Police Dogs and Police Brutality

The ACLU has just released a report that puts police dogs in the spotlight because of the allegedly unjustified damage to people. Very much worth reading, the report is called Weaponizing Dogs – the Brutal and Outdated Practice of Police Attack Dogs.

Police use dogs for different purposes such as locating people, finding illegal drugs, and protection. (See Police Dogs.) I have had cases where the dog hurt a person who was not a suspect in a crime. In one of my cases, the officer invited my client into his police car and the man was attacked by the police K9. That was an accident but there are examples of clear misuse of police dogs. (See Misuse of Police Dogs.)

I support law enforcement 100% and want officers to be safe at all times. Protection dogs help to keep officers safe and perform a range of important jobs in the fight against crime. However, I was disturbed to learn that there were no agreed standards for the training, maintenance, or retirement of police dogs. (See National Guidelines Needed for Out-of-Service Police Dogs.) On further investigation, I also found out that the training regimine of these dogs is so detailed and time-consuming that they commonly go out of training — but remain in use.

I believe the time has come to examine the use of police dogs against suspects. Let’s see if agreement can be reached as to maintaining the dogs’ training, controlling them, deploying them, and retiring them.

For further reading: