Defense attorneys for three Atlantic City police officers in a civil excessive force trial will call their first expert to the stand Thursday to defend the officers’ use of force against a man who robbed a car wash in 2013 on Albany Avenue.

The case surrounds the March 2013 arrest of Atlantic County resident Steven Stadler, who claims that Atlantic City officers John Devlin, William Moore, and Glenn Anthony Abrams Jr. illegally beat and released a dog on him at the time of his apprehension.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and resisting arrest.

Attorneys are expected to call former K-9 handler Dennis McSweeny to the witness stand Thursday to combat two experts the plaintiff called earlier this week.

McSweeny is a certified K-9 trainer for more than 50 years and a former K-9 officer with the Atlantic City Police Department. He retired in 1994.

Earlier in the trial, attorneys for Steven Stadler, the plaintiff in this case, called Jon Shane, PhD., a former captain of the Newark Police Department and author of several case studies on police responses and procedures. Shane’s testimony centered on national statistics for K-9 use, compared with Atlantic City’s use.

Also testifying for Sadler was Van Bogardus, a retired police officer and the first person trained as a K-9 handler in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. He told the jury the arrest of Stadler on March 13, 2013, did not warrant a K-9.

Attorneys expect the trial to wrap up this week. If the jury sides with Stadler, he will pursue compensatory damage and punitive punishment against Devlin and Moore, his attorneys said on Tuesday.

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