Proposed California Bill Seeks to Prohibit Police Dogs from Biting Suspected Criminals

One of the authors of a new bill being reviewed by California lawmakers has stated that law enforcement agencies in the state would be barred from allowing police K-9s to bite individuals in certain situations. The proposed legislation aims to put an end to a “deeply racialized and harmful practice,” according to the author.

During a press conference on Monday, Assemblymembers Corey Jackson and Ash Kalra announced their support for AB 742, a bill that aims to end a practice that has a troubling history with Black communities and police dogs. 

The proposed legislation would prevent law enforcement from using police dogs for apprehensions, arrests, and crowd control. The bill’s text specifies the limitations on the use of K-9 units.

Assemblymember Corey Jackson said that police dogs have caused severe violence and long-term damage to Black Americans and communities of color, and this bill could be a significant step in ending this practice and establishing trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The bill would still allow police dogs to be utilized for detecting substances like explosives, narcotics, or other activities that do not involve biting.

Jackson explained that the aim of the bill is to prevent harm and serious injuries caused by K9s, which can lead to lifelong injuries before the suspect is even proven guilty.

Kalra, during the press conference, stated that the use of police dogs has its roots in slavery, and it has been harmful to Black and brown communities throughout history, including the present day. He further added that the bill is an opportunity to make the criminal justice system more humane.

Those in favor of AB 742 pointed out the harm caused by police dogs during minor incidents. However, some specialists in police dog training and tactics expressed concern about the potential impact of the proposed legislation. According to Bob Eden, a retired police K9 handler from Canada who trains and advises law enforcement in North America, the bill appears to be a hasty response. He believes that in many cases, police dogs are necessary to capture violent individuals who refuse to submit in any other way.

Bob Eden, a retired police K9 handler, said that police dogs are sometimes able to calm situations before they become violent and that having dogs on the street can reduce the number of attacks on officers and officer-involved shootings, potentially saving the lives of suspects who might have been shot by police otherwise.

Read More: Fox News

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