Police in Hawthorne, Calif., have come under scrutiny after a YouTube video surfaced of an officer fatally shooting a man’s dog.
In the video posted online, 52-year-old Leon Rosby is seen walking his dog, a 2-year-old Rottweiler named Max, on a street barricaded by police cars. Rosby was videotaping the scene on his cellphone.
When Rosby put his dog inside his car, two officers approached and arrested him.
As Rosby struggled with officers who attempted to walk him toward their parked vehicle, Max jumped out of the car window and approached his owner.
As one officer tried to control the Rottweiler, the dog lunged at the group of police officers. An officer then fired multiple shots at Max, causing him to convulse on the ground as witnesses could be heard screaming.
“They took a member of my family,” Rosby told ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC-TV.
“I’m a grown man, I’m 52 years old,” he told KABC-TV. “I never thought I would ever get attached to a dog like that.”
Rosby’s wife, Brigitt Rosby, told ABCNews.com that Max was a smart, friendly dog who was especially close to her husband.
“He loved to take pictures,” she said of the dog. “If you asked him to smile for the camera, he would actually smile for the camera.”
Hawthorne police said in a statement that they were responding to an armed robbery on the street Sunday evening where Rosby had been walking Max. Rosby interfered with the situation by blasting loud music from his car and walking his dog too close to the home in question, which “created an increasingly dangerous situation,” the police said in a statement.
The Hawthorne police said they were “truly sensitive to the invariable loss of this dog,” according to the statement.
Following the shooting, Rosby was booked into the Hawthorne Police Department’s jail for interfering with officers and was later released.
The Police Department is investigating the incident “to ensure appropriate adherence to our department policies and procedures,” the police said.