LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police dogs are biting an increasing number of minorities and exclusively biting blacks and Latinos, according to a new report released this week.
Dogs with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's canine unit bit a total of 39 Latinos in 2012, an increase of 30 percent, and 12 African-Americans, an increase of 33 percent.
And in the first six months of this year, every single dog bite victim was black or Latino, the report stated.
The figures were compiled by the Police Assessment Resource Center, a nonprofit dedicated to "advancing effective, respectful and publicly accountable policing."
According to the Los Angeles Times, the latest study was prompted by the increasing number of people who were apprehended during a canine deployment.
Canine units are most often deployed in high-crime areas.
"Large swathes of LASD’s jurisdiction, encompassing generally affluent areas with smaller minority populations, had few [canine] deployments or bites," the PARC report states.
"Crime rates are lower in these areas, but the stark disparity leads us to wonder why canine deployments seem to occur disproportionately in less affluent areas with larger minority populations."
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The report highlighted five predominately black or Latino areas — Century, City of Industry, Compton, Lakewood and South LA/Lennox — that suffered more dog bites than all of LASD’s other 21 districts combined.
Researchers recommend the LASD collect more data on the factors that determine whether a canine unit is deployed and track bite incidents for individual dogs and handlers.