We’ve all heard of driving while Black. Now, taking out the trash while Black can make you a victim of police tactics.
On the evening of September 23, Desiree Collins, 52, was taking out the trash outside of her St. Paul, Minnesota home when she was viciously attacked by a police dog. Body cam footage shows a terrified Collins on the ground with the K-9 biting into her arm. Her eyes are wide and she is screaming in pain while an officer says, “You’re fine, you’re fine.” The officers, with no sense of urgency, gently gets the K-9 to release Desiree. When she asked, “What did I do?” An officer answered, “Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Watch below.
According to The Washington Post, this “professionally trained police dog” went wild because the officer had the animal on a long leash and he broke free. St. Paul police apologized to Desiree in a brief statement, “What happened to Ms. Collins was a terrible accident that should not have occurred. I am sorry it happened and that she was injured. As a department, we wish we could go back and do things differently. Unfortunately, we can’t. What we can do is apologize and take responsibility.” However, Andrew Noel, Collins’s attorney, told Star Tribune, “What you have here is a completely innocent person taking out their garbage … and a K-9 simply wasn’t controlled. It should never have happened.” Desiree suffered multiple injuries and has now filed a federal lawsuit.
This isn’t the first time a St. Paul police dog wrongfully attacked a civilian. In March of 2017, St. Paul police paid $2 million to a man assaulted by police and bitten by a K-9. In March 2016, the city paid $200,000 to another woman bitten by a K-9.
To make matters worse, the officer who was in control of the K-9 that bit Desiree Collins is still on duty with the department — and so is the K-9. Let’s imagine if Desiree Collins had a dog that bit a police officer who was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” Take a wild guess on what would have happened to the dog and Desiree.