Police Abuse

Leon Rosby (Whose Dog Max Was Shot by Hawthorne Police) Speaks


I had a phone conversation this morning with Leon Rosby, whose dog Max was shot by Hawthorne police in late June while he was being arrested for alleged "obstruction" of police. The incident was videoed and became a viral sensation. (The video will appear at the end of this post, and if you missed it the first time and are a dog lover, be warned it's brutal and upsetting.)


Rosby got in touch with me because he wanted it known that the conviction for battery mentioned (in a quote originally from the Daily Breeze) in my earlier blog post on his case happened in 1989. He didn't think it fair that the impression be created that he was currently the type of man to get in serious trouble with the law.

These days, he says he's about ministering to the homeless; his Facebook page identifies him as a minister with "World Overcomers, Inc." His earlier problems with the law were those of a a very much younger man, he says, going through a tough time and Rosby "wanted to make sure people realize you can be reformed, be a model citizen" despite problems with the law far in the past.

In fact, he suspects police made a point of spreading his (long past) criminal record to suggest that, well, this guy in a conflict with them is regularly in trouble for good reason. Rosby thinks his problems with the law are the result of the fact he's currently suing them for excessive use of force, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of distress (see his complaint).

Rosby tells me he has another complaint in against the police over the Max incident and that if they don't respond to his satisfaction, he may file another lawsuit. "If people say, aw, he's just looking for money, well, if they could give me Max back there would be no problem," he says. "But I want Hawthorne to understand that that was wrong and cruel to have me illegally handcuffed and turn around and shoot my dog four time. I thought I was in America or something, and people tell me I didn't have a reason to be there. Man, I live in the community of Hawthorne" and indeed very close to the scene of the incident. He points out the video shows plenty of other people near the perimeter of the police's ongoing action, and that he was clearly in no way obstructing them from their business. (Police had a home with armed robbery suspects surrounded on the block.)

A court date for his prior suit, filed last year over an incident last July, isn't set til May 2014.

Some details of the 2012 incident from Rosby's perspective, from his filed complaint. After responding to a call from his wife over what he characterizes as a nonviolent domestic dispute:

 an army of officers appeared and attacked Mr. Rosby without cause or reason…slamming him to the ground, and then punching and kicking him repeatedly. The officers stated while beating him that they recognized him as the "troublemaker" who had previously made a complaint about the lack of African American officers employed with the Hawthorne police department, and about a prior complaint that the Hawthorne police department had engaged in racial profiling of Plaintiff on July 29, 2011.

From Rosby's perspective, he's been "harassed, jacked up, you name it" since filing the suit, in a variety of incidents that led him to file six other complaints, and that various officers on the scene during the incident when Max was shot knew full well who he was. 

"I've been living in and out of Hawthorne since I was a kid, 15-17 years old, and I tell you, this was not an isolated incident, not just something that happened on June 30th," Rosby says. He thinks many Hawthorne police have been "racially profiling, breaking civil rights" for a long time. He says he's seen things such as picking out blacks and Hispanics apparently randomly and "handcuffing them, taking them out of their cars, putting them on the curb and then letting them go" and "stopping teenagers, grabbing their backpacks and throwing their stuff on the ground and kicking it."

As for the incident, before the cops cuffed him, Rosby says, "they looked rowdy, like they were going to harass me or shake me up a little bit….When they grabbed me one officer said 'stop resisting,' I said I'm not resisting. I told everyone to put cameras on me because they were saying I'm trying to resist."

As for other complaints he's heard about his conduct that day on the video, Rosby says he left the window down when he put Max in the car at first because it was a very hot day, and that he is confident his verbal command would have kept Max from harming any officer before Max was shot–and that if they had merely given him a moment to do so unobstructed, he could have put Max safely away from them.

Rosby says he isn't anti-police, though he does worry that the racial composition of Hawthorne police doesn't match the racial composition of the populace, and that that leads to occasional prejudicial behavior on the part of police. "I know all police officers are not bad. We need 'em. There are some knuckleheads out there robbing people, raping people, and we need officers, but we need good ones." 

Ultimately, Rosby says, "I want justice for Max. I want the officers that did that to actually pay for that. And I want other officers trained, because they will run across this type of situation again, and what's gonna happen then? I don't people to go around thinking I'm a black guy who hates whites or hates police. I love God. I'm a Christian. But not only that, I loved Max." 

NEXT: State Seizes Two-Year-Old Child From Parents Because They Smoked Pot, Child Dies in Foster Care

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  1. The early morning of nutpunches.

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  2. OH NO

  3. The officer that shot that dog is a sissy-assed pussy.

    1. Or a trigger-happy sociopath. The dog definitely wasn’t being aggressive.

      1. Not mutually exclusive.

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    2. No, he is a criminal that should be arrested for cruelty to animals.

    3. Funny how mail carriers manage to deliver mail without resorting to shooting dogs, thousands of times, every day.

      So, there you have it. Cliff Clavin and Newman are bigger men than these giant, weeping pussies.

  4. I wish this man godspeed in his civil suit against the Hawthorne police. It is encouraging to see how well he is handling things.

    1. No kidding. It sounds like the cops there have Fuck You That’s Why down to a science and they deserve to be strung up for it.

      1. The good news is the cop’s been bombarded with death threats. Hopefully he’s living in fear.

        1. The good news is the cop’s been bombarded with death threats. Hopefully he’s living in fear.

          As much as I hate these guys, I don’t see that as good news.

