a traffic stop, according to a local news report. The report says the man was accused of having concentrated cannabis in the vehicle and that troopers accused him of "kicking at them" when he got out of his car, according to the report.

May 25, 2020 Greene County, Missouri Greene County Sheriff's Office

Deputies went to a woman’s house after her grandson escaped from the local jail. She was cooperating with police when a K-9 bit her on the arm without provocation. Police say the handler slipped, and the dog was confused, according to local news reports. The woman required surgery and staples.

May 14, 2020 Prescott, Arizona Prescott Valley Police Department

Police used a dog to bite a man accused of speeding who'd led them on a chase. After the man stopped and surrendered, police released the K-9, which bit the man's back, according to local news reports and bodycam video. Police said they released the dog because they worried the man would try to run again.

Warning: Graphic content
May 9, 2020 Lafayette, Indiana Lafayette Police Department

A K-9 mauled a 46-year-old man, biting his neck and cutting into his trachea and carotid artery, according to police video and his lawyer. Officers had responded to a 911 call about a fight, and found the man leaving the area on a moped. After they grabbed him, an officer released the dog. The man, who is Black, spent six days in a medically induced coma.

Apr. 24, 2020 Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Lake City Police Department

A Salt Lake City police officer ordered his K-9 to bite a 36-year-old Black man who was on his knees, hands in the air. After a video of the incident was released, the department suspended the use of dogs to arrest people.

Apr. 6, 2020 Decatur, Alabama Decatur Police Department

A police K-9 accidentally bit a sheriff's deputy. The dog was supposed to catch two teens who'd run during a traffic stop. A sheriff's spokesman said the accidental bite was bad timing because the deputy pulled up just as the dog was released, according to AL.com.

Warning: Graphic content
Apr. 4, 2020 Graton, California Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

Deputies went to the home of a 35-year-old man after they received a report of a man with a gun. When they arrived, the man came outside. Deputies Tased the man, who is Black, and released a dog, Vader, on him. Video showed deputies having a hard time getting the dog to stop biting the man's leg, and his lawyer said he suffered significant injuries. No gun was found. The sheriff office said the incident is still being investigated.

Apr. 4, 2020 Floyd County, Texas Floyd County Sheriff's Office

A K-9 in Texas attacked his handler, and the deputy shot the dog, who was euthanized, according to a local news report.

Apr. 3, 2020 Sparta, Tennessee White County Sheriff's Office

A 40-year-old White woman accused of violating probation suffered wounds to her arms and legs after a deputy released his dog on her repeatedly, yelling, "Get her buddy," according to bodycam footage. The FBI opened an investigation into the incident.

Mar. 3, 2020 Yakima, Washington Yakima Police Department

A K-9, Zuza, mistakenly bit a deputy instead of a suspect, according to a local news report.

Dec. 20, 2019 Fontana, California California Highway Patrol; Corona Police Department

After leading police on a car chase, a man suspected of stalking refused to get out of his car, according to a news report. Police shattered the driver’s side window with a rubber bullet and ordered a dog to leap into the car. The dog bit the man, forcing him out of the car.

Dec. 4, 2019 Roswell, Georgia Fulton County Sheriff's Office

A K-9 bit a Georgia veterinarian technician in the face and arm and held on for at least two minutes because no one knew the command to get the dog to let go, according to a local news report.

Oct. 24, 2019 Mansfield, Ohio Mansfield Police Department

An Ohio mayor, 66, suffered several broken ribs during a police K-9 demonstration after a dog dragged him to the ground, according to a local news report. After the incident, the mayor voiced strong support for the city's K-9 program, according to the report.

Oct. 2, 2019 Jackson, Georgia Butts County Sheriff's Office

A woman who was an elementary school teacher was accidentally bitten by a K-9 when a deputy dropped off his child at school, according to a local news report.

Sept. 24, 2019 Anchorage, Alaska Anchorage Police Department

Anchorage police responded to a possible burglary at a commercial building. A K-9 found a 25-year-old man hiding in a utility closet. The dog bit the man on the arm. He was taken to a hospital for his injuries before being taken to jail, according to a local news report.

Sept. 22, 2019 Vancouver, Washington Vancouver Police Department

An innocent bystander was bitten by a police dog, Doc, that appeared to escape from the handler, according to cell phone video and local news reports.

Sept. 20, 2019 Alexandria, Indiana Madison County Sheriff's Department

A woman who'd fallen off her motorcycle was accidentally bitten by a K-9 who escaped from a deputy's car while law enforcement officers were helping her, according to a news report. The dog dragged the woman about 15 feet, and she suffered multiple wounds, according to the report. The agency said the incident was under review.

