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. Very professional.

    Where is Justice Scalia to witness the neo-professionalism of 21st century police officers statist thugs on patrol?

    Why he’s watching re-runs of 24 with Jack Bauer gaining keen insight on professional policing methods within the US.

    Even as long ago as 1980 we felt it proper to assume that unlawful police behavior would be dealt with appropriately by the authorities, but we now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously. There have been wide-ranging reforms in the education, training, and supervision of police officers. ~ BOOKER T. HUDSON, JR., PETITIONER v. MICHIGAN

    Source: (Page 12, Paragraph 2)

  2. It’s surprising people don’t just open fire on every police car that comes within range in some of these neighborhoods.

  3. I have seen several videos of this, and it seems the man was interfering with police’s job. So he gets arrested, and the dog comes out in his defense ( the man should have secured it). An adult rottweiler can inflict some serious injury and the way that dog was going for the offficers, they had the right to self-defense. They cannot and should not have to wait to get bitten before having the right to shoot. Officers did nothing wrong here as far as this aspect of the story.

    1. Other officers clearly see this was not handled well. The line for him to cross was not marked. ( typically with cars ) He complied with all orders. He was jabbed with a baton after he was compliant and handcuffed. The dog did not attack, he jumped when the office put his hand over his head. ( try that with any strange dog) The dog was not a threat. They could have uncuffed the man for him to contain his dog. Instead the shooter decided to unload 9mm bullets with a hard background. I am trying to find the video of the police policy consultant that critiqued the good and the bad of the shooting.

  4. Wouldn’t parking and leaving a car with the windows open and stereo turned up to a godawful level constitute some type of criminal violation within most cities? (Just dealing with the lawfulness of the arrest–not the propriety or claimed need to shoot the dog)

  5. Disgusting arrogance in full view. These officers and this department needs to be taken apart from top to bottom. The subject was handcuffed without incident and the cops kept jabbing him. Being a pain in the ass is not a crime and the dog did not need to be shot.

  6. “The Young Turks” have been following this story for the last month or so. They’ve got lots of commentary and further details for anyone interested.
    One of about 3 or 4 stories they’ve run:

    The SWAT action is apparently happening a good distance away raising questions about the level of ‘interference’ that the individual is being accused of causing.

  7. There are multiple video’s now available. The police were jabbing with batons and being unnecessarily violent with the man after they already had him in cuffs and was obeying commands. The dog jumped out of the car and behaved himself more or less. It was when the shooter arrived placing his hand over the dogs head ( no training of police ) when the dog lunges up and the shooter backs away and unloads his clip. The shooter has a history of unnecessary violence and has already cost the city millions in settled lawsuits. He appeared to enjoy the shooting. The police have changed their story a few times without commenting why the previous story was wrong. It is like they are a puppet on the police union strings.

  8. Rewatch the video more closely. The person that was arrested was shouting to the officers prior to their coming over to him. He drew attention to himself, not from filming but from interrupting the police while they are engaged in a situation. It appears to me, he was provoking a confrontation.

  9. I am not ready to call this guy an innocent bystander. The first two minutes of this video shows his arrival on scene. In my opinion he is in your face to the situation. I can hear the bull horn being used when he first stops his car and puts himself into (or near the scene). ….. No he was not just walking his dog….. He stopped for the purpose of injecting himself into the scene. He could have secured his dog in the car before he chose to document the scene on his camera.
    The footage by other bystanders was not challenged. I believe this guy was purposefully “poking the police”
    Also in the 1st two minutes, there does seem to be a verbal exchange between him and two of the officers.
    Citizens do have a responsibility to allow police to do their job. From the video I can conclude this guy was dancing on the line of interference, He also seemed to be the only one that was.
    Again if he had secured his dog the dog would not have gotten loose. The dog did nothing wrong or unusual in this situation. An 80 pound rott protecting his master is natural AND a problem. This video is not the cut and dried evidence of police malfeasance.

  10. obviously more then rosby was fliming as the video is here the cops werent able to stop that. amazing that it took 4 cop cars full of police to arrest 1 person. and then they end up arresting a innocent guy. the good news is rosby just got the means for another lawsuit against the cops. which they don’t care about. because it isnt coming out of their pockets..

    remembering the time a bully cop tried to arrest my son. he walked by us and told us to take our itchB asses in the house and my son yelled back. im going inside to finish doing your wife. of course the cop decides that is an arrestable offense. i stood by quietly not saying anything. just watching and taking their information. then a upstairs neighbor says to me robin why is your son getting arrested? my response was for no reason but we just won the lottery because unlike the rest of the fools. im not going for the nypd dept. im going to sue officer dudley do right over there… my niece had already gone inside and began calling the lawyers. i remained standing and watching with a smile on my face. his partner whispered something in his ear. and he uncuffed my son and told him to watch his mouth from now on. to which i replied. oh he will meanwhile you had better get that bank account together because im coming for it. and then i walked off laughing

  11. Charged with WWB (walking while black) perhaps? I tell the officers I talk to they better get used to being on camera, because not only does every fifteen-year-old in the country have a cell phone camera, people are now putting dash cams in their cars, and business security cameras are everywhere. Go-Pro technology is showing up in the most unlikely places.

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