          1. Not as good as carrying it out, I agree.

            1. I’m all in favor of termination, but that’s not quite what I have in mind.

  5. Thanks for following up on this. Couldn’t bring myself to watch the video though.

    1. Video summary: Guy with large dog on leash stands on stret corner watching police action from 30-60 feet away. Appears to be taking video on cell phone. Two police officers cross the street to the same side with the man and proceed away from him down the block Police turn and yell from halfway down the block. Man puts dog away by car and comes to police as requested. Turns around as ordered and is immediately placed in handcuffs. Police begin to get physical with the man in handcuffs for no apparent reason as they head toward the squadcars. Dog bounds over toward his owner. Police turn on dog as he jumps and bounces around for a few seconds. He jumps at one of the officers and then a couple of officers pull their weapons and kill the dog, much to the surprise and horror of everyone around.

      There are at least 3 people visible in the video using their cell phones to record the police action. How they thought their arrest would stand is hard to comprehend. I guess they thought nobody would come forward. There was clearly no reason for the police to approach the man in the first place, unless they thought he looked suspicious and wanted to see if he had any warrants.

      1. “There are at least 3 people visible in the video using their cell phones to record the police action.”

        People should start Police Watches that go around recording every police interaction. That way you’d have Neighborhood Watches for when the police don’t show up, and Police Watches for when they do. That should cover every criminal act.

      2. I wondered the same thing – why did they target this guy, and not the other bystanders? Maybe this explains it:

        The officers stated while beating him that they recognized him as the “troublemaker” who had previously made a complaint about the lack of African American officers employed with the Hawthorne police department, and about a prior complaint that the Hawthorne police department had engaged in racial profiling of Plaintiff on July 29, 2011.

        Could be one of the cops recognized him. They seemed to be ignoring him and the others, and then suddenly decided to arrest him.

        1. He was closest. The fat-asses don’t like to walk too far.

          Or maybe they just saw a dog and it got their hopes up.

  6. Did Rosby understand, when he first stopped his car, that he was going to attract the attention of the police? And that police attention could kill any animals, plants, humans, or machines anywhere near him? Why didn’t he hide his dog before engaging the police?

    Could you get Rosby to address the charge he was arrested for at the time Max got shot? Wasn’t that that he was playing his radio so loud that it interfered with the police working down the street? That’s strange. They could have shot the radio instead of the dog. Shooting the dog doesn’t quiet the radio. It’s hard to make sense of the story with what’s reported so far.

    1. If you shoot a radio, bits of shattered plastic might fly back and hit you, and gosh that might kinda hurt! But if you’re a smart little pussy, you can just shoot the suspect’s dog (also just property, like the radio) and the worst that might happen is that you’ll get some blood spray on your uniform. But that’s okay, you’ll just later tell the little woman at home to wash and iron the uniform. ‘Cause your a big man who knows what’s what.

    2. Funny. His radio had been playing the whole time, but they didn’t arrest him till they saw him filming them.

    3. Your impression of what happened is pure BS.

    4. Did Rosby understand, when he first stopped his car, that he was going to attract the attention of the police?

      He was asking for it, dressed like that.

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  8. this was not an isolated incident

    The prosecution rests.

    1. The prosecution and these cops are corrupt.

  9. Dogs are man’s best friend but apparently pigs are man’s worst enemy.

  10. WTH is it with cops shooting dogs all the time now?

    Well it isn’t everywhere, in some towns cops get into a world of sh*t for doing it unless the thing isn’t some kind of deranged pitbull assaulting the cops.

    But still…

    1. Cops shoot dogs to establish fear and submission in their owners. And it usually works. Until a dog owner decides to defend himself.

  11. The cop should be shot in the head. That was uncalled for. What a piece of shit little pussy.

  12. I am no fan of affirmatiave action in general, but I can see the upside of trying to get the police force to model a rough approximation of the community’s racial composition. Of course, it’s most importat to hire good officers (regardless of race), but it seems like one could start by firing all corrupt officers, then hire any/all qualified black applicants, then take a headcount

    1. “but it seems like one could start by firing all corrupt officers”

      The police union might have something to say about that.

      1. “but it seems like one could start by firing all corrupt officers”

        “The police union might have something to say about that.”

        Yes, like – come on, we can’t call it a union if there are only 13 policemen left.

      2. The police union is continuing criminal enterprise and should be disbanded and the union officials incarcerated.

    2. Just hire black applicants? Yeah, do that. I’ll go ahead and represent the white applicants in that Equal Protection claim, and you can buy me a new car.

  13. I was in Hawthorne during the riots in ’92.

    The court cases (more than just the Rodney King verdict) were the proverbial straws that broke the camel’s back. Daryl Gates’ police and tactics were so brutal back then.

    I thought they learned something from the riots. I read this story, and it makes think the cops there must have forgotten everything they used to know.

  14. “A Laguna Hills teen got the wrong topping on his pizza, and ended up sick, after a sheriff’s deputy allegedly covered the pie with pepper spray during a traffic stop.”
    I’m sure the cops just howled with laughter!

    1. Really? I’m amazed that they charged the deputy. Must have some pretty strong evidence and I hope this dirtbag ends up delivering pizzas for want of steady employment.

  15. I thought I was in America

    Yeah, and those cops proved it.

  16. he was being arrested for alleged “obstruction” of police.

    Baboons with guns. That’s a bit unfair, I admit, because actual baboons would show more restraint.

    The only thing he was obstructing them from is shooting his dog.

  17. Wow thats some crazy smack right there dude.


  18. Statist:

    “The statistics prove that if you meekly submit, that there is less than fifty percent chance the police will shoot your dog five times. You people are idiots.”

  19. America?

    DOJ Holder: “Not any more.”

  20. Just saw the Evil Dead remake on the plane trip home; man did that suck. Raimi should be ashamed of himself.

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