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Man Whose Dog Was Shot By Police Sues Hawthorne and Police Officers

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The owner of the rottweiler who was shot to death by a Hawthorne Police Department officer last June is suing the city.

Leon Cordell Rosby, 52, is filing a civil-rights suit against the city of Hawthorne and three police officers alleging the June 2013 incident in which he watched as his dog was shot and killed was part of a “pattern of harassing conduct” by Hawthorne police, the Los Angeles Times reports. The suit says the officers’ activity was “directed at Mr. Rosby and was intended to intimidate and harm him and to cause psychological trauma.”

Rosby was charged with six felony counts following his arrest last June when he allegedly pulled his car up to a police standoff near 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue, exited his vehicle with his 80-pound, two-year-old dog, Max, and began filming the police with his cellphone. As officers approached Rosby to arrest him for interfering with police business, he put Max in his car, but the dog escaped and began barking and lunging at the officers. One officer tried to grab Max’s leash and then drew his gun and fired four shots, killing the dog.

The incident spurred outrage, rallies and threats against Hawthorne police after cellphone video of the incident went viral. Days later, Hawthorne police released a second cellphone video showing more footage of the event, which police said exonerated the officers, and Rosby was accused of intimidating the witness and her son. The case eventually was handed off to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles District Attorney for investigation.

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Rosby previously sued the city of Hawthorne for $25,000 in damages.

Rosby posted bail in August and is due in court for a preliminary hearing on his felony charges March 14.