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Hells Angels to get $990,000 for dog deaths

A California county will pay nearly $1 million to a chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club whose dogs were killed by police during a raid, county officials said Tuesday.
/ Source: Reuters

A California county will pay nearly $1 million to a chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club whose dogs were killed by police during a raid, county officials said Tuesday.

Santa Clara County will pay $990,000 to the Hells Angels’ San Jose chapter and its attorneys to settle their lawsuit stemming from raids in 1998 during the investigation of a murder at a local strip club.

Police shot three dogs belonging to Hells Angels members during raids on a clubhouse, homes and businesses. The club sued, and the dispute with local authorities reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court in December declined to review a lower court’s decision that said police could be held liable for killing the dogs.

“The shooting of the dogs was an unconstitutional taking of property,” said Karen Snell, lawyer for the Hells Angels. “They were beloved pets. They were very, very close to the families, and the families were devastated.”

The county had argued sheriff’s deputies were executing a lawful search warrant and should not be held liable.

Santa Clara County will pay $530,000 for attorneys’ fees and $460,000 to be divided among 15 individuals, either club members or associates.