*WARNING! This story contains GRAPHIC Photo/Video … Talmika Bates, a Black woman, was severely bitten by a Brentwood (CA) Police K-9 in 2020, gruesome photos and video shows. Bates, who was 24 at the time, (now 26), was suspected of shoplifting Ulta Cosmetic products worth $10000, an incident that led to the vicious attack that left her scalp and braids ripped off.
According to a Facebook post, an employee at Ulta contacted the police on 10th Feb 2020 to report a shoplifting incident in which Bates was involved. The latter had allegedly stolen the products worth $10000 from the store, among them a Channel perfume.
The police responded to the call and searched the area before Ryan Rezentes, a Brentwood officer, discovered Bates hiding in some bushes along Empire Way. Unfortunately, the video shows the lady painfully screaming, asking for help as the police dog mauls the braids on her head. Rezentes is heard from the shaky video, giving the dog (Marco) a German command to “heel” twice, but the dog ignores it.
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Despite Bates’ distress cries for medical attention, the officers don’t immediately help but demand that she exits the bushes. Rezentes is eventually forced to physically remove the dog from the accused, who is severely hurt at the time. Two years down the line, Bates, a student-resident of Oakland, is forced to file a lawsuit where she cites violation of policy and police negligence.
Today, she feels sad and traumatized by the incident. Despite the medication she received at John Muir Health Hospital in Walnut Creek (CA), her hair has never grown back around the wounds she sustained after the incident. She also pled guilty in the shoplifting case for charges of felony grand theft, which put her behind bars for 120 days. Bates is currently on probation for one year – an opportunity she has used to file the lawsuit.
Patrick Buelna and Adante Pointer, Bates’ civil rights lawyers, filed the federal lawsuit late Tuesday night. The lawsuit accuses Rezentes, who is still employed, of violating his training and instructing Marco (German Shepherd) to go after the accused “without a reasonable opportunity to surrender or offering any warning.” The lawsuit further adds that Rezentes doesn’t mention anywhere in the police report that he permitted Marco to viciously attack Bates or lose control of the dog at any point.