Oregon Cops Criticized For K9 With Same Name As Rapper

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The police department in Bend, Oregon has changed the name of its K9 following a complaint from a Black activist.

The four-legged member of the police force, who has been known for years as Lil’ Kim, is now simply Kim.

Riccardo Waites, founder of the Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly, emailed Chief Mike Krantz earlier this month to complain about the Belgian Malinois sharing a name with the iconic rapper, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

“While it may appear a small or inconsequential matter to some, it is not to those of us who remember how police dogs were used against peacefully protesting civil rights workers and People of Color in the 1960s,” Waites wrote, “and are still used as a means of crowd control and intimidation today.”

Last month, Bend PD referred to the canine enforcer as “a rockstar suspect apprehension dog” in a Facebook post. “Bend PD K9 Kim (aka Lil’ Kim as she is little but mighty) is turning 6! She is trained to locate a suspect who is fleeing or hiding. Her skills are not limited to only tracking suspects; she can also help with searching for missing people, like a child or elderly person who has wandered away from home.”

Krantz told OPB last Friday: “Although the dog is not named after a musician, it’s important to recognize that some people may assume that or believe that … in the eyes of some community members there is a connection historically to the use of dogs, specifically on protestors and Black community members, and that, that could bring a fear of canines.”

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