Over and over, Americans are reminded: Many police officers really, really don’t like being videotaped — but they love shooting dogs.
California resident Leon Rosby crossed paths with police in the town of Hawthorn as they were responding to an armed robbery call. When he videoed the officers with his phone, they got angry and decided to arrest him for “suspicion of obstructing justice.” They also murdered his dog when the animal tried to ensure that the jackboot cops weren’t abusing his master.
The cops reportedly claimed that Rosby interfered with their investigation by not complying with a request to lower the volume of his car radio. But they didn’t confront the man until they observed him videoing them.
The Daily Breeze reports:
… [Police spokesperson Scott] Swain said Rosby stopped in the intersection with music blaring from his windows. Officers told him to turn down the music because they were trying to hear what was happening down the street. Rosby pulled forward, parked and got out with his dog, but left the music still playing loudly.
“It’s distracting the officers,” Swain said. “It’s interfering with what they are able to hear. 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.”…
… Rosby, who pulled out his own cellphone to record the police activity, did not lower the volume.
“I do apologize if I didn’t immediately comply. The music may have been a little loud but I was complying,” Rosby said. “I said, ‘Sir, I want to make sure nobody’s civil rights were being violated.’ “…
… Once police arrested the suspected robber, officers motioned to Rosby and began walking toward him. Swain said they intended to arrest him and told him to put the dog in his car. He complied.
The video shows him putting the dog in the car, but leaving the windows open. Rosby said he walked toward officers, turned and put his hands behind his back, and waited for them to arrest him. The video shows the dog barking as officers took him into custody.
Suddenly, the 130-pound, 3-year-old dog jumped out of the car and ran at them.
The dog approached the police officers and his handcuffed owner. And when an officer grabbed at his leash, the frightened animal jumped, prompting the lawman to shoot the dog multiple times. Despite firing his service weapon repeatedly, however, the officer’s sloppy marksmanship left the dog writhing in pain in the road until it eventually died.
Remarkably, Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain claimed that the dog was shot because the cops feared that he was a threat to Hawthorn, who was rendered defenseless because he had been needlessly handcuffed.
“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. “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 said that he believes the officers were simply retaliating against him for a complaint he previously filed against the department. Court records indicate that he has previous convictions for resisting, battery and driving under the influence. He said he has filed six complaints against the Hawthorne Police Department, alleging mistreatment and racial profiling.
“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.”