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Hawthorne Police Charge Man Whose Dog They Killed with Felony Threats

 

Hawthorne police are striking back against the man whose dog they killed on video in June, which led to an international outcry against the Southern California police department, resulting in more than 10,000 emails to the department, including a few threats.

On Tuesday, he was charged with six felony counts for allegedly confronting a witness who had video recorded the shooting. Not the witness who recorded the original video that went viral, but another witness who provided police the video, allowing them to edit it before disseminating to the media, claiming that it “exonerates” them.

That video, which can be seen above, shows the shooting from a closer angle than the first, but  the faces of the cops have been conveniently blurred and there is a significant portion of the video missing.

In the video, police can be heard telling Rosby something, which I wasn’t able to decipher.

But we can clearly hear Rosby respond by saying, “I can stay here and watch,” which leads one to believe they were ordering him out of the area and said nothing about his music being too loud.

The verbal exchange appears to have stopped there because then the camera pans back towards the house they were surrounding and all we can hear is the cops ordering somebody out of the house through a megaphone.

The video then cuts to the portion where they are placing Rosby in custody and his dog, Max, had hops out of the car window and is circling the cops.

Rosby can be heard saying, “Don’t shoot my dog,” while somebody behind the camera is saying, “shoot it, shoot it.”

So it’s obvious this guy is a cop apologist.

Now, according to police and prosecutors, Rosby returned to that witness’ house and threatened them. But they did not elaborate, which is a sign that they are exaggerating any exchange we had with the residents.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged the owner of a Rottweiler that was fatally shot by Hawthorne police with a half-dozen felony counts for allegedly threatening a witness who recorded the incident.

Leon Cordell Rosby, 52, faces two counts each of felony dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime, intimidating a witness and making criminal threats and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

Rosby was expected to surrender Tuesday morning at the Airport Courthouse. Prosecutors were planning to ask ask for $310,000 bail.

If convicted, Rosby faces up to five years in state prison.

Prosecutors allege Rosby went to the witness’ residence and verbally confronted the woman who took the video and her son. Authorities did not immediately disclose the nature of the threats.

Here is a statement from the department as to why the initially arrested him.

During this evolving critical incident and the extraction of suspects from the home, Officers containing the location were interfered with by an individual. This interference included loud, distracting music (from the individual’s vehicle), and his intentional walking within close proximity to armed Officers, while holding an 80-pound Rottweiler on a long leash-line. These acts, in totality, created an increasingly dangerous situation and demanded officers’ focus away from the matter at hand. By comparison, numerous citizens were filming similarly as the suspect, but from a safe distance and compliant to Officers’ regards.

The last line in the above statement is in bold because I wanted to highlight that their own witness was video recording from a distance not much further than Rosby. While it’s true the mother and her son were recording from their front yard, Rosby was recording from a public sidewalk which had not been taped off as police normally do to set up a legal perimeter where citizens are not allowed to cross.

There was no perimeter, so there was no way for citizens or police to determine what is, in fact, “a safe distance.”

Rosby was standing on a street corner across the street and three houses away from the house police were surrounding. If they were, in deed, concerned about his safety, then they should have been equally as concerned for the safety of the cop apologists recording from their front yard.

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Or if they claim they were in fear for their own safety because of his 80-pound Rottweiler who was on a leash, then you would think they would have taken more precautions before arresting him to ensure the dog was secure.

It’s more likely they were trying to teach him a lesson because he had filed a lawsuit against them in March of this year.

According to the Huffington Post:

According to the lawsuit, Rosby’s 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.

However, when “an army of officers” arrived, they started beating Rosby, according to the lawsuit. The officers allegedly said that they recognized Rosby as the “troublemaker” who had previously made a complaint about the lack of African-American officers employed by the Hawthorne police department as well as a prior complaint alleging that the department had engaged in racial profiling against him in July 2011, the lawsuit says.

Gulden said that since Rosby filed his first complaint against the Hawthorne police in 2011, he has been targeted and pulled over four or five times for invalid reasons, including a false accusation of having a license plate that did not match his car.

I exchanged messages with Rosby briefly on Facebook and he said he was arrested and has bailed out. He said he is in dire need of donations to help fight the latest charges. You can send him donations through his Paypal address: Justice4max1@yahoo.com

The following was posted earlier today on a Facebook page  seeking justice for his dog.

UPDATE: New charges against Leon filed yesterday. It appears like the woman who lives at the house where Max was killed took issue with Leon being there on July 7th and
filed a complaint with Hawthorne PD which
resulted in several charges of witness
tampering and criminal threats being filed
yesterday. There is an arrest warrant for
Leon right now – but mysteriously, they did
not want to arrest him while he was in court
yesterday! Perhaps, they want to arrest him
during the council meeting tomorrow – so he
may boycott it. Bail is set at 300K and to
make bail Leon would have to come up with
10% of that which is 30K. He picked up a
new attorney yesterday with more expertise.

From the conversations I’ve had with Leon,
the examination of his posts all the way back
to the beginning, and the videos I’ve seen
where he’s demonstrating, etc, he is a
peaceful guy: he lacks the capacity to make
threats and to try to intimidate. Plus, how’s
this for a valid point: he had no idea who
WAS or wasn’t a witness; no one knew
because no one has announced who shot
the second video and who submitted it to the
police. How can you even prove Leon knew
that this was a witness to ANYTHING? He’s
talking to people on the street – could be
anyone. Compare this to traditional
tampering: a guy goes after a witness after
it’s been established there’s a witness to
some crime/event and makes threats to that
person to not show up or to further
participate in the investigation or
prosecution. You lack intent and knowledge
and a threat – you have a classic “he said,
she said.”

The fight continues

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.