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Police brutality

Police shoot pet dog dead after arresting owner for videotaping

Friday, July 05, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: police brutality, dogs, shooting

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(NaturalNews) Under certain conditions things can spiral out of control, and that appears to have been the case recently in Hawthorne, Calif., where police shot and killed a suspect's dog in front of him, as he was being arrested on a misdemeanor.

According to Britain's Daily Mail, 52-year-old Hawthorne resident Leon Rosby was walking his pet dog, a Rottweiler, recently while videotaping police at a crime scene, when officers noticed what he was doing and ordered him to stop. In an interview with the Daily Breeze, a local L.A.-area newspaper, Rosby said he was taping the scene "to make sure nobody's civil rights were being violated."

'I do apologize if I didn't immediately comply'

In a video of the incident shot by a cell phone, Rosby is eventually seen talking to a pair of officers who, according to the Mail, had asked Rosby to turn down the music in his nearby automobile. Department spokesman Lt. Scott Swain said officers did so because it was upsetting the scene.

"It's distracting the officers. It's interfering with what they are able to hear," Swain said. "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. That music in his car is bleeding over and it's distracting them."

A witness said when asked by police to turn down the music, Rosby yelled, "It's my f*#%ing radio," but Rosby denied he said it, saying he is a Christian and as such does not use such language. He also maintains he was attempting to comply with the police order.

"I do apologize if I didn't immediately comply," he said, while walking his dog, Max, on a leash. "The music may have been a little loud but I was complying."

When the officers first began walking towards Rosby, he can be seen in the video taking Max to his car - which, incidentally, had its windows rolled down.

It is at this point that the spiraling out of control part begins. Per the Mail:

Rosby seems to calmly walk over to the officers and turn around, volunteering himself for arrest.

As the officers put handcuffs on Rosby, the dog starts barking and manages to jump out of the car. Another police officer comes over and looks like he's trying to grab the leash when the dog jumps up and the officer shoots him several times.

The officer, according to other reports, fired four times. In the video seen here, the dog can be seen writhing after being shot.

"There was no way Max should have died like that," Rosby - who was held overnight in jail on an obstruction charge - told the Breeze. "Max was only protecting his master. He was trying to stop them from beating on me."

Police said the dog lunged at officers and that they had no choice but to defend themselves.

'My dog! Max!'

"It looks like the officer tried to reach down and grab the leash, and then the dog lunges in the direction of him and the other officers there," Swain said, in reference to the video. "And 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 was clearly upset by the shooting.

"He literally shot my puppy I had since he was six weeks old," he said. "I was crying and hollering, 'My dog! My dog! Max! Max!"

In March Rosby - who has a lengthy police record - filed suit against the Hawthorne Police Department, alleging that officers broke one of his ribs when they responded to a domestic violence disturbance at his house, not far from where Max was shot. In all, Rosby has filed a half-dozen complaints against the department, alleging that he has been mistreated and racially profiled (he is black).

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