A federal judge has determined that a St. Paul, MN, police officer was reckless in his handling of a police dog that knocked an innocent bystander to the ground and clamped down on her leg with his teeth.
U.S. District Judge John Tunheim found that Desiree Collins’ fourth-amendment rights were violated during the 2017 incident and that she is entitled to damages, according to an order issued by the U.S. District Court of Minnesota.
“Both the city and (the involved police officer) have acknowledged that what happened was a terrible mistake,” Tunheim wrote in his decision. “(Officer Thaddeus) Schmidt’s contention is that his actions, while negligent, did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. But even taking the facts in the light most favorable to Schmidt, his actions were more than negligent. They were reckless.”
As such, Tunheim ruled in favor of Collins’ motion for summary judgment in her case.
A jury trial will be set at a later date to determine how much she will receive in monetary damages from the city, the Pioneer-Press reports.