Restrict K-9 Force (AB 742)


Criminal Justice & Policing · Racial and Economic Justice

Newspaper screenshot of police holding back attack dog

The use of police attack dogs has severe and potentially deadly consequences for the public, and they are being used primarily on people who pose no danger 

Each year more than 3,500 people nationwide require emergency medical treatment due to injuries sustained from police attack dogs. In California, more than 180 people were seriously injured by police dogs from 2020-2021 alone, some of which resulted in permanent disfigurement and even death. 

Strikingly, the vast majority of Californians severely injured by police attack dogs are not armed with any weapon, according to data reported by police agencies to the California Department of Justice. Police frequently use attack dogs against people who were not accused of a “violent” crime and were suspected of only minor crimes or no crime at all. 

While law and police agency policy recognize weapons like batons or tasers as serious instruments of force, more Californians suffered life-threatening or life-altering injuries resulting from police dog attacks than those similarly harmed by batons or tasers. 

The use of police dogs as attack weapons perpetuates the continued dehumanization and abuse of people of color. First used by slave catchers, police attack dogs 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 dogs, no state or national standards govern their use. AB 742 will restrict the practice of using police canines by creating statewide statewide standards in California.

Primary Bill Author: Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Riverside)


  • ACLU California Action
  • NAACP California Hawaii State Conference
  • Families United 4 Justice