Police officers in Hawthorne, California are facing some heat this week after a video was posted to Reddit which showed them shooting a man’s dog.
The man, Leon Rosby, was taking video on his phone of several officers who had closed off a street and were going into a home; he, in turn, was being recorded by another bystander. After a brief exchange with the officers, they approached Rosby, who put his dog–which appears to be a Rottweiler–into his car and then turned and willingly put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed for allegedly obstructing justice at a crime scene.
However, the officers can be seen getting a little rough with Rosby and his dog became agitated and began barking from the car, which had the windows rolled down. The animal jumped out and approached the group, still barking, and one officer opened fire, shooting several times. Rosby, who is clearly devastated in the video, is planning to sue the Hawthorne Police Department; however, they say they were not only protecting themselves, but were protecting Rosby, who was handcuffed and wouldn’t have been able to protect himself had the dog attacked.
“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,” Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said to the Daily Breeze. “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.”
You can watch the video below, but please be warned: it’s graphic and highly disturbing.