Target: North Port, Florida Police Chief Kevin Vespia
Goal: Reform police department responsible for multiple police dog attacks on non-threatening, suicidal kids.
Officers sicced a police dog on a suicidal teen after they found him in a trash can and he surrendered to them. The dog reportedly latched onto Jared Lemay’s face and drug him out of the can, causing severe damage. The dog then bit into his back as he laid face down on the garage door. Photos taken of the scene show the extent of the brutal attacks.
Perhaps the worst part of that story is that investigators found text messages between the officers involved that strongly suggest the canine attack was premeditated. Upon receiving the dispatch about a suicidal teen, one officer texted another, saying “COME GET UR BITE.” Four minutes later, another text was sent saying, “I’M GONNA TAKE YOUR BITE IF YOU DON’T HURRY UP.” Apparently, the officer who arrived at Lemay’s home, Keith Bush, was planning to sic his dog on the child no matter what happened.
According to reports, the police department that has employed Bush has a significantly higher “bite ratio” than the departments in surrounding areas. This means that more encounters involving canine units in North Port, Florida end in a police dog biting a suspect. Apparently, the rise in bites began when Officer Bush was first hired there. Several other citizens have accused Bush of unnecessarily siccing his dog on them.
Clearly, something is amiss. Bush appears to be both abusing his power and abusing his canine companion by ordering the dog to attack at every opportunity rather than when absolutely necessary. This officer needs to be investigated and fired if the allegations are found to be true, and safeguards need to be put in place to make sure this never happens again. Demand that the North Port Police Department end this abuse and terrorism.
Dear Chief Vespia,
It recently came to light that one of your officers, Keith Bush, has been on something of an attack spree with his canine unit. During a recent dispatch call about a suicidal teen, the officer reportedly found Jared Lemay hiding in a trash can and immediately sicced his dog on the boy. Lemay was not threatening in any way, being stuck in a trash can, but Bush had the dog drag him out of the can by the face and then let the dog attack his back while he was lying prone on the garage floor.
This is just one of a number of reported cases wherein Bush sicced his canine unit on non-threatening or even suicidal suspects. This kind of thing is unacceptable if it even happens once. However, the numbers show that your department’s “bite” ratios have gone through the roof since Bush was hired, and according to texts among the department, this kind of behavior is encouraged and congratulated.
If the allegations are true, Bush needs to be immediately dismissed and you need to get a handle on your department so that this never happens again. Reform the North Port police department so that abusive officers do not slip through the hiring process and incidents like this are investigated immediately so that they don’t keep happening.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michael Pereckas