GPD suspends K-9 involved in Bradley arrest

GPD Chief Lonnie Scott with GPD building
Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott announced Friday that the police K-9 used to apprehend Terrell Bradley on July 10 will be temporarily be taken out of service and the investigation into Bradley's incident will be extended up to 90 days.
Courtesy City of Gainesville

The police K-9 that injured Terrell Bradley on July 10 was temporarily removed from service and the investigation into the incident may now take up to 90 days, according to Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott.      

In a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) press release sent Friday evening, Scott acknowledged the community interest surrounding the traffic stop of Bradley on July 10 that eventually ended with an injury that cost the suspect his right eye, broke two fingers and led to spinal leakage.

The incident sparked community outrage. Members of Bradley’s family and area residents held a rally last Sunday that started at Santa Fe College’s Blount Center at 401 NW 6th St. in downtown Gainesville to protest how GPD handled the arrest and the use of the police K-9 that injured Bradley.

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“Let me begin by saying it is never the intent of our officers to injure anyone we encounter,” said Scott in the press release. “We understand that this incident has brought up many emotions and our neighbors have questions. We stand by our commitment to be fully transparent and share information as we are able.”

The July 10 incident started when a patrol officer initiated a traffic stop after seeing a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign at Sweetwater Square Apartments on NE 15th Street. The vehicle eventually pulled into the Eden Park Apartments and stopped. 

The officer saw contraband and suspicious behavior by the driver, which included lowering his hand toward the floor, when he approached the vehicle, according to a GPD press release. The officer asked the driver, Bradley, to exit the vehicle, which he did, but when the officer started a pat down, Bradley resisted the efforts “by physically contacting the officer and running away on foot.” 

Terrell Bradley bandaged head in hospital
Photos of Terrell Bradley with a bandaged head circulated on social media after a Gainesville Police Department K-9 apprehension that occurred on July 10.

Back-up units arrived and searched the vehicle, finding a stolen firearm under the driver’s seat along with ammunition. A left-behind driver’s license allowed GPD to identify Bradley and discover his record as a convicted felon.

Because of the nature of the crime, a felony firearm offense, a canine tracking unit responded, GPD reported in a press release. The canine, on a leash, located Bradley behind bushes at Eden Park, and officers apprehended him. 

The GPD release did not specify how the injury occurred, only that officers saw the injury and called for EMS. 

Bradley was initially transported to UF Shands following his arrest, but medical personnel decided to send him to Tampa because of the injury to his eye—which he ended up losing.  

According to Friday’s release, Scott stated he made the decision to temporarily remove the canine involved in the incident from service and GPD will assess the details of its deployment.

“Additionally, we will review the current canine deployment policy and solicit input from industry experts and present the policy to our neighbors,” Scott said in the release.

Scott stated that the department will extend the initial review to be completed by the Internal Affairs Division. He added that GPD’s policy and procedure require an initial response-to-resistance review when a police canine injures a person due to apprehension. The investigation will include a review of all available reports, photographs, and body-worn and in-car camera footage.

“Due to the volume of information to be reviewed, this process can take up to 90 days to complete,” Scott said. “During this time, our agency will conduct an in-depth review of this incident by reviewing all resources available. Because of this factor, our department cannot share additional details of the incident until this review is completed.”

Bradley was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis ($1,000), two counts of possession of a firearm, ammunition or electric weapon by a convicted felon ($50,000 each) and resisting an officer with violence ($50,000).

“Please know our ultimate commitment is to provide our neighbors and officers with an accurate accounting of this incident,” Scott said. “Therefore, we ask for your patience as the investigation and related processes occur.”

Bradley appeared in front of a judge on Tuesday at the Alachua County Courthouse and was released from jail and is required to wear an electronic monitor. A date hasn’t been set for his next court appearance.

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The Value of Black lives in Gainesville
Terrell Bradley sadly joins a historically racist list of Black folks treated as if they were runaway slaves. Stopped for a supposed traffic violation, though it would be no surprise if it was another driving while Black harassment. He gets scared and takes off. The police knowing who he is from his ID have no need to call in the dogs and the militia at this point. Treating a non-threatening, non-aggressive man like they did could only lead to unfair, hurtful possibilities. Gainesville’s reputation has once again been sullied by police over-reaction, when in contact with a young Black male. It’s not so long ago that we witnessed the killing of teen Robert Dentmond and the shooting of Kofi Ado-Brempong. As Malcolm-X sagely observed pulling the plunged knife half way out of the back is not progress.