Owner Of Dog Fatally Shot By Police Asks City Council To Discipline Officer, Address Police Treatment Of Animals
HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a Rottweiler that was shot and killed by Hawthorne police in July appeared at a city council meeting Tuesday with his dog’s ashes and asked for changes to the way police treat pets and their owners.
Leon Rosby, 52, attended the Hawthorne City Council meeting with several supporters from the community. In addition to policy changes, Rosby wants the officer who shot his dog Max to be disciplined.
“He wasn’t just a dog, he was a family member,” said Rosby.
“The officer that killed Max needs to be relieved of his duties,” said Dr. Celia Villapando, whose comments were met with applause. “He is a clear and present danger to the community.”
Earlier in the day Rosby was arraigned on two counts of dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime, intimidation of witness and making criminal threats, and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
The Hawthorne Police Department released a second video taken by a second witness at the scene that showed more of the officers’ actions prior to the shooting.
Rosby is alleged to have gone to the witness’ residence and verbally confronted her and her son, threatening them, investigators said. Rosby denies the claims.
“I don’t go out and have individual conversations with anybody,” he said. “I don’t even know what they are talking about.”
Rosby said both videos clearly show that he was not antagonizing officers on the day that Max was shot.
“If you listen to the video and what was being said, you will know that it’s even more damaging. So let the video speak for its self,” said Rosby. “The second one more so than anything.”
He believes the charges come on the heels of several complaints he has filed against the department for racial profiling and mistreatment.
Three detectives involved in the shooting have been reassigned for their protection.
The City Council has received several thousand petitions signed by supporters asking for the officers involved in the incident to be removed.
Rosby is being represented in the criminal trial by high-profile attorney Mark Geragos, who has called the charges “police payback.” Both sides have said they plan to use the videos to prove their case.