Sept. 7, 2019 Rapid City, South Dakota Rapid City Police Department

A police K-9 in Rapid City bit a bystander while police were trying to arrest a man who'd fallen through a casino ceiling, according to a local news report.

Sept. 3, 2019 Tulare, California Tulare County Sheriff's Office

A detective shot a K-9 after the dog confused the undercover deputy for a suspect, according to a local news report.

Aug. 8, 2019 Troy, New York Troy Police Department

Police used a dog to arrest a man in upstate New York. As the 52-year-old White man lay on the ground, an officer carried a dog over to bite him, according to video and a local news report. The dog appeared to latch onto the man's arm and to try to bite his torso and head, according to the local story.

July 28, 2019 El Dorado County, California El Dorado County Sheriff's Office

Deputies released a dog on a 63-year-old woman after they responded to an allegation the woman had beaten her partner with a wrench, according to a local news report. Officers said the woman was combative, and the dog bit her several times.

July 19, 2019 Paulding County, Georgia Paulding County Sheriff's Office

A Georgia deputy shot and killed a police dog after the animal escaped from a patrol car and mistook the deputy for a suspect, according to a news report.

June 28, 2019 St. John, Indiana St. John Police Department

A woman said that she suffered serious wounds from a K-9, even though she followed officers' orders, according to a news report of her intent to sue. The 19-year-old Black woman was a passenger in a car being chased by police. Her injuries required plastic surgery, according to the story.

June 12, 2019 Champaign, Illinois Champaign Police Department

An Illinois man sued law enforcement officers, claiming a K-9 bit him six times, court records show. The man, 28, was bitten during a traffic stop, and he suffered permanent scarring, according to a federal lawsuit.

June 3, 2019 Bradenton, Florida Manatee County Sheriff's Office

A K-9 bit a bystander instead of the suspects it was chasing. A Florida woman received dozens of stitches after the police dog bit her instead of going after teens accused of stealing a car, according to a news report.

May 17, 2019 Lynwood, Indiana Lynwood Police Department

A Black man stopped his truck alongside a road, then a police officer pulled up and accused him of urinating, a minor offense. The man, 48, denied it, and the officer commanded him to lick the ground to prove it, acording to the man's lawsuit. The officer Tased the man and released a dog, Dante, to bite him. The man suffered wounds to his arm and shoulder.

May 17, 2019 El Paso, Texas Canutillo Independent School District Police Department

A Texas elementary school student was bitten in the face by a K-9 during a school career day, according to a local news report. The 7-year-old girl was petting the dog during a drug awareness presentation when she was bitten, according to the report.

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May 5, 2019 Scottsdale, Arizona Scottsdale Police Department

A 46-year-old Arizona man stole a golf cart and took it on a joyride. Several police cars chased him, stopped the cart and released a dog on him. The dog dragged the man, who is White, across a road as police shot non-lethal projectiles.

May 3, 2019 Lake Charles, Louisiana Lake Charles Police Department

A Black woman suffered deep wounds to her leg after a police dog found her lying in some grass. Police were trying to find her to search her purse. She faced no criminal charges, and a video showed the handler struggling to stop the dog bite.

May 3, 2019 Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sioux Falls Police Department

South Dakota police released a dog on a White man accused of domestic violence. A neighbor's video shows the dog biting the man's side as he screams. Police said the K-9 did its job as trained and that the man had been told to follow instructions and refused, according to a local news report.

Apr. 28, 2019 Greenville, South Carolina Greeneville County Sheriff's Office

South Carolina deputies were searching for a White man accused of violating probation, and they found him hiding inside a dishwasher, according to a local news report. They released a K-9, which bit the man in his head, according to video released by the agency.

Mar. 23, 2019 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis County Police Department

A homeless woman was asleep in an unoccupied home, when police responded to a potential tresspassing call. She said she awoke when a police K-9 found her inside and bit her on the face and hand, according to a lawsuit.

Feb. 28, 2019 Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque Police Department

An Albuquerque man was bitten in his yard when he went outside to close his gate. A police dog was in the area searching for a suspect and bit the man repeatedly on his legs. Officers restrained the man, who is White, and scolded him for being outside, according to a lawsuit.

Feb. 22, 2019 Clovis, New Mexico Clovis Police Department

A woman called police to ask for help with her son because she worried he was suicidal. Officers released a K-9 on the man inside his apartment, and the dog bit his leg so severely that the man spent more than a week in the hospital and then at a nursing home, according to a federal lawsuit.

Feb. 12, 2019 Spokane, Washington Spokane Police Department

A Spokane man led officers on a chase after a traffic stop. Surrounded by police, the man, who is White, refused to get out of his truck. An officer threatened him and then hoisted a dog into the vehicle to bite him. The bite led to debate on the city council over the use of police dogs in Spokane.

