California Police Arrest Man for Video Recording, then Kill his Dog

Carlos Miller

The man should not have been arrested in the first place because he was legally recording from a safe distance.

In one of the most shocking videos published on this site since it was launched six years, ago, Hawthorne police shot and killed a dog while arresting the dog’s owner for video recording them from a half-block away on a public sidewalk.

Several cops were standing in front of a house halfway down the block, apparently to make an arrest over the weekend, while a man walking his dog was video recording them from the corner.

A group of other citizens were recording from across the street and captured the entire exchange, including the arrest of the man and killing of his dog.

At 2:09 in the video, the man starts walking to his car when he realizes the cop are going to walk towards him because he was standing there recording.

After he puts his dog in the car, he walks back towards the cops, turns around and allows himself to be handcuffed, even though he had not broken any law at any time during the video.

Makes one wonder what would have happened had he just gotten into his car and driven away.

As he is being handcuffed by two cops, the dog begins barking and eventually jumps out the window.

At 3:09, the dog is out of the car and running towards the cop.

At 3:23, a cop shoots the dog four times. The dog staggers and dies.

Last year, Hawthorne police jailed a man for four days for recording a traffic stop from a public sidewalk.

Call the Hawthorne Police Department: Call (310) 675-4443 or (310) 349-2700.

Press Information Officer:
Lieutenant Scott Swain
(310) 349-2835

UPDATE: The man who was arrested, Leon Rosby, was charged with obstructing officers. He already has a pending lawsuit against the Hawthorne Police Department and believes that is why he was confronted.

The name of his Rottweiler was Max.

According to CBS:

Attorney Michael Gulden said his client Leon Rosby was watching and taking video of the Hawthorne SWAT team when police claimed Rosby was obstructing officers during the barricade.
Rosby is seen in video footage walking with the dog – which appeared to be a Rottweiler – near several patrol cars to capture the scene on his phone.
After an exchange with nearby officers, Rosby is heard saying the words, “civil rights violation” before returning the dog to his vehicle.
As officers begin to proceed toward Rosby, he also begins walking in the direction of the officers and is then taken into custody without any further exchange.

According to the Daily Breeze, Rosby was arrested because he had refused to turn down his car radio, which can be heard in the video.

The shooting occurred about 7:15 p.m. Sunday at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue about two hours after police surrounded a house where a gunman had robbed two people inside. A crowd of spectators gathered in response to the large police response, which included several police cars and the department’s Bearcat armored vehicle.
As some, including resident Gabriel Martinez, aimed their cellphones at the scene to record it, Rosby drove up in his rented black Mazda. 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.”

It still doesn’t make sense considering Rosby walked back to his car, placed his dog inside, then walked back to the cops and allowed himself to be arrested.

Why didn’t he just turn down the music when he placed the dog back inside?

If he was so defiant about the music, wouldn’t he have been more defiant about getting arrested?

UPDATE II: The Hawthorne Police Department posted the following press release on its Facebook page, claiming they had to arrest Rosby because his “distracting music (more the individual’s vehicle), and his intentional walking within close proximity to armed officers, while holding an 80-pound Rottweiller on a long leash-line” adding that other citizens were recording from a “safe distance and compliant to officers’ regards.”

So I think it’s obvious they were more concerned about his physical whereabouts than his music, most likely because he had a much clearer angle of what was taking place than the citizens standing on the other corner who had absolutely no visibility of what was actually taking place in front of the house with the armed robbers.

Furthermore, it is routine police protocol to establish a perimeter with police ribbon if they are that insistent in marking boundaries.

But we see no marked perimeter. All we see is Rosby standing a half-block away from the nearest officer holding a cell phone in the air to record police.

UPDATE III: Two years after the incident, charges were dismissed against Leon Rosby, the dog owner. It also appears as if Rosby, who sued the city of Hawthorne, settled his lawsuit in 2017 even though it was never made public.


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