DISTURBING video that has now gone viral shows the moment police shot dead a dog as his owner was being arrested.
The dog’s owner, Leon Rosby, was taking video of police officers in Hawthorne, California, on Sunday evening as they surrounded a house where two people had been robbed at gunpoint in a non-related incident.
Police complained about loud music coming from Mr Rosby’s car as he was outside the vehicle with his 60-kilogram Rottweiler filming the scene on his phone.
As they come to arrest him, Mr Rosby puts his dog in the car. However once he is handcuffed the dog jumps out the car window and then lunges at one of the officers as he goes to grab the leash. The officer then shoots the dog several times.
Mr Rosby told the Daily Breeze that he was left devastated at seeing his three-year-old dog die in front of him.
“I was crying and hollering, ‘My dog! My dog! Max! Max!’ ” he said. “He literally shot my puppy I had since he was 6 weeks old.”
“There was no way Max should have died like that,” Mr Rosby said. “Max was only protecting his master. He was trying to stop them from beating on me.”
Leon Rosby films police in Hawthorne, California.
“The music may have been a little loud but I was complying,” Mr Rosby said. “I said, ‘Sir, I want to make sure nobody’s civil rights were being violated.’ ”
Mr Rosby said he believed police were retaliating against him because of previous run-ins with local police. Mr Rosby has previous convictions for resisting arrest, battery and driving under the influence. Mr Rosby, who is black, said he has filed six complaints against the Hawthorne Police Department, alleging mistreatment and racial profiling.
Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said the shooting was in the interests of everyone’s safety.
“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,” he said.
Mr Rosby spent Sunday night in jail before being released. He says the police won’t let him have his dog’s body.
Mr Rosby said he and Max were driving back from the dog park and the car trip was filled with Max affectionately licking Mr Rosby’s neck.
Leon Rosby puts his dog in the car as police come to arrest him.
“All he did was love me,” he said.
The video went viral after being uploaded to Reddit and YouTube.