Warning: This video is disturbing.
When is a dog a real threat that requires shooting four times until it's twitching and dying on the ground, and when is it just a dog doing relatively unthreatening dog things? In the heat of the moment, it's probably difficult for a police officer to tell. On Sunday, during an arrest in Hawthorne, California, one cop erred on the side of shooting the dog four times.
According to the Daily Breeze, Leon Rosby had been asked to turn down the music blaring from his car because it was interfering with an investigation. The man stupidly chose not to comply, and when the police approached him, he placed his dog in his car and readily offered himself up for arrest. That's when his Rottweiler, Max, which had been barking from inside the car, jumped out of the window and ran toward the police. But then it stopped and appeared relatively calm. It started sniffing the ground. One officer took a step toward Max and appears to try to grab his leash. The dog rears up on its hind legs, as dogs often do when strange people invade their space. The cop leans away and starts firing. The dog twitches horribly on the ground as onlookers scream.
The Hawthorne police department says the officer acted reasonably, for reasons that, in part, are clearly bullshit.
"It looks like the officer tried to reach down and grab the leash, and then the dog lunges in the direction of him and the other officers there," Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said. "And I know it's the dog's master, and more than likely not going to attack him, (but) we've got a guy handcuffed that's kind of defenseless. We have a duty to defend him, too."
Yes, kudos for saving Rosby from his own dog. Max had probably been biding his time for years, waiting for the perfect moment to strike at his owner. With Rosby in handcuffs, Max finally had his chance. It was only through the courage of the Hawthorne Police that his plan was foiled.