The Florida K9 cop called for a welfare check on a suicidal teen foreshadowed the bloody mauling of Jared Lemay, texting his fellow North Port Police officer: “COME GET UR BITE.”
While Lemay lay permanently disfigured in the Emergency Room, fellow North Port Officers congratulated Dietz and Bush on their savage attack.
The North Port Police Department is besieged with Civil Rights Violation Lawsuits involving North Port’s K-9 unit.
Lemay’s vicious attack in 2012 was only 1 of 34 attacks by the small Florida town’s police dogs over the course of five years which was only brought to light recently in an investigative report by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
North Port has just short of 60,000 residents, which means one out of every 1,800 residents has felt the hot breath of their “trained to maim” police K-9s breaking open flesh in stark contrast to the rare nature of these incidents before 2010.
So the police reprimanded their officer Keith Bush for sending unprofessional text messages which are public record.
But the cop faces no consequences for the wave of dog on human violence he’s unleashed on a quite southwest Florida town, or for his pre-meditated attack leaving a teenager scarred for life.
Two graphics below the article illustrate keenly the sad, violent consequences when Florida police department unleashes their dogs on their town’s citizens.
Civil rights will be violated.
Teens, Texting and Florida Police K-9s, A Bad Mix
Things couldn’t have been be going worse for 18 year old Jared Lemay.
The Florida teen was wanted on a Violation of Probation for a nonviolent crime, and was distraught.
So Jared Lemay made a noose.
The teenager’s sister saw the noose hanging inside the family home’s garage and called her mother, who was at work.
Lemay’s mother, fearing for her teenage child’s life, called the North Port Police Department to rescue her son from suicide.
North Port K-9 Officer Keith Bush received the call from dispatch on Lemay’s situation.
Officer Bush was referring to Dietz’s K-9 Belgian Malinois named Cammo.
Officer Bush, grew impatient with Officer Dietz for not responding, and messaged Dietz again.
“IM GONNA TAKE UR BITE IF YOU DON’T HURRY UP.”
When Officers Bush and Dietz arrived at Lemay’s home, the cops saw him flee into the garage.
Officers Bush, Dietz, and K-9 Cammo entered the home and began hunting Lemay with their K-9 partners in the lead.
“I heard a knock on the door, and I ran into the garage and jumped in the trash can,” Lemay later said. “I decided to hide. That was just my instinct at the moment.”
K-9 Cammo was released into the garage and indicated Lemay was hiding inside a trash can. Officer Dietz retrieved Cammo and ordered Lemay to exit the trash can.
Officer Bush then pushed the can over, spilling Jared Lemay onto the ground.
“I remember hitting the ground on my hands to brace myself from falling, and I looked up at them, and I went to say ‘OK, OK,’ and the guy sicced the dog on me as soon as I started to talk,” said the injured Lemay. “I remember (the Fdog’s) mouth coming toward me and latching onto my face. He literally drug me out of the trash can.”
“After the dog bit me a second time, one of the police officers put his knee in the back of my head and handcuffed me.”
Satisfied that Officer Dietz got his “BITE,” the cops called for North Port Fire Rescue for Jared Lemay’s trip to the emergency room and that’s when they began to chatter more on text messaging.
“CONGRATS,” Officer William Carter wrote to Dietz.
Fellow Officer McHale inquired to Officer Bush, “YOUR BITE OR (Dietz’s)?”
“I LET (Dietz) HAVE IT,” Bush responded.
Officer McHale congratulated Officer Bush, “NICE, HOW BAD?”
“BAD,” Bush responded. “FACE AND BACK.”
“SKIN GRAFT BAD?” Officer McHale inquired.
“NO,” Bush responded.
“COULDA BEEN WORSE THEN, HE SHOULD HAVE COMPLIED,” McHale stated.
Lemay’s face was so badly maimed, that he was incapable of eating solid food for over a week.
Now, he’s permanently disfigured, but alive.
Neither Officer Bush nor Dietz was reprimanded for their actions against Lemay as you can see in what North Port Police Deparment ominously calls a Response To Resistance Report rather than the traditional “Use of Force” reporting that most departments require.
