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California Democrats Push For Law Banning Police K9s From Biting Suspects

Sacramento, CA – The California state legislature is considering a bill that would ban police from being able to use K9s for criminal apprehensions or crowd control.

California Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D, Perris) said AB 742 is necessary because the use of K9s is tied to the nation’s history of violence against black people and people of color, KABC reported.

“The use of police canines has inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on black Americans and communities of color,” Jackson declared after introducing the bill on Feb. 13, according to FOX News. “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.”

“This bill seeks to end a deeply racialized traumatic and harmful practice by prohibiting the use of police K-9s,” he added, according to KCRA. “Police K-9s remain a gross misuse of force, victimizing black and brown people disproportionately. The use of police K-9s have been a mainstay in this country’s dehumanization in its cruel and violent history.”

He noted that police would still be allowed to use K9s for narcotics and explosives detection, as well as for search and rescue operations, KABC reported.

Western States Police Canine Association President Ron Cloward, a retired Modesto police lieutenant, argued that highly-trained K9s are an invaluable non-lethal resource for law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

“It just makes no sense,” Cloward said of the bill, according to KCRA. “It’s a tool and it’s something that, if we take it away, you’re just eliminating one more non-lethal weapon for law enforcement.”

“I’m not gonna say that a bad bite can’t happen because they do,” he noted. “But people don’t die from dog bites… What’s the alternative? Someone laying in a morgue with a gunshot wound?”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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