Attorneys for a black man in Alpharetta, Georgia said her client would file a lawsuit following an incident in which he was viciously assaulted by a police dog while he was in custody, and one that again proves the police are not answering calls may affect unarmed citizens suffering from a mental health crisis.
WSB-TV 2 reported last Sunday that Alpharetta police were called to Travis Moya’s home because he was reportedly having a mental crisis. It is unclear why Moya was arrested in the first place. His lawyers said the police knew they responded to a mental health call.
“There was no reason for him to be arrested or arrested at all. But instead of an ambulance, eight officers showed up, ”said attorney Gerald Griggs.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was his wife who called 911 and she also recorded a video showing Moya talking to officials in handcuffs and appearing to struggle with them easily as she begged him to calm down.
It’s a strange scene because Moya doesn’t seem to put up much resistance to the officers. Police lead him away when he suddenly goes down and when police appear to be fighting him, an officer with a dog allowed the dog to attack Moya for no apparent reason.
“He couldn’t move, he couldn’t kick. He couldn’t fend off the dog. He had to lie there while the dog tore him up, “attorney L. Chris Stewart told WSB-TV.
Stewart also told AJC that “Mr. Moya was in a mental crisis ”and“ It was non-violent, nothing crazy, but his wife felt that an ambulance should examine him. They called for help and instead a K-9 unit showed up.
The story goes on
“For some reason they tried to handcuff and hold him, even though he was on his own property and had done nothing,” he continued. “They knock him down, which is excessive use of force. Then the K-9 officer brings the dog over from nowhere and lets him loose on Mr. Moya while he is tied to the ground. “
A video captured of Moya’s arm and posted online shows the severity of his injuries. (Warning: it’s graphic.)
After Moya was hospitalized and treated for his wounds, he was charged with obstruction of a crime and sent to Fulton County Jail. According to the AJC, his lawyers are calling for the charges to be terminated.
According to WSB-TV, they also demand the dismissal of all officers involved and the initiation of an investigation into the incident. A spokesman for Alpharetta police said an investigation was ongoing.
“No complaint has been made in relation to this matter at this point, however an investigation into the use of force on this matter is being conducted in accordance with our policy, as is carried out in any case of incidents involving the use of force, one of our officers,” said Officer Jeffrey Ross in a statement emailed.
So there are a lot of questions here.
Why was Moya arrested in the first place if the call was related to a mental crisis and his only charge is allegedly preventing the police from arresting him?
Why were so many damn cops being called in for this? Why, unlike psychiatrists, were police officers called at all?
And why the hell was there a dog unit?
“Obviously, when someone calls about a mental health crisis, a K-9 unit shouldn’t be the one responding,” said attorney Madeleine Simmons, who also represents Moya. “There’s a glitch in the training and the processes and guidelines they have in this police department.”
Alpharetta’s K-9 policy states that dog handlers “may only use the level of force that is appropriate and necessary to arrest or secure a suspect”.
This policy also instructs department managers “to use all reasonable means to obtain an arrest without a dog bite.” In addition, department policy requires officials to intervene if they witness “improper use of force,” records show.
It seems like a clear case of police brutality, but as we all know, in situations like this, finding justice for blacks is an uphill struggle.
And I have to say again …
If you love me and you see me struggling with a mental crisis, please don’t call the police.