Memphis man, mistaken for burglar, sues police after their dog bit him and they 'violently' tackled him without warning in his home

Memphis man, mistaken for burglar, sues police after their dog bit him and they 'violently' tackled him without warning in his home
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  • A Tennessee man filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Memphis and its police department.

  • In a lawsuit obtained by Insider, Kyle Maxwell claims he was tackled by police while he was prepping dishes in his apartment last year.

  • Maxwell, who lives inside a local church, also alleges that he was bitten multiple times by the police's dog.

A Tennessee man said his civil rights were violated after he was mistaken for a burglar, tackled by several Memphis police officers, and bit by their dog while prepping dishes at a Memphis Church last year, according to a lawsuit filed January 24.

Kyle Maxwell filed the civil rights lawsuit filed against the city of Memphis and several police officers of the Memphis Police Department, as first reported by The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Maxwell said on January 24, 2021 clergy members at First Congregational Church, who were not inside the building at the time, called the police to report a burglary in the food pantry that they observed on live surveillance footage, according to the lawsuit.

Maxwell is one of the few residents who live in a private apartment in the north wing of First Congregational Church.

The lawsuit says the clergy members informed police that the suspects entered the building through a broken window in the basement and were in the south wing of the church — on the opposite side to where Maxwell resides.

Prior to officers arriving at the scene, the members informed them that the suspects were retreating on foot down the street after leaving through the broken window, according to the lawsuit. When five officers arrived at the church, they began investigating in the north wing.

"Neither the clergy members nor anyone else invited the officers on scene to enter or search the north wing of the Church or, indeed, any part of the Church other than the basement under the south wing," the lawsuit alleged, adding a police canine arrived at the scene walking around without a leash.

At around 10 p.m, Maxwell — who is visually impaired — was in his kitchen when the officers "suddenly, without announcing themselves, and violently tackled him to the ground," the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, Maxwell was bitten multiple times by the dog in his calf. The lawsuit said that he suffered multiple injuries from the incident including a bruised tailbone. He also included photos in the lawsuit apparently showing wounds from the incident, including bite marks from the police dog.

"During this encounter, which should have never happened in the first place, [Maxwell] was violently tackled to the ground by multiple officers and severely bitten, without any cause, by an MPD police dog ... the MPD had knowingly deployed into the field without proper training or certification," the lawsuit stated.

Maxwell is seeking $250,000 in damages.

The Memphis Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment but a spokesperson told The Commercial Appeal that they are " unable to comment on existing or potential litigation."

Read the original article on Insider