Racial Profiling, BY A DOG?????????

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by colt45, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. colt45

    colt45 Guest

    Police Dog Accused of Racial Profiling

    Tuesday, June 11, 2002

    McKEES ROCKS, Pa. — A Pennsylvania councilwoman has accused her borough's lone police dog of racial profiling, leading to calls that the canine be killed.

    Dolpho, a 5-year-old German shepherd, can sniff out the difference between marijuana, heroin and cocaine. The dog came from Europe two years ago and is trained in drug detection and patrol.

    But councilwoman Wanda Jones Dixon said Dolpho can also tell the difference between blacks and whites, and should be put to sleep.

    On Friday, while K-9 officer Schawn Barger wrestled with a drug suspect, he said a quick-release button on his belt was activated, accidentally opening a door to the K-9 wagon.

    The dog lunged from the vehicle and bit a 9-year-old boy on the leg instead of the suspect, dragging him for about 20 feet, family members said. The boy is black.

    Councilwoman Dixon told the city council she has received six complaints about Dolpho in the past year. Three of the people who complained were involved with drugs. Three others were blacks who believe the dog jumped at or attacked them because of their race.

    "I had received complaints from African-Americans saying they believe the dog only attacks African-Americans," councilwoman Dixon said Monday. "I think the dog makes the distinction."

    Officer Barger, who has worked with Dolpho for more than two years and takes the dog home with him at night, said the dog has never gone after the wrong person before. He said Dolpho became confused during a tense situation.

    "The dog saw movement. There was a lot of noise — a lot of screaming," Barger said. "It was basically just complete chaos and the dog, he just could not tell who the bad guy was and who the good people were."

    The boy was treated for a dog bite and released Friday. He limped into the council meeting Monday with his mother, Lorraine Livingston.

    "This is something that will take him a while to get over," Livingston said. "The officer had no control over that animal. That dog should be put to sleep."

    Experts differ on whether dogs can discern race.

    The owner of the Tom Brenneman School for Canines near Lawrence, Kan., has trained more than 600 dogs for police departments nationwide. He said dogs determine targets by scent alone and see only gray and white.

    Tom Brenneman said the dogs can be trained to recognize the scent of drugs, explosives and also that dogs can smell fear.

    "As far as it being black or white or Hispanic, that doesn't have anything to do with it," he said.

    A national expert on animal behavior at Tuft's University School of Veterinary Medicine said dogs not only can determine race, but can develop prejudices similar to humans. Dr. Nick Dodman said that prejudice can be based on a lack of exposure to different people or because of a bad experience.

    Dolpho has since been taken off active duty, but the department is standing behind him.

    Chief Robert Martineau said the dog is good around children and even visits area schools and day care centers.

    "To say the dog is racial ... that's ludicrous. That doesn't make sense," Martineau said.

    No decision was made on Dolpho's future Monday.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  2. Dog+Racial profiling=Good Doggie.

  3. hahah i agree alan!
  4. Shaun

    Shaun G&G Evangelist

    I can't believe this I have to agree with the officer the dog got out of the car there was a lot of movement and the dog went to the movement. Dog's may not be able to tell race but they can tell a threat from a non threat. I agree with the PD - Good dog

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Where's peta at and why aren't they defending this dog's life? It's only because of his white slave masters that he acts this way. Put him in a neutral setting and he will be fine.

    I wonder why the dog went after the kid? was the kid close? was he jesturing something? was he wearing something provocative.

    I don't think its racism as dogs can't reason, they can be only trained.

    I don't think the dog was acting out against the boy for any reason. I am more concerned why the dog did not support his partner and left him open.

