By now you’ve seen the video of the police in Hawthorne CA arresting and handcuffing a man, then shooting his dog dead when it became upset. If not, here’s a link. Warning: it’s upsetting.
Of course there’s more to the story, and even more will emerge. The man, Leon Rosby, was videoing a police operation in the neighborhood while walking his dog, Max. Two cops near the scene walk over and handcuff Rosby, who had just put Max in his car. Max, seeing the police physically handling Rosby, becomes agitated, starts barking, and jumps out the car window, menacing the arresting officers. So naturally, one of the cops shoots him dead.
According to a report by the Daily Breeze, Hawthorne police claim they arrested Rosby because the music playing in his car was loud and was “distracting the officers.” Additionally, Rosby had previously refused to comply with a request by police on the scene to turn down the music. As for why they shot Max, a police spokesman said they did it out of concern for the safety of the officers, but also out of concern for Rosby: “We’ve got a guy handcuffed that’s kind of defenseless. We have a duty to defend him, too.” —uprox.com
There’s some history here.
[Rosby] said Monday he believed police were retaliating against him because of previous run-ins and struggles with officers. Court records show he has previous convictions for resisting, battery and driving under the influence. Rosby, who is black, said he has filed six complaints against the Hawthorne Police Department, alleging mistreatment and racial profiling.
Rosby filed a lawsuit against the city of Hawthorne and two police officers in March, contending officers broke one of his ribs when they responded to a domestic violence disturbance at his house, not far from the dog shooting scene.
“There’s been a pattern of harassment against him and other African-Americans in Hawthorne,” said Rosby’s attorney, Michael Gulden. “Last July, the police responded to his home and beat him unnecessarily, then threw him in jail for no reason. We sued for that. We’ll amend that complaint to include the dog incident.” — Daily Breeze
Renowned dog trainer Cesar “The Dog Whisperer” Millan, clearly agitated, commented, ”While it’s gut-churning to watch the dog’s pre-death writhing, what makes it even more infuriating is his final bark, which interprets roughly as, ’Don’t Tase me, bro’. This was entirely unnecessary.”
Local activists raised the issue of race. “You can’t tell me the fact that Max was a 130 pound black Rottweiler didn’t influence the white officer’s fatal action,” one told reporters. “You think this would have happened if Max was a Yellow Lab? We weren’t born yesterday, you know.”
No hoodie required.
Even the President, still in Africa, weighed in. “On a personal level, this is a very upsetting development,” he told the international media. “If I had a dog, it would look like Max.”
I’ll try to keep this distressing story updated. The way I feel, “Dog Shoots Man” would be the next best development.