Graphic Video: Cops Kill Dog While Arresting Owner Who Filmed Them
On Sunday, a YouTube video was posted showing a Hawthorne, California police officer repeatedly shooting a dog whose owner was being taken into custody. WARNING: The video is very disturbing:
The owner, Leon Rosby, was walking with his dog Max while videotaping the Hawthorne SWAT team. KCAL reports, "After an exchange with nearby officers, Rosby is heard saying the words, 'civil rights violation' before returning the dog to his vehicle." After two officers handcuffed Rosby and started taking him into custody, Max, who had been barking, jumped out of the car towards the officers, who were joined by a third cop.
All the cops pulled their guns and one tried to grab Max's leash, but Max kept barking. So one officer fired four times, killing the dog.
According to the Daily Breeze, Hawthorne Police Lt. Scott Swain claims that "Rosby stopped in the intersection with music blaring from his windows" and that cops couldn't hear what was happening. Swain said, "It's distracting the officers. It's interfering with what they are able to hear. It's not just a party call. It's an armed robbery call. The officers need to hear what's going on with the people being called out of the residence."
Swain added, "I know it's the dog's master, and more than likely not going to attack him, (but) we've got a guy handcuffed that's kind of defenseless. We have a duty to defend him, too."
Rosby's lawyer says he will sue the police department. (The NY Daily News reports, "He has six complaints against the department, including a lawsuit claiming officers broke his rib during an arrest.") Rosby pointed out, "He wasn’t just a dog, you know. He’d lick on my face, lick on my ear... That dog wouldn’t have lunged at you if you hadn’t approached him like that, I know it, I know my dog."
In another interview, Rosby says that he kept telling his dog, "No, Max!" as he approached the officers. Rosby doesn't understand why the officer kept shooting after the first bullet hit the dog, "The dog was trying to flee."
Related: Hawthorne Police Launch 2 Investigations Into Fatal Dog Shooting