As happens all too often in America these days, police in the process of hassling a citizen* shot his dog in cold blood, for nothing more than reacting to his owner being handcuffed and taken away. (In fact, he appeared to just be trying to accompany his owner.)
You can read the news story and watch watered down segments from the (now-viral) YouTube video that luckily/sadly captured the whole horrific incident here:
4NBC.com: Video Shows Hawthorne Police Killing Dog While Arresting Owner
If you really want to get angry and upset, here is the full YouTube video itself:
(Fair warning: between the anticipative build-up, and the graphically-painful shooting, this video is very unpleasant to watch, to say the least. But it ultimately moved me to create this page, so maybe watching it is an important step in engaging with this incident in a real way. Just be prepared for your heart to react.)
And here’s Leon Rosby describing the killing from his perspective after the fact:
More news links:
- Claim Filed in Hawthorne Police Shooting of Dog | NBC Southern California
- Protest Held Over Dog Killed by Police | NBC Southern California
- Owner of Dog Killed by Police Calls for Threats Against Officers to Stop | NBC Southern California
- Hawthorne police kill dog during arrest of owner, video of shooting goes viral – The Daily Breeze
Below are some of the petitions that have been started in reaction to this disgusting use of force. Please sign the ones you agree with.
Here’s hoping Max’s very public and tragic death will help to move the conversation about police treatment of dogs more into the public. Police, of course, have all sorts of extraordinarily strict rules about when they can draw and use their guns against civilian humans…but as stories like this show, companion animals are often treated like they are a wild bear or something, just moments from mauling everyone to pieces if they aren’t “put down” instantly. But when videos like this come out (and eyewitness accounts, in cases where there aren’t videos) we see that there is no imminent threat to life, or even danger to limb. The police could have let this guy take care of his dog–or even just not have reached at and provoked him–and there wouldn’t have been a problem. It’s that simple. (Hawthorne Police Chief Robert Fager says that his department does not provide training specific to aggressive dogs. Put they do provide guns to kill them with.)
Here are the petitions. If you know of others, please leave them in the comments.
Justice for Max the dog (The Petition Site)
Fire the officer responsible for shooting Max (Causes.org)
Hawthorne Police Department: Stop Shooting Our Pets! (Change.org)
Also, here is the Hawthorne Police Department’s phone number: (310) 349-2700
Call and urge them to change their policy on use of force against dogs. And maybe their policy on making unnecessary arrests that lead to stupi-tragic escalations like this one.
Apologies to Hawthorne, CA taxpayers, but I hope Leon Rosby sues the city dry for this incident. Then maybe other cites and police departments will take notice.
COPS: STOP SHOOTING INNOCENT DOGS!
*OK, sometimes it happens when police are actually enforcing laws and trying to prevent crime. Though just as often they are giving someone a hard time, or it’s a case of mistaken identity, or a during no-knock raid or something. I’ve seen the stories, time and time again.