Update: This bill has been turned into a 2-year bill. It will remain inactive until 2024.
The use of police canines has severe and potentially deadly consequences for the public. Nationwide, more than 3,500 people injured by police canines need emergency medical treatment each year. In California, police dogs seriously injured 186 people within the last two years – more than batons or tasers. Many of these injuries were accidental and some resulted in death or permanent disfigurement.
While well-trained dogs can serve as valuable tools for search and rescue, the use of police canines as attack weapons perpetuate the continued dehumanization and abuse of people of color. First used by slave catchers, police canines were often used during the Civil Rights Movement to brutally disrupt peaceful protests. Even today in California, 65% of those seriously injured by police dogs in 2021 were people of color.
Despite the dangers posed by police canines, no state or national standards govern their use. AB 742 will restrict the practice of using police canines for apprehension, arrest, and crowd control.
Primary Bill Author: Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Riverside)
- ACLU California Action
- NAACP California Hawaii State Conference
- Families United 4 Justice
- Fact Sheet
- Assemblymember Dr. Corey A. Jackson Introduces Groundbreaking Assembly Bill to End the Use of Police Canines for Arrest and Crowd Control
- California bill would ban police dogs from arrests and crowd control, citing racial trauma
- There’s no place in police work for dogs trained to bite (Mercury News Opinion)