We all know racial profiling exists in various police departments, but according to a report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD) the dogs in the canine unit are just a bit racist. The report states since 2004 there was a dramatic increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs.
And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.The data was published in a new report by the Police Assessment Resource Centre (Parc), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation, devoted to “advancing effective and accountable policing”.
According to Parc records, the number of Latino individuals bitten by LASD canines went up 30 per cent between 2004 and 2012, from 30 to 39 bites. The number of African-Americans bitten increased by 33 per cent over the same period.
Meanwhile, police dog bites caused injuries at a much higher rate than alternative deterrents such as batons, tear gas and even guns. “Large swathes of LASD’s jurisdiction, encompassing generally affluent areas with smaller minority populations, had few [canine] deployments or bites,” the Parc report states
According to Think Progress, the areas heavily hit by the LASD canine unit included areas of areas of Century, City of Industry, Compton, Lakewood, and South LA/Lennox, experienced more dog bites than 21 other agencies or stations combined.
In response to the report, Bruce Chase, the officer in charge of the LASD canine unit, said his department intends to reduce the ratio of bites to arrests, a measurement used to gauge the effectiveness of the unit. One has to wonder what training tactics are used with canine units around the United States, not only Los Angeles. In 2004, a Pennsylvania German Shepherd police dog was suspended from duty, after it displayed a propensity for biting black children.