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Outside Agency Will Investigate Hawthorne Dog Shooting, Owner Sues

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There has been so much outcry after a Hawthorne police officer shot and killed a dog that the department has decided to turn the investigation over to an outside agency.

"It's been very disheartening," Hawthorne Police Chief Robert Fager told NBC News Thursday about the volume of threats the department and city have received since the incident on June 30.

Fager is handing off the investigation to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles District Attorney.

"We'll wait for those factual finding reports before we jump to any conclusions that maybe people out there, who are our negative detractors, have already done," Fager said.

The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on desk duty and their families are under 24-hour guard due to threats the officers have received.

Leon Rosby, the dog's owner, is said to be happy about the decision. He had previously called for an end to the threats against the police. Yesterday he filed a claim with the city asking for more than $25,000 in damages.

Rosby, who was being arrested for filming the police when his dog, Max, came to his aid, was charged with obstruction. According to Hawthorne Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Swain, the Hawthorne city attorney has now recused himself from deciding whether to formally charge Rosby with a misdemeanor for his actions on June 30, saying it would be a conflict of interest, because Rosby has a previous excessive force lawsuit against the city.

That, too, will now be handled by the L.A. County District Attorney's office, which has until Aug. 12 to file charges.

Meanwhile, a vigil will be held this Sunday evening for Rosby's dog, Max. It will take place 7:30-8:30 p.m. at the site where he died, at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Related:
SPCA Offers Dog Training To Hawthorne PoliceProtesters (And Their Dogs) Rally Against Hawthorne Police Dog Shooting
Hawthorne Police Launch 2 Investigations Into Fatal Dog Shooting
Cops In Hawthorne Dog Shooting Pulled From Street Duty After Receiving Death Threats
Graphic Video: Cops Kill Dog While Arresting Owner Who Filmed Them