An arrest in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne on Sunday quickly turned very sour following the release of a YouTube video showing a police officer unloading four bullets into a two-year-old Rottweiler. The internet has been quick to blame the police for the unnecesary death of the dog, but it's clear that the owner shares a great deal of the blame.
Leon Rosby, 52, was filming the ongoing scene of an armed robbery in his neighborhood with his cellphone while other citizens looked and recorded as well. Rosby's car, meanwhile, is audibly blaring loud music, which caught the attention of responding police officers who asked him to turn it down. Rosby did not immediately comply and was subsequently arrested.
Police alleged that Rosby was "causing a dangerous scene" and spent the night in jail for obstruction of justice.
Is the blame for Max's death on the hands of his owner or the hands of the Hawthorne Police Department?
Were the authorities within their rights to ask Rosby to lower his music? Was he really contributing to a dangerous scene?
Rosby, who already has a criminal history and a pending case against the Hawthrone Police Department, admitted that he didn't "immediately" comply with their request and that his music was in fact "a little loud," but he was more concerned with "making sure other people's civil rights were not being violated."
Generally, citizens are well within their rights to film and record police officers on duty. But Rosby was disturbing an intense, active investigation with armed robbers and his leisurely or delayed cooperation resulted in officers choosing to take him into custody.
Police were certainly within their rights to defend themselves against attack by a dog which had the potential to cause a lot of bodily harm.
Some allege this scenario is a result of a vendetta by the police department for Rosby's charges against them, and others contend that Rosby was seeking more ammunition for his case, but it is clear Max's blood is more arguably on his owner's hands both for an unnecessary agitation of on-duty policemen and for the obviously irresponsible stowing of his pet, the ultimate victim.