Sergeant Cobbin (ret.) served as head of K-9 training intermittently from August 2013 to May 2021 and was the first African American Head of K-9 Training at the USCP. Sgt. Cobbin has been shuffled in and out of the role, with the Capitol Police replacing him with unqualified white individuals, only to bring him back in an “acting” role to either train the new leaders or to right the ship due to mismanagement. Most recently, however, when Sgt. Cobbin applied for the position on a permanent basis, he was told, inexplicably, that he did not meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
The complaint recounts a terrible history of racist conduct and attitudes in the K9 unit, including: the use of racial slurs and racist jokes, social media posts in which current K9 officers are encouraging police to shoot black protestors, an unfounded attempt to discredit the African American leaders of the USCP’s Special Operations Division and K9 Unit, and a white officer complaining about USCP officers being investigated for their conduct on January 6, whereas officers who knelt for a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest were not investigated.
According to Les Alderman, the lead attorney on the case, “this environment in which racism and bigotry took over did not happen overnight or by magic. It happened because leadership ignored the problem and indeed made it worse by their own personnel decisions.” To read more, click here.