How Does This Happen? Police Kill a Dog Helping His Owner

A video of the Rottweiler shooting has gone viral. People are outraged -- we're outraged -- but the department stands by the officers' actions.

Michael Leaverton  |  Jul 3rd 2013


It’s a video you don’t want to watch: A dog, a Rottweiler named Max, coming to the aid of his owner, gunned down by policemen. It’s gone viral, outraging many, with others saying that the officers used appropriate force. 

The Hawthorne Police Department has been flooded with calls and email protesting the shooting, but department heads in the Southern California city are standing by the actions of the officer. 

The owner, however, is going on the offensive. He says police were retaliating against Rosby for a lawsuit filed in March against the department, based on previous run-ins with officers. 

You can watch the video here. We don’t recommend doing so, because of the graphic nature.

It all started Sunday, when Rosby, driving home from a dog park, passed an area near his home where police had surrounded a house. He got out of the car with his dog, Max, and starting filming the police, just like a few other people were. Officers told him to turn down the music in his car. Rosby didn’t. A short time later, when officers approached Rosby, saying they were going to arrest him, Rosby immediately complied and put his dog in his car and came up to the officers. He turned around and was handcuffed. 

Then Max started barking from the car, clearly concerned over his owner. The dog jumped out and ran over. He didn’t attack. He just seemed to want to get to his owner. But when an officer attempted to grab the leash, the dog reared up on his hind legs and lunged. The officer began shooting the dog.

Max’s convulsions and death are captured in the video.

Later, talking to KABC, Rosby relived the moment. 

“I said, ‘No Max. No. Stop.’ And then I came out and I said, ‘Please don’t kill my dog. Please don’t kill my dog,'” recalled Rosby. “He’s just having convulsions. He’s in pain. But he hollered out and tried to look back at me. He tried to look back at me to see if I was OK. I’m a grown man. I’m 52 years old. I never thought I’d get attached to a dog like that.”

“They took a member of my family. They took a member of my family,” Rosby said.

Rosby told the Daily Breeze that the pair had been returning from the dog park, and on the way home, the dog kept licking him on the back of his neck.

“All he did was love me,” Rosby said.

Via L.A. Times

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