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More scrutiny but no charges for Palo Alto officer after his dog attacks Mountain View man

Original post made on Mar 31, 2021

The recently released video of a Palo Alto police dog attacking a Mountain View resident who was sleeping in a backyard shed last year has brought fresh scrutiny to the department's canine program but no charges for the dog's handler.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 5:27 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2021 at 9:18 am

Nora S. is a registered user.

This incident does not seem to reflect best police practices. Using dogs to locate people or drugs is reasonable, but using them to apprehend or subdue people is just horrible. If this practice is currently acceptable under Mountain View law, then I think the law should be changed.

Another note: the Mercury News reports this about the officer in charge of the dog:

"Enberg has been the subject of public and legal attention for other high-profile uses of force involving Palo Alto police. On Christmas Day in 2015, he and another officer fatally shot a man experiencing a psychiatric emergency outside a mental-health treatment center, after the man charged at an officer while holding a knife.

"In 2018, the city paid a Black high school student and his family $250,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit stemming from a 2016 encounter where a police dog jumped out of the window of a police vehicle and bit the boy, who had been stopped by police officers — including Enberg — responding to calls about a teen seen carrying a BB gun. The boy was never charged with a crime."

Posted by Thida Cornes
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 31, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Thida Cornes is a registered user.

At first in the video, you can see the dog finding the man who is apparently sleeping in a corner though it's hard to tell at that point. This is correct use of a police dog.

Then it becomes horrible. Without looking to see what is happening, the officer then orders the dog to restrain the individual, which the dog does by locking its jaws on an individual. This is sometimes necessary if a known suspect of a violent crime is running away, but this man was backed in a corner and only suspected to be a suspect. The police officers swear and tell the man to stop resisting as the dog keeps restraining him.

While the man may not have been seriously hurt, Palo Alto Police policy needs to change if a person who is just sitting there in the wrong place at the wrong time is going to be restrained by a police dog.

Police officers swear an oath to protect and serve. They didn't protect or serve this innocent man in this case.

This is also not community policing. You can see in the video, it's dark. It looks like Alejo was sleeping and initially confused by what is happening as often the case when someone just wakes up. The police officers had him in a corner with a dog as backup to chase him down if needed, but they don't give Alejo time to fully wake up and identify himself before restraining him.

As this occurred in Mountain View and MVPD called Palo Alto Police for help, I hope MVPD will work with the Palo Alto Police so this doesn't happen again in Mountain View.

Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2021 at 3:25 pm

MyOpinion is a registered user.

The George Floyd trail reminds us all of how often cops use unjustified excessive force, they show no compassion or humanity, often with a fatal outcome. Officer Enberg should be fired with loss of pension and all benefits, especially if he has had past violations as noted in a previous post. Our heroes? More like the gestapo.

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