    Accident or not the boy was unfaily targeted (BITTEN) (so it appears) and deserves to be compensated.
  6. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    "The dog should be put to sleep" because he can tell a white person from a black person? We're all in trouble then. Perhaps the officer should have exercised better control, if so that's something the department will have to address. From what I've seen of these drug arrest scenes, there's a lot of noise, lights and sheer chaos. If the dog was distracted, perhaps he needs more training. But to kill an animal for becoming exited in this environment? BS! If he's not suited for police work, at least give him to someone who'll care for him.
  7. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    If the dog is to be put to sleep because he can tell the diffrence between races...well so can I and most people I know....guess we need to be put to sleep as well. My dogs will bark at people and they are protective of the wife and kids...when I act like I hitting the wife or kids the growl and bite my arm..butt leg in a playfull manner..the behavior is rewarded....Maybe my dogs dont like white people (me) so I guess its nap time forr them as well.
  8. Here is an idea

    Let's start an online petition to have the city Councilwoman put to sleep!:assult:
  9. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    What was a kid doing so close, anyway?
  10. Control dogs are trained, partially, by enhancing the drive for their own survival and on instinct to protect the handler.

    If the dog was trained correctly, and I will assume he was, he was obviously reacting to stimulus that 'told' him that either he was being threatened (or felt threatened) or he was reacting in an attempt to protect the Officer, or both.

    My question is like some others....what was the child doing so close to the situation?

    Dogs are often trained to recognize when the Officer has the situation in hand and to form a protection perimeter around the Officer and this is what the dog may have been doing.

    Most all states have laws that say if you cause a situation (as the person the Officer was subduing) then you are also responsible for any subsequent action. So, why isn't the press pointing fingers at the person who originally caused the confrontation?

    Obviously the department has a policy on the wearing of the quick release mechanism. Perhaps they need to rethink that issue and provide an alternative to wearing it where it can be accidentally activated.

    If it becomes a policy issue then the Officer, or the dog, is not at fault.

    If the child was becoming involved in the incident, even by encroaching too closely, or approaching the scene, then the child is at fault.

    If the child was making noises considered threatening to the dog...then, again, the dog was not at fault.

    Unfortunately too many people want to get around to see what is happening and, sometimes, to hinder the Officer's ability to subdue or apprehend, especially in inner city environments.

    Without knowing ALL of the specifics I can't provide my judgement of who, or what, went wrong. I will say that there is probably more to the situation that needs further investigation before a decision is made involving the dog (or the Officer, for that matter).

    Perhaps the OVD (on-board video device) may shed some light....images, sounds, etc.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2002
  11. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    Having helped train dogs for various sheriff's departments, I can tell you that the dog only trusts the handler, and no one else. The dog is trained in a way that it has to ditrust everyone around it. If a kid gets too close, or makes a loud noise, then the dog sees it as a threat. Especially if the person either runs from it, or tries to go toward it. Trained dogs are nothing to mess with. They don't have a sense of moral ogligation to anyone but the handler. There's quite a few dogs in Ohio law enforcement that I can never be around again, because I was the one who used to shank them. They do have an excellent, long-term memory, and I am a marked man to the ones I helped train.
    Dale is on the right path. If the kid did scream or make noise/movement, then the kid (unforunately) is at fault. These types of scenarios cannot be instilled into a dogs' training. A dog will not be able to differentiate threats from non-threats without guidance on the handlers' part. It's very unfortunate this happened, and it's an idiot's point of view that dogs discriminate because of color. If a dog sees a human, it's a human-plain and simple. The argument that a dog does discriminate due to lack of exposure to other races is bull puckey. A dog trained in attack is apt to attack everyone in the area, regardless of color.
    I know it's terrible to say, but what if the kid had the scent of drugs on him? Possibility?

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Good info Calvin, thanks. The story never tells what the kid was doing so it is very possible that the kid acted in a way to provoke the dog. If there has been 6 complaints about the dog and 3 were black, who were the other 3 - white? If this is the case then it is hardly racism by any standard as the dog attacks whites and blacks evenly.
  13. NRAJOE

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    In this sick day and age I'm surprised they didn't try to put the dog to sleep as a fitting reward for his prior attentions to duty!
  14. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    Phacopsrana, the problem is if it attacks 1 black person in the company of 5 other races, it's ALWAYS gonna be racism. What color was the man wrestling with the officer? Wanna know why the dog most likely went after the kid? Because the kid was in the general vicinity, where a 9-year old has no buisness being, and probably screamed when the dog got out. By then, it was too late. Kids run as a natural defense, and this will cause the dog to chase it down, as it's been trained to do.
    NRAJoe, how right you are!!