Jan. 17, 2019 Glendale, Arizona Arizona Department of Public Safety

A 29-year-old man suspected of car theft ran from officers, who used an infrared sensor to find him. They released Storm, a K-9 on him, and the dog tore off the man's face. He had to undergo extensive surgeries to reattach his nose and face.

Jan. 7, 2019 Miami, Florida Miami Police Department

A 9-year-old Black boy, who was riding his bike, was mauled by a K-9 after the dog broke lose from a police officer's home.

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Dec. 4, 2018 Washington, D.C. Takoma Park Police Department

A Black woman was bitten by Drogo, a K-9, while she was out walking her dog with her boyfriend in Washington, D.C. The police dog, which was off leash, had escaped from a patrol car as police searched for a car theft suspect.

Nov. 1, 2018 Denver, Colorado Denver Police Department

A man was on his knees, surrendering to police when an officer and K-9 approached. The dog, which was unleashed, bit the man. The officer faced disciplinary action after a review of the incident by the department, according to a local news story.

Oct. 31, 2018 New Castle, Indiana New Castle Police Department

Zorro, a K-9, bit a child during a Halloween trick or treat event. The dog was sent for behavorial evaluation.

Oct. 20, 2018 Spring Hill, Florida Hernando County Sheriff's Office

A police dog, Justice, bit a 36-year-old Florida man in the head after police say the dog found him hiding underwater in a pond. Police said the man had fled from an alleged drug deal.

Oct. 8, 2018 Riviera Beach, Florida Riviera Beach Police Department

A man refused to pull over during a traffic stop, then got out of his car and ran. The 29-year-old Black man climbed up on the awning of a business, and an officer pulled him down and the police dog bit the man, according to a video. The man passed out during the encounter. Supervisors concluded the officer violated department policy, according to a news report.

Oct. 5, 2018 Waco, Texas U.S. Marshals

An officer fatally shot a K-9 in Texas after the dog turned on its handler and bit him, according to a local TV station.

Sept. 21, 2018 Lakewood, Colorado Lakewood Police Department

Police released a dog into a home west of Denver after a resident there claimed a roomate had made a hole in the attic. The dog bit a 25-year-old White man who was sleeping in his bed, slicing into his neck and cutting through his vocal chords.

Sept. 1, 2018 Columbus, Ohio Columbus Division of Police

An Ohio police officer shot a K-9 during a training exercise after the dog began biting him, according to a local news story. The officer underwent surgery. The dog was later euthanized.

Aug. 17, 2018 Maryland Heights, Missouri Maryland Heights Police Department

A Missouri woman was pulled over, accused of driving with windows that were too dark, and police say they requested K-9 backup after smelling marijuana. Police say the woman violently resisted, and the dog bit her on the arm.

Aug. 7, 2018 Norfolk, Nebraska Norfolk Police Division

A Norfolk police dog bit an officer during a demonstration at a National Night Out event. The officer was taken to the hospital, according to local news reports.

July 20, 2018 Seattle, Washington Seattle Police Department

A 16-year-old in South Seattle had both hands in the air when an officer directed a K-9 to bite the teen's arm. Local news reports said the teen was accused of stealing a cell phone and was treated at a hospital for puncture wounds.

July 8, 2018 Montgomery, Alabama Montgomery Police Department

A Black man in Alabama died from blood loss after a police dog tore an artery in his leg. Officers had responded to a burglary call at a vacant home in Montgomery, and the dog, Niko, found the 50-year-old man inside.

July 6, 2018 St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Police Department

A 33-year-old Minnesota man was accidentally bitten by a K-9 as the man, who is Black, was heading to work, according to a local news report. Police in St. Paul were responding to a call when the dog attacked the bystander.

July 4, 2018 Conroe, Texas Conroe Police Department

A 24-year-old White woman was suffering from psychological issues and family called police for help. Officers responded with a K-9, and the dog bit the woman, causing damage to her ankle, thigh and hip, according to a lawsuit.

June 27, 2018 Canton, Ohio Canton Police Department

An Ohio K-9 bit a bystander. The dog was supposed to be chasing a theft suspect when it latched onto the man's leg. The man was taken to a hospital with serious injuries and needed about a dozen stitches, according to a local news report.

May 13, 2018 Canton, Ohio Ohio State Police (pulled over man); Canton Police Department (brought the dog)

A state trooper pulled over an Ohio man, accusing him of driving with a homemade license plate. After the 45-year-old White man refused to answer questions or get out of the car, officers broke his window and hoisted a dog into the vehicle to bite him, according to court records and a video.

May 3, 2018 Henderson, North Carolina Henderson Police Department

A 13-year-old child with disabilities was hospitalized after a K-9 bit him, according to a news report. Police had responded to a call that the boy was missing. The dog found the boy nearby, but the boy's family said the dog bit his face and legs, according to the report.

