Hold On, What? People Are Now Saying That Police Dogs Are Racist…

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A new bill in California has caused a stir among law enforcement officers and activists alike. The proposed legislation would stop K-9 police dogs from biting suspects, prompting some to argue that these units would be all bark and no bite. The bill claims that K-9 dogs are taught to be racist since they tend to attack people of color, such as Black people, while leaving white suspects largely unharmed.

Assemblyman Corey Jackson is the author of the anti-police dog bill. He says that this legislation 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. Jackson claims that the use of police canines has inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on Black Americans.

The bill has gained support from those who work towards making racial equality a reality in America. Rick Callender of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) confirms that police canines are trained to target Black people because of institutional racism. According to law enforcement data, K-9 units most commonly attack Black and Latino people. These use-of-force attacks are all too common for people of color, with two-thirds of all K-9 bites happening to people of color.

The proposed California law would stop police from using K-9 units to chase down suspects and would prevent them from being used in crowd control tactics. Instead, K-9 dogs would be used for other things like sniffing out explosives or drugs and taking part in search and rescue efforts. The dogs would also be used in “narcotics detection that does not involve biting.”

However, not everyone supports this bill. Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni opposes it, saying that these K-9 officers are vital to the safety of human officers. He argues that they are essential to searching buildings and keeping the community safe because the people these dogs are going after are violent criminals who have committed serious crimes and people who are not following the commands of law enforcement, often resisting police officers. Zanoni believes that this bill will reduce safety for police officers and increase the likelihood that officers will need to use force.

Although the bill has outraged thousands of people involved in law enforcement, including police officers, Jackson believes that this new law is necessary to end institutional racism and the use of police canines as tools of oppression for black, brown, and other communities of color.

Despite opposition from some, the bill presents a step towards the eradication of institutional racism and the use of force against people of color in America. By ending the use of police canines to bite suspects, California would be taking a step towards a brighter and more equitable future, as highlighted by Callender.

Source: AWM