  15. I am absolutely positive that a dog can discriminate. My dog is very protective of the immediate family and will bite anyone who doesnt belong or makes any threatening gesture but, my youngest stepson had a friend that was a black kid. The very first time this kid came to my door I was shocked at how my dog reacted to him. I mean this dog wanted to attack him for no apparent reason. I got the dog calmed down and let the kid in but the dog NEVER took his eyes off this kid. The dog would always bark and growl at any kid that came to the door but there was something about the black kid that the dog just hated. I dont know what it could have been other than color. I patted the dog on the head, said good boy and gave him a biscuit.
  16. I don't buy that dogs can discriminate....not for one second.

    I have two dogs...both VERY protective of our property. One is a black Chow and the other a Keshund/Australian Cattle Dog mix. The latter is a mellow protective but the Chow...well....I sure wouln't want to tangle with his 75 pounds of pure mass and strength.

    I have whites, blacks and Indians come over all the time and they are not particular what color you are. You are intruders until we tell them it's OK. In fact, the Chow hates Frank (an old cantakerous white 'a hole') and I have to keep the dog in the back yard until Frank leaves. The Chow alerts to his tone of voice...I know that. Frank is fine until he opens his mouth and then the trouble is on.
  17. rhett

    rhett Guest

    Either way it isn't gonna happen to the K-9 at least according to the P.D. I called yesterday morning,Thursday, and talked to the Police Dept. But if you want to write a letter of support for the Police /Dog /Chief here is the address/phone number.
    I just retired after 30 year as a Georgia LEO so I have "time on my hands" ! :)

    Chief Robert Martineau

    340 Bell AVE
    Kees Rocks,Pa 15136

    (412) 331-2300 PD Phone Number.....

  18. Thanks Rhett,

    A letter will be written here, fer sure!

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    the mother and the cop both were on tv on NBC morning show. Neither gave any indication that the boy did anything to cause this attack. The officer said that he doesn't know why it happened. The mother claims its racism bc the guy the cop was chasing was white and the dog went right to her son who is black.

    She also wants to have the officer removed from the force bc he did not show remorse or apologize. ( I kind of find that hard to believe that he didn't act like he was sorry). It is also noted that the city nor the PD has recieved any complaints about the dog, its only the councilwoman who has recieved them according to the officer.

    Based on what I have read and have seen I would say that the officer lost control of his dog and the family should be compensated. It is my understanding that the dog was released accidentally, and attacked a boy while on his porch. regardless of what the boy did, playing yelling or running, he was wrongfully attacked. This is no different than cops busting in your door at 2 in the morning yelling GET DOWN GET DOWN and shooting you because they think you are going for a gun. Then they realize they have the wrong house.

    Still I would love to see the officer's field report.
    By any standard this is hardly racism. It is undeniable that the uneducated and unfortunate black population will associate anything that happens to them as being racism. It is people like this coucilwoman who is so detrermined for political power that she will betray her own people and display them to the world for the ignorant puppets that they are for political gain and name recognition.
  20. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    I go with Dale on this one. The dogs I have owned in the past, as well as the two I currently owned are very protective. The Dalmation is very uncomfortable whenever anybody new comes over that she does not know until we tell her it's ok. I know quite a few people whose dogs are this way.

    I have not heard all of the details but it sounds like the officer lost control of the dog and it went after the wrong person. This is especially true if the kid was on the poarch and the suspect was running down the street as Phacopsrana describes. If this is the case the family should be compensated. The dog should probably undergo some additional training and the department should examine what would make the dog go after a kid rather than a fleeing suspect.