Apr. 3, 2018 Raleigh, North Carolina North Carolina State Highway Patrol; Other agencies

A state trooper was convicted of misdemeanor charges after he was accused of beating and using a K-9 to attack a homeless man, according to the Associated Press. The case stemmed from the April 2018 arrest of a 29-year-old Black man, who said he was bitten more than 20 times and suffered a fractured eye socket and a broken nose.

Mar. 16, 2018 Shelby, North Carolina Shelby Police Department

A K-9 accidentally bit a 4-year-old girl instead of a suspect, according to a news report. The dog bit the girl under her arm, and she was hospitalized and underwent surgery for her injuries, according to the report.

Feb. 18, 2018 Lafayette, Colorado Lafayette Police Department

A man who'd suffered a concussion wandered out of a hospital into a nearby apartment complex, where he went into a storage closet and lost consciousness. Video shows police released a K-9 onto the man, who was unarmed and still wearing a hospital gown. The dog chewed the man's left arm.

Nov. 1, 2017 Richmond, California Richmond Police Department

Police were looking for a suspect who'd stolen a car when the dog instead bit two Black teenagers. A girl was bitten in the groin, backside and arm. A boy was bitten in both arms.

Sept. 23, 2017 St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Police Department

A Minnesota woman was bitten accidentally as she took out her garbage. Police were chasing a suspect when the dog instead attacked the woman.

Aug. 30, 2017 Pittsburg, California Pittsburg Police Department

Officers tried to pull over a Pittsburg man on charges of driving with a suspended registration. The man, 49, led them on a car chase through several cities before getting out of the car in Oakland. Officers then released the K-9, which bit the man on his arms and back, according to a lawsuit.

Warning: Graphic content
Aug. 8, 2017 Huntsville, Alabama Huntsville Police Department

A police dog was released to find a man accused of stealing an SUV. The dog bit two police officers first, then bit the suspect, a 43-year-old Black man who is a disabled veteran. The handler struggled to get the dog to let go.

Aug. 1, 2017 St. Helens, Oregon Columbia County Sheriff's Office

Jail staff released a K-9 on an Oregon man who is White and who suffers from mental illness, after he refused to leave his cell, according to local news reports. Bodycam footage showed the man did not resist jailers before they released the dog into his cell to bite him, according to a lawsuit he filed.

July 15, 2017 Maricopa County, Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

A man accused of hitting a deputy was arrested and put in a holding cell. Deputies released a K-9, Shadow, and the dog chewed into the man's buttocks. A federal lawsuit said the dog bit for more than three minutes. According to the lawsuit, deputies said the man, who is White, was resisting them.

July 9, 2017 San Diego, California San Diego Police Department

San Diego police responded to a call of a person in distress, running in and out of traffic. They released a K-9, and the dog continued to bite, even after the Black man was lying on the ground, handcuffed.

June 24, 2017 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

A legally blind man in Pittsburgh was bitten by a K-9 while he was asleep in his apartment. Someone had reported a possible burglarly because the screen door was broken. Police released a dog into the home, and the dog dragged the 35-year-old White man out of bed, biting his arm and thigh.

June 23, 2017 Riverside, California Riverside County Sheriff's Department

A 22-year-old Indio man was lying on the ground after officers accused him of failing a probation check. Video shows officers holding the man down and handcuffing him before allowing the dog to bite him on the leg, according to a local news report.

June 18, 2017 Bakersfield, California Bakersfield Police Department

A Black woman riding her bicycle was mistaken for a male suspect. According to court documents, an officer hit the 19-year-old and released a dog on her leg, causing serious injury.

June 12, 2017 Sioux City, Iowa Mapleton Police Department

A man claimed the city police chief released a K-9 on him without warning during a traffic stop, according to a federal lawsuit. The man later received a settlement from the city. According to a local news report, the city and police chief did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

June 11, 2017 Rochester, Minnesota Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

A homeless man in Minnesota was attacked by a K-9, Cobra, while he slept under a tree. The dog ripped off part of the man's scalp, according to local news reports. Deputies had been searching for a woman for non-violent drug charges, when the dog bit the innocent bystander.

May 25, 2017 Coachella, California Riverside County Sheriff's Department

A Hispanic man was out for a jog when police mistook him for a suspect. They ordered him to lie on the ground, and he complied. Police then released a K-9, who bit him on the arm, resulting in severe injuries, according to a federal lawsuit.

May 11, 2017 Westmont, California Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

A K-9 bit a man in the scrotum, causing him to lose a testicle, according to court records. The dog also bit the man, who is Black, in the calf 15 to 20 times, according to a lawsuit. The encounter began when deputies tried to pull the man over for a broken tail light.

