Protesters (And Their Dogs) Rally Against Hawthorne Police Dog Shooting
Today protesters, who are outraged by a video showing a police officer repeatedly shooting a Rottweiler, brought their own dogs and rallied outside of the Hawthorne Police Department.
The protest has so far brought out about 40 protesters, according to a Los Angeles Daily News reporter on the scene. They held signs protesting the department's use of deadly force against Max, a 2-year-old Rottweiler belonging to Leon Cordell Rosby. Rosby was arrested while videotaping a SWAT team on an armed robbery call. He put Max into his car, but the dog jumped through an open window when he saw his owner being cuffed. The officers drew their guns and one even tried to grab his leash but one officer fired four times when the dog jumped toward him.
The video has received more than 4 million views on YouTube, attracted the wrath of Anonymous and even death threats against officers. Rosby himself has asked the public to "calm down." Hawthorne police said they were prepared to bring in 90 officers from 6 local agencies to the protest, according to NBC Los Angeles. Animal control was called in as well.
Lt. Scott Swain, of the Hawthorne Police Department told NBC, "We want it to be a safe protest. We want them to exercise their First Amendment rights. We understand what this incident has created."
Rosby showed up and told KPCC that the outpouring of support has helped him deal with the grief of his dog's death:
Here are some of the signs at the protest:
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