An officer previously involved in a police corruption and brutality lawsuit against the Hawthorne Police Department which resulted in a $1,000,000 settlement** has shot and killed a dog. There are two questions here: If shooting the dog made sense or not is one question and probably the harder one to answer. Maybe the dog was lunging to attack, it is a big dog, maybe it was just playful. Maybe they could have done something different in that moment. It is hard to say and heartbreaking to watch.But the more important questions is how did this horrible situation come to be? Why is this black man being arrested?
A video making the rounds this evening allegedly depicts California man Leon Rosby being arrested yesterday before police shot his dog to death as he and other civilians looked on in horror. According to Rosby's attorney, Michael Gulden, Rosby was simply videotaping a police action in his Hawthorne neighborhood when cops approached him to arrest him for "obstructing an investigation," a charge Gulden calls "ridiculous." "[H]e was driving by and noticed the police activity and stopped to watch," Gulden told me in an email, "as is common when this type of activity is going on in any neighborhood.""Obstructing an investigation" is a BS charge. It's so broad as to be meaningless.This arrest never should have happened at all. This man was being arrested basically because he would not turn down his music and because he videotaped the cops and they didn't like it. The man has reported police brutality in the past. He's obviously both scared of and resentful of cops. The fact that there have been successful lawsuits suggests that he might have good reason to feel this way. They wanted him to scrape and bow more and plenty of people will say that he should have.
I don't agree with that. Cops ought to be better at dealing with people in the most peaceful way possible. This man is not a criminal so they should try harder to improve relations rather than make them worse.
This is not how it's supposed to work. Police are not supposed to be the enemy.
If the had made better choices (like not arresting him) rather than trying to make a point about how "powerful" they are the dog would be alive and, in the long run, more people might trust them and help them to catch real criminals.
Police often complain that in communities of color no one will help them. WHY might that be? It's not like it's happening for no reason.
Here the victim explains how they shot his dog... note how scared he is of being falsely accused of resisting arrest.
I think it is important to see the first video, but if you are sensitive to violence. (Which I understand.... I could hardly watch it, myself) Just stop it BEFORE 3:10 the graphic violence is after that part. I think seeing it matters because the guy could not be more meek and passive in his actions.
** They have been found guilty of brutality is the past, and keep in mind how hard it is to find police guilty of anything. "The Hawthorne Police Department paid One Million Dollars to a Settle Lawsuit in which it was alleged a man was kicked in the face while handcuffed and then falsely prosecuted along with his wife to cover up the brutality. Evidence the plaintiffs were prepared to present at trial included a photograph of an officer appearing to kick the handcuffed plaintiff in the face and a surveillance video allegedly depicting officers high-fiving each other as the injured plaintiff suffered from a broken jaw."
The above is a good diary posted moments after this one about the lengths many people of color go through to avoid police brutality. You should read it, it is very on point. Act with caution, tell your kids to do the same... but, even if they do all that what keeps the police from shooting your dog? What stops them?
11:45 AM PT: UPDATE: Looking for something to do? here is the contact info for Hawthorne PD.
Contact: Lieutenant Scott Swain
Detective Bureau Commander / Public Information Officer
(310) 349-2835 Desk (310) 345-2348 Cell