Are Los Angeles Police Dogs Racist?

By: Alex Williams - October 13, 2013

Perhaps it’s not as critical as the Rampart controversy in the late 90’s, where a flock of rogue cops, who were associated with gangs, robbed a bank, engaged in a fatal road rage incident, and were accused of killing rapper Biggie Smalls. It’s (debatably) not as reckless as that early morning on February 7th of this year, when a pickup truck that looked like it belonged to cop killer Christoper Dorner was shot up 100 times.

No, the police of Los Angeles are suffering a different type of controversy, one that questions the very sanctity of what it means to be “man’s best friend”; racist dogs.

A report by the Police Assessment Resource Centre (PARC), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization, found that in the first six months of 2013, all 17 Los Angeles Sheriff Department (LASD) K-9 unit dog bites were inflicted upon African American and Latino individuals. The report mentioned that between the years of 2004 and 2013, Latino individuals bitten by LASD canines rose 30 per cent (39 individuals bitten), while African Americans bit were increased by 33 per cent (12 individuals bitten).

The report mentions that  the large minority populated areas of Century, City of Industry, Compton, Lakewood, and South LA and Lennox incur more dog bites than all the other 21 districts that the LASD patrols combined.

So is there a discrepancy? Is this a case of institutionalized racism? Is the crime in those areas just higher? Are the dogs not socialized?

The US Department of Justice found that in the areas patrolled by the LASD, “African Americans, and to a lesser extent Latinos, are more likely to be stopped and/or searched than whites, even when controlling for factors other than race, such as crime rates.” A report in 2008 by the Los Angeles Times found that “For every 10,000 residents, about 3,400 more black people are stopped than whites, and 360 more Latinos are stopped than whites. Stopped blacks are 127% more likely to be frisked — and stopped Latinos are 43% more likely to be frisked — than stopped whites.”

A critic over at Blur Brain says that crime is the reason for the increased dog bites, mentioning that, “The most obvious being that the vast majority of crimes in LA are committed by either blacks or Latinos.” And that PARC is actually “another Democrat money laundering front who’s cover story is to create excuses for wanton criminality among the Democrat’s victim class constituents. But their real purpose is to kickback a some of the money they receive to the DNC.”

Since racism is a learned behavior, the dogs are, perhaps, just conditioned and not socialized with those of color. One redditor commented on the story, saying that it’s a matter of socializing the pooches:

So, who’s barking up the wrong tree here?

(Pictures via WikiCommons (1), (2))

About the Author

Alex WilliamsAlex Williams is a contract writer for WebProNews. He enjoys cooking new meals and swimming while listening to music. Follow him on Twitter: @alexjdwilliams, or send him a good ol' fashioned e-mail at:

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  • All the Same

    Cops really have gone crazy in this country and many are out of control. The LAPD are some of the worst. It takes just a few seconds to do a search on the net and see 6 LAPD officers slamming a pregnant woman to the ground and hogtying her while she is on her stomach. Just look up Tamara Gaglione.

    However, I don’t think there are “racist” dogs out there. Also, that graph up there doesn’t have any details. For all we know there was one dog bite.

    But in general, cops have become very violent and quite corrupt. It used to be that cops protected and served. Now they just beat and imprison. They are also becoming more militarized and that does not bode well for society. Anytime that happens — the people are in trouble. This nation could be in a lot of trouble within a decade. A lot of trouble. I foresee a time when the cops turn on the people — all of the people.

    • Alex Williams

      I just read up on it and saw the video. In all honesty, she should have turned around and followed orders. She’s lucky her unborn child was not harmed and that she got a $250,000 settlement out of it.

      • @Alex

        Please. Who are you kidding? You are placing the blame on her????

        She was just standing there and there was no need for 6 cops to force her to the ground. It was a traffic violation.

        That is okay though, there are thousands of videos of police violence in this country. Just move on to the next.

        If you are married, I hope your wife doesn’t get pregnant and pulled over for a traffic violation in the middle of a traffic jam.

        • Alex Williams

          Upon reading my reply again, I can see how you see it that way, and my apologies as I did not intend to blame her.

          I just mean it as a precautionary for her since she’s dealing with officials who follow a certain protocol based off what they observe.

          Let me elaborate and say that when someone who can legally strip you of your life and rights points a gun or stun gun at you, I feel it might be best to follow their repeated orders.

          Otherwise, yes, you’re right, and I am not disagreeing with you or intending to place blame on her. I feel personally, since they have all that power, the US should place higher standards on government officials.

  • Whoopie

    Thanks for the link. I agree, many cops are out of control, the militarization of police can’t be denied.

    I’m working on a future post to highlight the fact that you’re 3 times more likely to be murdered by a cop than a civilian licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

    Likewise, cops are more likely to be arrested for domestic violence, drug abuse or DUI than an armed civilian.

    I just have to dispute the idea that dogs understand the concept of racism or can even tell the difference between humans.

    • Alex Williams

      You’re welcome, Whoopie.

      Feel free to link me when you’re finished with that article. I am curious to read it.

  • Garret

    Fix your article title please. I’m not trying to defend the LAPD, but all of the information in your article belongs to a study of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department (LASD). None of the statistics refer to LAPD. As a journalist you should try to be accurate in your article.