The Slatest

Federal Judge Says Drug Dog Was a Bad Dog, but Trainer Disagrees: “He’s a Very Good Dog”

This is not the actual dog involved in the case.

In a Tuesday ruling, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction of a man caught with cocaine in Bloomington, Illinois—but said that Lex, the drug dog that police deployed after stopping the man’s car, is so incompetent that he should not be used to establish probable cause for searches.

Tuesday’s ruling pointed to records showing Lex nearly always signals drugs are present — 93 percent of the time. And it cited other figures that indicated he is frequently wrong — more than 40 percent of the time.

“Lex’s overall accuracy rate … is not much better than a coin flip,” the ruling says.

You could say that the judge writing the opinion believes that Lex is a Bad Dog. But his trainer disagrees.

“The opinion is unfair and very one-sided,” Michael Bieser said in a phone interview. He added about Lex, who remains on the job, “He is a very, very good dog.”

The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case of Bad Dog v. Good Dog during its upcoming term.*

*Not true.