Cedar Rapids agrees to $50K to settle police dog attack suit

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Cedar Rapids City Council approved a payment of $ 50,000 to settle a lawsuit by a man who said he was wrongly attacked by a city police dog last year.

The lawsuit was filed by Howard Cones, who said he was sleeping on a park bench in June 2018 when the dog attacked him unprovoked viciously, causing multiple bite wounds and blood loss.

The dog had been taken to the park for a training exercise by its handler when Cones was accidentally attacked, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit accused the city and the police of negligence in training and handling the dog.

The city council approved the settlement last week, The Gazette reported.

A second lawsuit over a city police dog attack on a 13-year-old boy last year is pending.

The child’s mother said in the lawsuit that her son spent the night with a friend but was locked out of the house due to miscommunication and fell asleep in the friend’s garden. The kid, who is black, woke up when the dog attacked him and the police yelled at him, his mother said.

At the time, police were tracking four young blacks who were believed to be in a stolen vehicle and in the same neighborhood as the child attacked, the family’s lawyer said. The child was treated in a hospital for deep cuts before being released without charge.

The lawsuit alleges excessive use of force and racial discrimination by the police.