California Police Arrest A Man Videotaping Them In Public And Then Shoot His Dog After It Leaps From Car

hawthorne-dog-shotA videotape out of Hawthorne, California (15 miles out of Los Angeles) is raising questions not only about police arresting a man for videotaping them in public but shooting the man’s dog when it comes to his aide. Warning: the arrest of Leon Rosby, 52, shown below, is a disturbing video with a graphic scene of the shooting of his dog, Max.

The video seems the latest in a long litany of arrests of citizens who exercise their constitutional right to film police in public. We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. (For prior columns, click here and here). Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, these abuses continue.

Rosby was arrested near a SWAT scene. Rosby was walking Max and stood to record the stand-off with armed robbers on his cell phone camera. The videotape shows officers walking by Rosby without addressing him and standing at a distance. They suddenly approach him and arrest him. When Max jumped out the window and threatens them, they shoot him on the street.

The Hawthorne Police Department issues a statement that insisted Rosby was interfering with the police: “This interference included loud, distracting music (from the individual’s vehicle), and his intentional walking within close proximity to armed officers, while holding an 80-pound Rottweiler on a long leash-line.” Yet the videotape shows Rosby walking behind the cruiser line and no tape or officers that indicated that he was within some prohibited zone. Moreover, the dog is not lunging or barking as he walks the dog.

I can understand the fear of the large Rottweiler once he charged them. However, there remains the question of the initial arrest, which seems in response to his filming them. Rosby’s lawyer insists that he was targeted because he had a prior lawsuit against the police for abuse. I do not see the evidence of the interference. Moreover, I do not see any effort to keep the area clear of pedestrians or prior instructions or warnings. He appears to be standing in a public area engaging in a protected act. Finally, loud music can be addressed by instruction a citizen to turn down the music as opposed to an immediate arrest. You can judge for yourself.


This video has been posted by some viewers who believe that Rosby was interjecting himself into the scene and disrupting the operation:


Kudos: Ed Vail

32 thoughts on “California Police Arrest A Man Videotaping Them In Public And Then Shoot His Dog After It Leaps From Car”

  1. Today when a police is arresting one person for videoing him ten more are videoing him arresting the one.
    Like as not the smartphonecam is streaming so the police can’t get rid of the video by confiscating the phonecam.

  2. When police file charges that are later dropped, dismissed or the accused is acquitted, why is the one who files the charge not prosecuted for giving false information to the prosecution (a government office)?

  3. The dog had natural instincts to protect his master. What was the charge to arrest the man? What was his crime? and who did he harm?

  4. A dog, let alone one of the breed Rottweiler, sitting in a car without restraints and with windows wide open, is irresponsible. I agree that the man arrested didn’t put up resistance and that the police overreacted.

  5. Thank You michael B i did not want to go into the many different stories the cops put out at first. i chose to comment on the one video that is shown here but i do remember this story being posted here a few months with a totally different cop version and intended to try to find it once i could get rid of the nausea from the chemo but you saved me the effort. whats amazing to me is how some of the posters here just on this video alone demonized rosby. not commenting on how the 2 cops first walked right past rosby and down the block and then out of no where came back at him to arrest him. and then the cop antagonizing the dog then shoots. it didnt look to me like the dog attacked just like most dogs do when you raise your hand above their head their first reaction is to jump up as if you have a ball or stick in your hand and are about to throw it.

    I grew up with many different breeds of dogs and all of their reactions were the same when a hand was raised above their head. either looking for a treat or your about to play throw the ball or stick with them

  6. I had posted this July 10th

    No graphic here but something to think about. You probably have heard about the Hawthorne dog shooting. Whether you care about dogs or not, it is a lesson on watching the wheels fall off the bus. Likely because a high powered attorney would not pursue it, the PR department put forth the “B” team on the case. The first statement from the public relations officer stated they shot the dog to protect the dog’s owner. ( let that sink in ) They said they detained Mr. Rosby ( the dog’s owner) because his radio was too loud. ( handcuffs?) Please note they never turned down the radio and Mr. Rosby was released the next day without charges. The next news release was by the police chief basically saying all police love dogs and never want to shoot a dog and there will be an investigation but the big concern is the death threats on the officers. Well chief, if you had pulled the shooter off duty as typical following a shooting, the public might have believed you. You did not until after the threats and the public does not believe you. Next the public relation officer states he is stunned at the public’s reaction ( see statement about the chief). Now comes the part you need to pay attention. The police release a new video that MAY exonerate the police and later say exonerates the police. In fact it does not. It shows the officer antagonising the dog by placing his hand over the dog. The dog jumps up and back and the officer shoots once forcing the dog back onto the ground and then fires three more times while the dog is on the ground. Pepper spray was an option if the dog was attacking ( which it was not ) A high percentage of the public only read the headlines and come away with a different conclusion. ( note the first test headline ) The point is the police and governments play mind games. When they get lazy, as in this case, it is transparent. Ask yourself, is this the only time?

    Why was he handcuffed for a citation offence?

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