Man Whose Rottweiler Was Shot By Hawthorne Police Sues City And Officers

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A man whose rottweiler was fatally shot by police on a video seen by more than 4 million times online has filed a lawsuit against the city of Hawthorne.

Leon Rosby filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, as well naming Hawthorne police officers Christopher Hoffman, Michael Matson and Jeffrey Salmon as defendants. The lawsuit alleges violation of civil rights, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Rosby is asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The dog was killed by police at about 5:45 p.m. on June 30, 2013, at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue, where officers were on the scene of a barricade situation.

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Police say Rosby pulled up to the scene and started out taking pictures, interfering with the barricade situation, so officers made the decision to arrest him.

The 2-year-old rottweiler, Max, was in the backseat of Rosby’s car when the animal jumped out of an open window and began lunging at officers, police said.

Hoffman shot Max quite a few times, according to the lawsuit. The video showed the dog dying on the street as shocked onlookers wailed and screamed in the background.

In retaliation for the video, Hawthorne police “fabricated police reports that claimed Mr. Rosby was the aggressor during the arrest,” the lawsuit claims. “The police reports also claimed that Mr. Rosby threatened and intimidated other witnesses from releasing other videos of the incident.”

Rosby was targeted for harassment by Hawthorne police after he filed a complaint against the department in July 2011 alleging “corrupt practices,” according to the lawsuit.


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