Apr. 30, 2017 Bakersfield, California Kern County Sheriff's Office

A California man sued claiming a deputy used excessive force by sending a dog after him when he ran from law enforcement. The dog bit the man's stomach and arm. In court documents, the man said he suffers from numbness and lost feeling in his arms and fingers.

Mar. 10, 2017 Peoria, Arizona Peoria Police Department; Arizona Department of Public Safety; Glendale Police Department

Police searching for a robbery suspect found the man, who is Latino, sitting on the roof of a house. He surrendered, saying, "I'm done." Officers then Tased him, and he fell off the roof, according to a lawsuit. Once he was on the ground, Storm, a K-9, bit his leg.

Feb. 23, 2017 Perris, California Riverside County Sheriff's Department

A Southern California man was bitten by a police dog inside a laundry room. The man, who is White, had no weapon and had not committed any crimes, according to a lawsuit.

Dec. 13, 2016 Grover Beach, California Grover Beach Police Department

A retired police dog who lived with a police officer attacked an 85-year-old woman. Her neighbor, 64, intervened and suffered such severe bites that he had to be hospitalized and died a few days later. A judge later ruled the department was not liable because the dog was not their K-9, and a jury acquitted the officer.

Oct. 21, 2016 Elkhart, Indiana Elkhart Police Department

An Indiana man accused a police officer of using excessive force when the officer released a K-9 on the man, who was on his stomach, hands in the air, according to a lawsuit. The man was a suspect in a robbery and had led officers on a chase, when he was found lying down in a cornfield. The officer said the man refused to comply. The man said he followed orders but was still bitten.

Sept. 15, 2016 Houston, Texas Houston Police Department

Police searching for a suspect released a K-9 on another man. He raised his hands in the air, saying, "I'm not the guy! I'm not the guy," according to a lawsuit. The dog bit him in his groin area, side, back and leg, according to court records. The lawsuit said he had physical and pscyhological wounds.

Sept. 8, 2016 Salem, Oregon Marion County Sheriff's Office

A retired truck driver in Oregon was bitten by a K-9, Rolo, at the opening of a farming store. The dog bit the 66-year-old man in the stomach, leaving permanent disfigurement, according to a lawsuit.

Aug. 4, 2016 Roswell, Georgia Roswell Police Department

A 17-year-old Black male ran from a stolen car. Police ordered him back, and he returned and sat on a curb, hands up. An off-leash police dog, Robbie, ran over and bit him on the bicep. Dashcam video shows the dog dragging the teen, and the handler struggling to get the dog to release. After releasing, Robbie broke free and bit the teen again.

June 24, 2016 St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Police Department

A man spent two weeks in the hospital after he was mistaken for a suspect and bitten by a K-9, according to a lawsuit. The man later received a $2-million settlement for the attack, according to the Pioneer Press.

May 27, 2016 West Covina, California West Covina Police Department

After a car chase near Los Angeles, police released a dog, Rocky, on a man who was on his hands and knees. The K-9 bit the man's arm for more than a minute.

May 20, 2016 Enumclaw, Washington King County Sheriff's Office

A farm worker was left permanently disabled after deputies released a K-9 on him, according to local news reports of a lawsuit. Deputies went to the man's home after a report of domestic violence. The dog, Luky, bit the man, causing deep cuts and wounds to his arm, according to news reports.

Apr. 26, 2016 Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque Police Department

An Albuquerque man was bitten by a police dog while asleep in a friend’s backyard. The K-9 was looking for a suspect in the area and, when he came upon the man sleeping, bit him in his arm, chest and back. The man suffered permanent damage to his arm, according to a lawsuit.

Apr. 7, 2016 Palo Alto, California Palo Alto Police Department

A Black 16-year-old was standing with a group of friends when a police officer pulled up. According to a lawsuit, a police dog ran out of the cruiser and bit the teen on the leg and hand, leaving him with physical and emotional scars.

Feb. 18, 2016 Kent, Washington Kent Police Department

A 56-year-old Washington man was walking early in the morning, carrying laundry detergent and a cell phone, when police stopped him and claimed to have a warrant for his arrest. The man was then Tased and bitten by Kato, a police dog, according to a lawsuit filing.

Jan. 28, 2016 Tukwila, Washington Tukwila Police Department

While police searched for a domestic violence suspect, a K-9 instead bit an innocent woman nearby.

Jan. 1, 2016 Half Moon Bay, California San Mateo County Sheriff's Office

A 62-year-old man searching for his neighbor's lost cat wandered into a construction site, where he triggered an alarm. Deputies released a K-9 on him. Court records allege the deputies handed the man a sticker that read, "I met Riggs," the name of the police dog.

