Police Officer in Prison Because Her Police Dog Bit a Robbery Suspect-Truth!

Police Officer in Prison Because Her Police Dog Bit a Robbery Suspect-Truth!

  Summary of eRumor: 
The forwarded email is an appeal for financial assistance from a former Maryland Police officer who is in prison for what she says is a wrongful conviction of her police dog biting a robbery suspect in 1995. 

The Truth:

This mailer is from officer Stephanie Mohr who is in prison and appealing a conviction that resulted from an incident with her police dog on 9/21/95.

According to court records, an officer was doing surveillance in an area of Prince George’s County where burglaries had been taking place. When he spotted two men on top of a building, he radioed for help and someone, in turn, asked for a K-9 (dog) unit.  Officers Stephanie Mohr and Anthony Delozier, along with a Maryland State Police helicopter, all showed up at the scene. The two suspects were arrested and charged with burglary.  The charges were later dismissed against one of them.  The other pleaded guilty.  

In 2000, the suspect whose charges had been dismissed brought action against Mohr and her partner with violating the law by “acting under color of law to willfully deprive him of his right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.”  Both were also charged with conspiracy.  In the trial Officer Mohr said that one of the suspects did not raise his hands as ordered and did not follow her orders to stop when he came down from the roof.  She says that his body motions indicated to her that he was beginning to flee in a direction where there were no officers.  She says she told him to stop then released the dog to handle it.  The result was that the suspect was bitten by the dog.  Prosecution witnesses said they remembered it differently.  The officer who originally requested the assistance, Sgt. Dennis Bonn, among others, testified that the two suspects came from the roof peacefully, with their hands in the air, and did as they were told.  He says the dog was released on the suspects as they stood cooperatively with their hands up. The jury dropped the conspiracy charge against Mohr and the violation of rights charge against her partner but could not agree on the violation of rights charge against Mohr or the conspiracy charge against her partner.  A mistrial was declared.  The second trial convicted Mohr of the violation of rights charge and cleared her partner of the conspiracy charge.  She was sentenced to 120 months in prison.

Officer Mohr says she’s been the target of zealous prosecutors who are looking for cases of civil rights violations against minorities and that some testimony against her has been stacked against her.  Critics of Mohr say she was part of a pattern of officers whose dogs had bitten cooperative suspects.

TruthOrFiction.com has confirmed with the Prince George County Police Department in Maryland that the solicitation for funds is legitimately from the Law Enforcement Officer’s Legal Defense Fund.

Last updated 1/10/06