Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Complaints about the Red Dog Unit just keep on coming

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Two more men have come forward with accusations of improper conduct against members of the APD's now-defunct Red Dog Unit.

On Sunday night, WSBTV aired interviews with Vance Perry and a man who'd go only by Clarence, both of whom say they were either inappropriately strip searched or fondled by officers. In late January, two other men, Brian Kidd and Shawn Venegas filed a lawsuit against the APD claiming they were strip and subsequently cavity searched beside a busy street.

And two of the incidents have an officer in common.

Perry claims that last November he was approached without explanation outside a Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway apartment complex, was forced onto the hood of a car, and says an officer grabbed the back of his pants and pulled them down while his young daughters looked on. Clarence, the other man interviewed by WSBTV, was in the dressing room at a local Ross Dress for Less back in 2007 when a Red Dog officer, who apparently suspected him of shoplifting, reached down his pants and allegedly groped his genitals.

According to Attorney Dan Grossman, the officer accused of groping Clarence, Red Dog member Cayenne Mayes, is the same officer who accused of groping his clients Kidd and Venegas. Clarence filed a complaint with the APD shortly after his run-in with Mayes, and a year later received a letter informing him that internal affairs hadn't discovered wrongdoing in the incident. Grossman says the incident is past the statute of limitations for any legal action, but that Clarence decided to go public with his story because he wants to prevent from happening to other men what he claims happened to him.

In early February, Chief George Turner announced the APD was dissolving the Red Dog Unit and replacing it with "a tactical crime fighting unit with a new mission."

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