Dec. 28, 2015 Branford, Connecticut Branford Police Department

After local police and Homeland Security agents found a man and handcuffed him, court records show they allowed a K-9, Joker, to bite the man in the thigh.

Dec. 3, 2015 San Diego, California San Diego Police Department

A San Diego woman called police asking for psychiatric help for her husband. Instead of a psychiatric team, officers arrived with a K-9. When the man resistes handcuffs, they released the dog to bite him.

Dec. 2, 2015 Riverside, California Riverside County Sheriff's Department

A White man led police on a car chase, then fled on foot into a field. He alleged that officers used excessive force by striking him and then releasing a K-9 to bite him after he'd passed out.

Aug. 15, 2015 San Diego, California San Diego Police Department

A 25-year-old man visiting San Diego for a convention was found naked and running in a canyon. Police released a dog on him, and he suffered multiple wounds to his right leg. He sued, claiming that the bites became infected, and he had to pay substantial medical bills, missed work and experienced emotional distress.

Aug. 6, 2015 Wasau, Wisconsin Marathon County Sheriff's Office

Police tried to stop a 70-year-old White man driving heavy machinery. The man drove away. When he eventually stopped, police forced him to the ground, and then released a K-9, which bit the man's scalp.

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July 24, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A police officer used a dog to chase after a man running outside a public housing development. The dog bit the 38-year-old Black man for about five minutes, and the officer also used his baton to hit the man.

July 16, 2015 Indianapolis, Indiana Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

A pregnant woman was mauled by a police K-9 on her porch. The dog attacked her while searching for a suspect in a traffic stop. The woman and her child suffered long-term injuries.

July 11, 2015 East Brunswick, New Jersey New Jersey State Police; East Brunswick Police Department

A man driving home from a video game tournament was stopped by plainclothes officers. They released a K-9 on him as they handcuffed him, according to court records. He received several bites on his right leg.

July 10, 2015 Naperville, Illinois Naperville Police Department

A suspect in a theft was found hiding in a dumpster. He surrendered, but then police released a K-9 on him. The dog bit him multiple times in the arm, back and buttocks. According to court records, the man could hear the officers laughing as the dog bit him.

July 7, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A police dog accidentally bit a U.S. Marshall's boot as the federal officer tried to climb to safety in a tree. The man was not injured.

July 6, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A police officer accidentally released a K-9 on a 34-year-old Black man during a traffic stop, after the man didn’t signal before turning into his driveway. The dog bit the man's arm for an extended time.

July 4, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A police officer stopped a 39-year-old Black man as he was walking home. The man was bitten on the ankle after he tried to leave.

July 3, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A 37-year-old Black man was stopped for a broken tag light. He tried to avoid a pat-down, surrendered, but was bitten on the thigh.

June 30, 2015 West Sacramento, California West Sacramento Police Department

Police suspected a man of multiple hit-and-runs that had injured several people. California Highway Patrol officers chased him and eventually released a K-9 named Diesel, who bit the suspect on the legs, arms and head, according to court documents.

June 23, 2015 Richmond, California Richmond Police Department

A Bay Area police officer shot a K-9 to defend himself after the dog somehow got out of a patrol car and attacked the officer.

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June 12, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

An officer used a dog off-leash to chase a 26-year-old Black woman who ran away after a speeding car stopped. The officer placed the dog, Andor, over a fence and the dog bit her on the buttocks for two minutes after she surrendered. Her injuries required reconstructive surgery.

May 21, 2015 Vista, California San Diego County Sheriff's Department

A man ran from agents trying to serve a federal search warrant. He climbed over a fence, but fell, hit his head and lost consciousness. He woke by the time deputies found him. They released a dog on him, according to court records, and told him to crawl toward them, a K-9 clamped to his arm.

Apr. 28, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A police dog bit a Black teenager who ran away from juvenile court. The 17-year-old was handcuffed at the time, and had surrendered, but slipped and fell. The dog "took this as an escape movement and bit him on the right leg,” his handler later testified.

Apr. 27, 2015 Fallbrook, California San Diego County Sheriff's Department

An officer stopped a car for a broken side mirror. The car took off. The married couple inside, both of them women, eventually ran out of the car and hid in a dry riverbed. Deputies released a dog. The women's suit said the dog attack was motivated in part by their sexual orientation. A jury found the deputy did not use excessive force.

Mar. 25, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

Police were searching for a 48-year-old White man accused of failing to register as a sex offender. The man fled and police use a dog to find him. The man stabbed the dog, Andor, and was bitten on the hand and leg.

Feb. 23, 2015 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A 26-year-old Black man suspected of burglary was bitten on the arm after running from police. The handler could not get the dog to release. It hung onto the man’s elbow for about two minutes as he screamed.

