Ali Badr, according to reports, was subject to a San Ramon Police Department stop on 20 December 2020 for missing a payment on his rental car.
Mr Badr was apprehended by San Ramon police following the report, and body camera footage released by the department showed a police dog biting him.
The dog hung on for around a minute as San Ramon police handcuffed Mr Badr, who was assaulted by the police dog despite being unarmed and unthreatening.
He is now filing a lawsuit against the police force for excessive force, assault and battery, as well as violation of civil rights. The Chronicle reported that he feels he was treated differently because he appeared Muslim.
Matthew Haley, Mr Badr’s attorney, said in an interview with the newspaper that the video “just speaks for itself”, and that the altercation happened over a “stolen car that everybody knew wasn’t stolen”.
Many drivers for firms including Uber and Lyft use similar rental agreements to hire cars, although as The Los Angeles reported in 2019, typically involves strict terms and conditions.
“It was absolutely, positively uncalled for,” said Mr Haley. “This is the nicest guy you will ever meet in your life. Hardworking Uber driver in the middle of the pandemic just trying to make ends meet, and this is what befalls him. It’s stunning. It’s hard to watch that video.”
The San Ramon Police Department were reported as saying that an internal review had been done, and that no police dog biting incidents were recorded in the following year, in 2021.
In a statement, the police department toldThe Independent that the footage was of “great concern to the City of San Ramon and its Police Department”, and that it could not comment further while legal action was pending.
“The City has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens and their property and takes this responsibility very seriously,” the statement added, also wishing Mr Badr well.
“To that end, the City conducts an internal investigation any time an interaction between the police department and a member of the public results in injury, including a review of current policies and whether or not the actions of the officers involved were consistent with those policies.”
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