HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — The Hawthorne Police Department will launch multiple investigations into the fatal shooting of a Rottweiler over the weekend, which was caught on video and subsequently posted on YouTube.
The first investigation will deal with the dog’s owner, 52-year-old Leon Rosby, for allegedly interfering with a police investigation. The other will be an internal affairs investigation into the officers’ actions.
“The administrative investigation will run its course and, depending on its findings and the outcome of that administrative investigation, the Hawthorne Police Department will take appropriate action with the officers involved,” said Lt. Greg Tomatini.
“The very least, as a result of the nature of this incident, and this organization’s desire to avoid a similar incident in the future, we’re absolutely going to use it as a training type of example,” Tomatini added.
The incident happened Sunday when Rosby was recording the arrest of two suspects involved in an armed robbery.
Police asked him to step away and turn down the music in his car.
Officers eventually approached Rosby and asked him to put his dog, 2-year-old Max, inside his vehicle.
While Rosby was being handcuffed, however, Max jumped out of the passenger window.
The canine lunged at officers and four shots were fired.
“That dog would not have lunged at you if you didn’t approach him like that. I know it, I know my dog,” Rosby told KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez.
Rosby believes he was targeted because he has several complaints against the department for racial profiling and mistreatment.
He said he recognized one of the officers involved in the complaints on the scene.
“He noticed me. He pointed at me,” said Rosby.
Investigators said while names of officers involved are being floated around on the Internet, much of that information is incorrect, including the person labeled as the shooter.