Jan. 30, 2015 Henderson, Nevada Henderson Police Department

A baby girl was bitten on the arm by a K-9 after police mistook her father, who didn’t speak English, for a robbery suspect. The 17-month-old was sitting in the car, when police released the dog. Officers say they didn't know there was a child in the car, according to local news reports.

Jan. 25, 2015 Norfolk, Virginia Norfolk Police Department

A 22-year-old Army reservist and college student was bitten by a K-9 after police showed up at an off-campus party. The woman, who is Black, needed 43 stitches and plastic surgery for her wounds, local news reports said. She received a $200,000 settlement from the city, the reports said.

Nov. 14, 2014 Talladega, Alabama Talladega Police Department

A 28-year-old Black woman was stopped for reckless driving. She was bitten on the arm while being handcuffed.

Aug. 22, 2014 Tukwila, Washington Tukwila Police Department

A police dog bit a man who was accused of trespassing at a UPS facility. Officers used a Taser, then released the dog, which bit the man's leg while officers stood over the suspect, according to a federal lawsuit and dashcam video.

Aug. 11, 2014 Richmond, California Richmond Police Department

A K-9 accidentally bit a retired police officer from Mexico while the man visited a friend's house in the Bay Area. Police were searching for a suspect when the dog instead attacked the retired officer, who was asleep at his friend's home.

May 20, 2014 Big Stone Gap, Virginia Wallens Ridge State Prison

A prisoner in Virginia filed a lawsuit saying that a prison K-9, Omen, mauled and disfigured him. In the lawsuit, the man said an officer released the dog to stop a fight between two incarcerated men. The man who was bitten claimed he suffered wounds to his underarms, knees, elbow and buttocks, as well as nightmares and panic attacks from the dog.

May 20, 2014 Fresno, California Fresno Police Department

A Fresno woman called police to ask for psychiatric help for her brother. When police arrived, they sent a K-9 into the house, then followed. Police say the man had a knife, and they fatally shot him. He was found with several dog bites to his arm.

May 8, 2014 Bakersfield, California Kern County Sheriff's Office

A 33-year-old man died from asphyxiation during an encounter with police in which a police dog bit him in the face and officers hit the man with batons. The incident began when deputies tried to remove the sleeping man from a lawn. A Southern California county settled for $3.4 million with his family.

Apr. 30, 2014 Fresno, California Fresno Police Department

A 43-year-old California architect was bitten by a police dog inside his office. Police had gone to his office after responding to his home about an alleged domestic dispute, and they released a dog into the building. The man suffered severe wounds to his left arm.

Mar. 7, 2014 Carmel, Indiana Carmel Police Department; Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

An officer pulled over a driver, who fell asleep in his car and was unresponsive. Officers broke a car window and sent a K-9 into the car. The dog bit the man's arm and hand.

Feb. 22, 2014 Grand Prairie, Texas Grand Prairie Police Department

A Latino man ran from police after a domestic dispute. When police found him, he was in the fetal position. They released Bullet, a K-9, on him. The dog chewed into his leg, ripping the muscle from the bone.

Jan. 29, 2014 Barnegat, New Jersey Barnegat Township Police Department; Tuckerton Police Department

A New Jersey woman was allegedly pulled out of her car during a traffic stop. A K-9 then bit the woman on the shoulder, according to a lawsuit. One of the officers involved was charged with aggravated assault and misconduct but was later acquitted.

Jan. 8, 2014 Nashville, Tennessee Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Nashville police released a dog on a homeless man during an investigation into a break-in. The man claims he had surrendered, hands up, when police released the dog. He sued, and the case has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dec. 28, 2013 Troy, New York Troy Police Department

Police were searching with a dog for a suspect in a gas station robbery. A 50-year-old Black man, who was a bystander, saw the K-9 and climbed onto the hood of his car. The dog attacked him and bit his knee. The man sued, and a jury found no violation of his civil rights.

Oct. 10, 2013 Enfield, Connecticut Enfield Police Department

A White man sleepwalking after taking Ambien went into a neighbor's house. According to court documents, the man says police released a K-9 on him, and the dog latched onto his right foot and ankle.

July 6, 2013 Buford, Georgia Gwinnett County Police Department

A 43-year-old White man accused of burglary sued after he said a K-9 clamped down on his arm for what "seemed like a lifetime," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

June 15, 2013 Atlantic City, New Jersey Atlantic City Police Department

Officers released a dog on a drunk man in Atlantic City while he was lying facedown on the ground in handcuffs. The K-9 bit the man’s head and neck, resulting in severe injuries, according to a lawsuit. The city settled for $3 million.

June 5, 2013 Sioux City, Iowa Sioux City Police Department

A homeless man was mistakenly bitten in the hand and groin by a police K-9 while the man was sleeping, according to a local news report.

