Police departments love to show off their dogs—at parades or on Twitter, visiting classrooms or posing with a Girl Scout troop. Some K-9s even have their own adorable Instagram accounts.

But police dogs are weapons. They bite and maim. They attack bystanders, police officers, and people suspected of petty crimes. And if you are unfortunate enough to get bitten by a police dog, good luck holding anyone accountable.

the marshall project: Mauled

That is what gets my attention: accountability.

“All the power. None of the responsibility.”

Dogs have served as instruments of violence in incidents dating back to the days of slavery, and as recently as the Black Lives Matter protests. In a year-long investigation, we talked to the people who train the dogs, the police officers who use them, and the victims who have been mauled by them. We watched dozens of videos of dog bites, from police body cameras and bystanders’ cell phones. We learned a lot about the dogs, which have names like Drogo, Missile, Vader, Storm and Rambo.

the marshall project: Mauled

Before a covenantal lawsuit can be made, evidence must be gathered.

It’s a good idea even for lesser courts, like the Supreme Court and the court of public opinion.

Human beings – even dark-skinned ones – matter more than dogs do.

Way more.

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