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Inmate acting as own attorney wins in US court in Minneapolis

U.S. 8th District Court of Appeals
U.S. 8th District Court of Appeals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal prisoner who filed a lawsuit over a police dog attack has done the nearly impossible in the U.S. Eighth District Court of Appeals. He has won his appeal while acting as his own attorney.

Demone Smith argued that Brooklyn Park police ordered their dog to attack him even though he was kneeling with his hands in the air during an arrest in December of 2008. Smith was stopped by police on a warrant for drug distribution.

A three-judge appeals panel recently reversed federal Judge Patrick Schlitz's ruling that the police action was reasonable. The appeals court questioned the release of the police dog, noting that Smith had gotten on his knees and was surrounded by officers with guns drawn.

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