Apr. 21, 2013 Horn Lake, Mississippi Horn Lake Police Department

A Mississippi man ran during a traffic stop, and police released a K-9. According to court documents, the bite lasted several minutes, even as the man lay on his stomach. He required extensive reconstructive surgery.

Mar. 24, 2013 West Jordan, Utah West Jordan Police Department

A man in a Salt Lake City suburb suffered severe injuries to his face after a K-9 latched onto his head for more than 15 seconds. Police say the man, who is White, didn't follow their orders to stand up when they entered his house, so they released the dog.

Dec. 6, 2012 New Iberia, Louisiana Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office

A Louisiana deputy was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to using a K-9 without justification to bite a jailed man, according to federal prosecutors.

Oct. 8, 2012 Brentwood, California Oakland Police Department

An off-duty police dog who lived with its handler wandered into a neighbor’s yard and bit the resident. The man sued the city and settled, according to city records.

May 29, 2011 Hayward, California Hayward Police Department

An 89-year-old Filipino man died from complications after a K-9 bite. Police hoisted the dog, Nicky, over a security wall and into the man's backyard, where the dog dragged him across the yard, causing an ultimately fatal leg wound, according to a lawsuit. Police had been chasing two robbery suspects. The city settled for $1.5 million but contended that the dog acted as it was trained to do.

Mar. 22, 2011 Evansville, Indiana Evansville Police Department

An Indiana man was asleep when police came to serve a warrant. After he woke and started to walk downstairs, officers released a K-9, which tore into his leg, requiring surgery.

Feb. 23, 2011 Peoria, Arizona Peoria Police Department

A K-9, Havoc, bit an Arizona man, causing permanent damage to his arm, according to a federal lawsuit. Police looking for a burglary suspect found the man hiding in a shed, a local news report said. They released the dog, which clung to the man's arm as he walked to meet the officers.

June 27, 2010 Lakewood, Washington Lakewood Police Department

Police responding to a domestic call released a K-9 on a man, and the dog ripped into the man's left leg, cutting so deeply the man could hear his flesh and muscle tearing, according to a lawsuit. The wounds were severe enough that his bone was exposed, and he required staples and skin grafts, according to court records.

Feb. 11, 2010 San Diego, California San Diego Police Department

A San Diego woman fell asleep on her office couch after going out with co-workers. Police responding to an alarm in the office building released a K-9, which attacked the woman while she slept and bit her lip.

October 2015 Tucson, Arizona Tucson Police Department

Police responding to a call of a stolen van found a woman inside a shed and released a dog to bite her leg, according to a news report. The report cited a state court lawsuit filed by the woman, who claimed that she suffered long-term injuries to her leg.

May 2020 Selma, California Selma Police Department

A police dog ran into a birthday party and accidentally bit a woman. The K-9 was chasing a suspect wanted for indecent exposure, who had ducked into the woman's home, according to a local news report. The woman, who suffered minor scratches and a sprained ankle, was shielding her 3-year-old nephew when the dog bit her, according to the report.

July 2012 Santa Clara, California Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office

A 16-year-old boy was hospitalized after police said he held a knife to his throat and then came toward officers, according to a local news report. Police said they fired projectiles at him, and the teen's father told a TV reporter that police also released a K-9, which bit his son's shoulder and back.

November 2017 Wichita, Kansas Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

A Kansas police officer was accidentally bitten in the testicle, thigh and wrist during a burglary call, according to The Wichita Eagle.

December 2014 Wichita, Kansas Wichita Police Department

A K-9 accidentally bit a female police officer during a struggle with a suspect, according to a local news report.

July 2010 St. Croix County, Wisconsin St. Croix County Sheriff's Office

A Wisconsin woman filed suit after she was attacked by a K-9. A deputy had offered to give her a ride, when a police dog got out of the car, knocked over the woman and bit her upper thigh, according to a local news report.

April 2016 St. Paul, Minnesota St. Paul Police Department

A 38-year-old Minnesota man needed 80 stitches after a K-9 bit into his head, arm and torso, slicing through a Carhartt jacket, according to the Pioneer Press. Police were chasing the man, accusing him of riding a stolen scooter, when he got off the scooter and hid under a wheelbarrow where the dog found him.

January 2017 Reno, Nevada Washoe County Sheriff's Office

A Nevada man fled from a traffic stop, eventually surrendering to police after a car chase. While the man was on his knees, a deputy released a K-9, which bit the man in the chest and shoulder for more than a minute, according to a lawsuit.

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Credits

Reporting by Abbie VanSickle, Challen Stephens, Michelle Pitcher and Damini Sharma. Video editing by Celina Fang and Jovelle Tamayo. Design and development by Katie Park, Damini Sharma and Elan Kiderman.
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