Leave it to California to go after “racist” dogs.
Under a new bill currently being considered by California’s notoriously progressive lawmakers, law enforcement agencies would no longer be able to use police K9s for crowd control, apprehending fleeing suspects, or making arrests.
According to Assemblymembers Corey Jackson and As Kalra, co-authors of AB 742, the bill “aims to end a deeply racialized and harmful practice that has been a mainstay in America’s history of racial bias and violence against Black Americans and people of color.”
“The use of police canines has inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on Black Americans and communities of color,” said Jackson. “This bill marks a turning point in the fight to end this cruel and inhumane practice and build trust between the police and the communities they serve.”
The bill was co-sponsored by ACLU California Action.
“The use of police canines has severe and potentially deadly consequences for bite victims, especially communities of color,” said Carlos Marquez III, Executive Director of ACLU California Action. “This bill sets a new standard for California and marks an important step in ending this inhumane practice.”
According to the CA/HI NAACP, who also co-sponsored the bill, those dogs can trace their racist ways all the way back to the days of slaver, which is remarkable, considering California never was a slave state.
“Police canines have roots in slavery and have been used as tools of oppression for Black, Brown, and other communities of color,” said Rick L. Callender, ESQ., President of the CA/HI NAACP. “With this bill, we sever ties with the terrorizing past and move towards a brighter future.”
K9 units “respond to assist field and detective operations on a city-wide basis, seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” according to the Los Angeles Police Department. “K9 teams also assist with emergency calls for service including ‘officer needs help,’ ‘assistance,’ or ‘back-up’ calls.”
While they are apparently way too into white supremacy to chase down criminals, Jackson’s office stresses that they will continue to sniff out explosives, help in search and rescue, and even detect narcotics, so long as doing so doesn’t involve biting a drug dealer.
“We’re trying to make sure people are not harmed and seriously injured by using K9s,” Jacson said at a press conference announcing the bill. “Many of these bites can cause lifelong injuries.”
“So,” he reiterated, “let’s make this clear: lifelong injuries, before you’re proven guilty.”
Bob Eden is a retired police K9 handler in Canada. He trains and consults with law enforcement all over North America, according to Fox San Francisco.
“To me, it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “A lot of times we’re dealing with violent people that won’t submit otherwise or wouldn’t be captured otherwise.”
Trained police dogs, he argues, actually help to de-escalate situations just by being seen on the streets.
“The number of dogs that are on the street reduce the number of assaults on officers and the number of officer-involved shootings, which ultimately would also probably save the life of a number of suspects that otherwise would have been on the receiving end of gunfire,” he said.
Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni called the dogs “vital” to the safety of their “human officers.”
“‘These K-9 officers are vital to the safety of our human officers,” he told the Daily Mail. “They’re vital to searching buildings and they are vital to keeping our community safe because the people these dogs are going after are violent.”
‘These are criminals who have committed serious crimes and people who are not following the commands of law enforcement and they’re often resisting police officers,” he explained. “This will reduce safety for police officers and increase the likelihood that officers will need to use force.”
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