The Supreme Court refused to consider the case of a bystander that suffered a dog bite from a police dog as the officers tried to track down a suspect. Lawyers for the city of Kennewick, Washington, and other officers asked the justices to take the case. Their hope was to overturn lower court rulings that authorities had engaged in an unconstitutional seizure when the dog bit the man.
Police were using the dog to hunt down a motorcycle suspect who failed to stop and eluded the police on foot. When trying to find the motorcyclist, police had let the dog off of the leash. The dog unexpectedly ran forward and found Rogers on the other side of the fence.
“The situation was unfortunate and simply and accident,” said the lawyers for the town in court papers. The officers argue there was no Fourth Amendment seizure because they had not intended to seize Rogers. The lower court decisions would then hold all police dog handlers constitutionally liable for the action of any police dog while off the leash, said town court papers.