Jury clears officer, dog in civil rights case

TACOMA — A federal jury in Tacoma has found that a Lakewood police officer and his police dog did not violate the civil rights of a domestic-abuse suspect whose leg was mangled during his arrest.

The Seattle Times reported that the verdict follows an eight-day trial in a lawsuit filed by Noel Saldana and his wife against the city of Lakewood and police officer James Syler in 2011.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma earlier found there was enough evidence that Officer James Syler had used excessive force when he deployed his dog, Astor, to apprehend Noel Saldana after Saldana’s wife had called the police in June 2010.

The jury on Thursday found the officer did not violate Noel Saldana’s constitutional rights.

Saldana’s attorneys did not immediately comment on the verdict.

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