After considerable outrage over a video of a Hawthorne, CA police officer fatally shooting a large Rottweiler, the Hawthorne police department released a second video of the incident that they say exonerates the officer’s actions.
After someone posted a cell phone video of the incident on YouTube last week, the police department reportedly took the officers in the video off of street duty to mollify the protesters. A video obtained on Monday by the Huffington Post, “taken on a cell phone by a second witness at the scene,” though, shows that the “shooting officer reaches his hand toward the dog and hesitates before shooting it four times.”
Public information officer Lt. Scott Swain sent the video to the outlet and said, “You can see the officer gives out his hand to let the dog sniff it and tries to grab the leash.”
In response to claims the officer was “trigger happy,” Swain said officers are trained “to shoot multiple shots” and “trained to eliminate the threat.”
Critics of the officer’s action said he should have released the dog owner, Leon Rosby, after he arrested him, so he could tend to the dog or have someone pick it up. Rosby was reportedly arrested for “interference with officers.” He was playing loud music and refused to turn it down after he was instructed to do so by officers who felt the music was interfering with an investigation.
The department has also been threatened by “hacktivist” group Anonymous. Rosby’s lawyer, Michael Gulden, said that police were retaliating against Rosby, who has claimed police used “excessive force” on him in the past when his “wife called police during a non-violent verbal disagreement because she wanted Rosby to leave the house for the night.When Rosby agreed to leave, she called back and said no action was needed.”
Rosby claimed officers arrived and noticed that he was the person who had filed diversity complaints against the department. Rosby claims he was beaten because police recognized him as a “troublemaker” and has subsequently been pulled over in “retaliation” for the complaints he has filed.