Canicide by Cop: A Geographical Analysis of Canine Killings by Police in Los Angeles
Posted: 27 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 3, 2020
Even in an era of extreme scrutiny of police use of force, the fact that a significant proportion of police shootings are directed at dogs — pet pit bulls in particular — remains largely unknown and all but completely absent from the academic literature on state violence. However, based on our analyses of officer-involved shootings from 2010 through 2017 by the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and City of Los Angeles Police Department, we reveal that not only do dog shootings and killings — or “canicide” — account for a significant share of deadly force, but they are also clustered to a statistically significant degree in predominantly low-income communities of color. In this article, we provide a much-needed socio-spatial analysis of this hitherto unexplored though prevalent form of legal deadly force. We argue that revealing this particular geography of violence committed against dogs provides yet another example of the distinctive spatiality of carcerality and state violence enacted in and on disenfranchised communities.
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