After this incident, Officer Dietz was later captured in home surveillance video trying to kill his fiancée after she attempted to end their relationship.
Officer Dietz subsequently resigned from the North Port Police department and moved to Tennessee.
Officer Bush continued what the North Port Police Department considers a ‘successful career’ as a ‘top’ K-9 handler, winning numerous awards with his K-9 Tomy, who has accumulated a record of over 25 “BITES” since 2012.
A recent study conducted by the Herald Tribune reported North Port’s K-9 handlers commanded attacks on more civilians than the surrounding municipalities of Bradenton, Palmetto, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, and Venice combined during the same period.
Many American law enforcement agencies consider 30 percent the threshold figure when monitoring their K-9 units’ performance for potential misconduct.
On July 21, 2014, coincidentally upon the exact same day the Herald Tribune requested public records documenting K-9 bites, over two years after Lemay was viciously attacked, North Port police gave punished Officer Bush Memorandum of Counseling for Violation of General Orders and Rules stating,
E-mails and Messages sent Via the MDT are public record, and employees will be held accountable for the content of the messages…This memorandum of counseling shall be characterized as a corrective rather than a punitive action.
When asked why it took over two years for Officer Bush to receive a Memorandum of Counseling, North Port police Captain Morales said, “When you know, there is so much public records that we could review and try to look at in every day of a call to call, we just don’t have the manpower to do that.”
When asked what repercussions would occur if an identical incident were to occur today, Captain Morales stated that Officer would “receive a Memorandum of Counseling.”
“Those on either side of the current national debate on police use of force maintain that the issue is complex: the decision as to which circumstances justify police force, and how much, is not an easy one for human beings,” said PuppycideDB’s Joshua Wieder about the Lemay incident. “So, why do we think that animals would be capable of making such determinations?”
PuppycideDB is the only repository for the death of dogs at the hands of police.
Police Misbehave, Now Taxpayers Shall Be Punished
But as we noted, Lemay isn’t the only aggrieved party.
Mark Landon, was a victim of K-9 Tomy in 2014, after officers responded to his suicide attempt.
Landon was subsequently bit in his stomach.
He’s suing the department.
Danielle Drake was bit in the face by Officer Bush’s K-9 Tomy.
Police Chief Kevin Vespia later told the North Port Sun newspaper the young woman had been “nipped.”
She too is suing.
Now, Lemay has sent notice of claim to North Port, marking the Third pending lawsuit against the North Port Police Department.
Officer Bush’s actions have been universally condemned by civil liberties groups, dog lovers and even .
“The ACLU considers this event to be a clear case of excessive use of force and improper use of police dogs,” said the Chair of Florida’s Legal Panel Andrea Mogensen who lives in nearby Sarasota, “It’s tantamount to a planned use of force.”
“If you’re on the way to the scene and your information is that the subject is depressed and suicidal with no history of violence it’s really not reasonable to plan a use of force on the way there.”
Neighboring department Venice Police’s retired K-9 handler Charles Mesloh told the Herald-Tribune the following, “This is people deciding in advance deciding how they’re going to hurt someone. In my opinion it should be investigated by the [Federal] Department of Justice.”
North Port brought in Mesloh to try and reform their department’s practices as he’s considered an authority on canine assistance in law enforcement.
“I have defended agencies accused of civil rights violations in the past, and I have never seen anything that has approached what I have seen in this report.”
In fact, today’s main role for police dogs didn’t exist 50 years ago, when the seeds of the civil rights destroying War on Drugs were planted into America’s legal system.
“Based largely on arguments that dogs are required to wage the War on Drugs,” said Wieder, “today’s police canines have been embraced by a string of recent court decisions as walking and barking probable cause machines.”
According to Puppycide’s Wieder, that crop has yielded perverse incentives to train dogs in high intensity police work, when their traditional role would be more oriented towards search and rescue.
North Port has only 1/8th of the population of Sarasota County, Florida where it is located, but has triple the rate of forceful police canine apprehensions of the similarly populated City of Sarasota.
In fact, the North Port police have more forceful apprehensions since 2010 than all of its nearest neighbors combined.