A St. Paul police dog clamped down on 52-year-old Desiree Collins’ arm in September.
Officers claim they had been trying to catch two burglars in a nearby break-in the Frogtown neighborhood, which is 65% non-white. However, the entire video does not reveal any hot pursuit. Two white cops are seen almost casually walking down a sunlit alley in early morning with their dog leading the way on a 20-30 feet, loose leesh. Given the length of the leash, what happened was clearly forseeable to a reasonable person.
Collins suffered bites to her arm and leg. Desiree Collins is still recovering from her injuries from that Saturday morning attack by a St. Paul Police dog.
“You see the whole thing unfold. You see the terror on her face. You see clearly it taking the officers too long to get that dog off of her,” Noel said. In the video, one white cop simply stands nearby her arm and the dog attack - just watching, as if to say 'helping Black people is not what I signed up for.'
Collins, understandably, is suing the city and the police department. Andrew Noel, one of her attorneys said:
The entire incident is shocking and unacceptable…The video speaks for itself–she was terrified.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell responded to the incident with apparent empathy. He said in a statement:
My heart breaks when I watch this video…What we can do is apologize and take responsibility, offer support and compassion, and learn from the incident so we can continue to work to prevent it from happening to anyone else. You can't train away racist contempt.
Collins and her attorneys want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again to an unsuspecting citizen. Not only do they want full compensation for Collins’ pain and suffering but they want to see the dog and handler be retrained. Apparently not waiting around for a certain judgment by the courts, Police spokesperson Steve Linders confirmed Thursday that both the officer and his K9 were sent back to training, disallowed from returning to work until the month-long retraining takes place.