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ACLU Report Finds That Two-Thirds Of Californians Severely Injured by Police Dogs Are People Of Color 


The #ACLU of Southern #California has released a policy brief highlighting concerns about the use of police dogs in the state. The report cites cases like that of Richard Earl May Jr., a 64-year-old who was bitten by a police dog when he entered a construction site to rescue a lost cat. May cooperated with officers but still suffered serious injuries. The ACLU argues that state police agencies are using K-9s to inflict unnecessary harm on people involved in minor crimes, including bystanders and individuals in behavioral health crises.


This report points out that there are no statewide regulations governing how canines can be used by #police departments, leaving each department to create its own policies. While police officials and training experts argue that police dogs are essential for officer protection and apprehending suspects, the ACLU contends that these dogs are often trained to bite the first person they encounter upon release.


A lack of transparency and accountability in K-9 units across California was also highlighted in the report. It notes that no agency reported disciplining officers for the use of force involving canines. Furthermore, the ACLU found that two-thirds of Californians severely injured by police dogs are people of color, and Black Californians are 2.6 times more likely to be seriously injured by police attack dogs than white individuals.


In response to the findings, the ACLU is calling for new legislation to impose strict limits on or possibly eliminate the use of police attack dogs against the public. The issue of police dog usage is a subject of ongoing debate, with some arguing that dogs are valuable tools for law enforcement, while others raise concerns about their potential for excessive force and harm, especially in situations involving individuals in crisis.


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