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.

Facebook Page Dedicated to Dog Shot by Cops Bans Dog's Owner from Posting on Page (Updated II)

Justice for Max cover page


This is not exactly photography related, but considering I was one of the first news sites to post the video of a California cop killing a dog while arresting its owner for video recording them, I wanted to provide this follow-up.

The story went completely viral, so a Facebook page went up called Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police that has 15,739 likes in less than a month, which is an astronomical number if you compare it to PINAC’s Facebook page that has 11,600 fans after two years.

The problem is, they’ve banned Max’s owner, Leon Rosby, from participating on that page as well as several of his friends.

Nevertheless, this is how they describe the page:

We’re a group demanding justice for Max, the innocent rottweiler, who was shot and killed by police when they arrested his owner for filming a situation from a public area (which is not illegal!!)

The debacle is being discussed on Rosby’s page where we became friends but he currently has set to only where his friends can read his content. I’ve asked him to switch the page to public so everybody can read for themselves because it’s a lengthy discussion on several threads.

But if you send him a friend request, he will accept.

The administrators of the other page refuse to identify themselves and may even be making money off the site, but that has not been determined. They’re claiming they’re only using Max’s name to benefit all dogs.

But they apparently accused Rosby of stealing their photo of Max, which was his photo in the first place. At least that’s what Rosby’s friends are saying.

The administrators are welcome to comment here and explain the situation and I will update this piece accordingly. I just don’t feel like dealing with anonymous people at the moment.

And friends of Leon on Facebook say he has trademarked Max’s name, so if so, then I imagine he can sue them for infringement.

Here are copy and pastes of the conversation we’re having on Facebook, which will help you understand the situation that I am still trying to piece together, starting with one from Rosby:

@ (Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police) I just read a comment from you guy’s once again and you said it’s not about me and Max but about all the animals that are abused. I agree to that somewhat. Now, if that’s the case use another name in stead of Justice for Max. The incident happen to us! I will get Facebook to deleted the page. I don’t feel that you guy’s are being truthful and up front with all the supporters. Justice 4 Max, it mean more than just getting someone to LIKE a PAGE! I would like to thank all the supporters that want JUSTICE FOR ME AND MAX……….
  • Carlos Miller How long has this been going on?

    How many people have they blocked?
  • Carlos Miller What benefit are they getting out of this? Are they raising money?
  • Tamara Rivera Lots of ppl have been blocked exept for me cuz I said they can block me If they want for voicing my opinion.. but just shows how divided they are from the real cause. So they said they aren’t going to block me if I’m not rude…
  • Elizabeth Salz Leonelli This was their response to me yesterday: 2:35pm Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
    “What you are not understanding, is we are under no obligation to contact him, nor give him the name of this page’s Manager (per Facebook TOS).”
  • Elizabeth Salz Leonelli I think the benefit they are getting is the “power” of having 15,000 listening to you & it’s a control issue. I think as many people as possible should message their big supporters & tell them what’s going on & to come over here.
  • Tamara Rivera I believe there’s someway she’s making money off of this page. If u dnt have time to tlk to maxs owner on the phone but have time to run the page…theres something fishy. She stated a bunch of times she’s a social media manager and she has tons of other pages…so someway she’s making money off of this, and that’s why she doesn’t want suggestions to help her page out with accurate and important info abt what’s going on with leon and his fight for justice 4 max. So with that said, we need to try and get everyone on one official page with leon as the admin like he is doing now. We need organization and we dnt need that page for anything!
    4 minutes ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • Elle Wittelsbach I love when he said you stole his picture- wow! It’s a picture of YOUR dog. Whaaaa? sigh. If only this person would just post your official page link, you could have gotten 15,000 followers. I don’t get it- they are losing focus.
    4 minutes ago · Like · 1
  • Carlos Miller Which picture?
  • Elizabeth Salz Leonelli They’re not just losing focus, their turning against the very person & cause they made the page for! They won’t even communicate with him! It’s shameful!
  • Tamara Rivera Without leon and all his info from his supporters they wouldn’t have their page in the first place. They have my pic inside of their collage on their cover photo but u dnt see me upset lo

UPDATE:  The Justice for Max page also lists the following disclaimer that they are in no way affiliated to Max and his owner.

**Disclaimer: This page is in no way directly affiliated with or run by Max’s owner, Leon Rosby, or his legal team, though we may choose to post information that they have provided if deemed appropriate.

Please TAKE ACTION and JOIN THE FIGHT – sign the petitions below!Here is the WHITE HOUSE PETITION: is the CHANGE.ORG PETITION: want #JUSTICEforMAX, the innocent rottweiler owned by Leon Rosby, who was brutally murdered by officer Salmon of the Hawthorne Police department. Leon was practicing his constitutional right to photograph a situation from a public area (according to the ACLU:, when he was arrested. He complied with the officers and put his dog, Max, back in his car before complying with the arrest. Unfortunately, because it was hot outside, the windows were down and the dog curiously jumped out of the car when his owner was being taken away. Instead of using alternative force, such as tackling, kicking, a baton, pepper spray, a taser, or anything else that the officer could have chosen besides his firearm, he made the CHOICE to use DEADLY FORCE against the dog, who was frightened and confused. Please join us in the fight for #JUSTICE!!

There doesn’t seem to be any monetary incentives on the site but on several posts throughout the page they state that the falling out with Rosby is because he has asked them to identify themselves and they refuse, which seems weird considering they are using Max’s name to promote  the cause they believe in.

After all, you can’t have Justice for Max without having justice for Rosby because not only was it his dog killed, but he was the one who was jailed for video recording cops.

Rosby, who is already immersed in a lawsuit with the Hawthorne Police Department, should get an even higher settlement because of this latest incident.

That other group is asking everybody to sign petitions with their real names yet they refuse to reveal their real names.

If that’s the case, then they should not use Max’s name to further their agenda when Rosby is the one who is really seeking to make the Hawthorne Police Department pay for the murder of his dog.

UPDATE II: Here is a lengthy comment left on Rosby’s Facebook page that gives detailed background on the situation:

    • Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz OK, I can chime in on this story with some first hand comments as I am the person who “offended” the other page. As some background, I am one of 10 admins for this FB *GROUP*: 

      I did NOT create that group but was appointed one of the admins after the creator, Trevor, decided I was a bit of an asset. 

      OK, so fast forward. I was not hopping around looking at other pages or trying to protect the “Justice for Max” movement from infringement, or anything. I was just in my group above kind of oblivious to the other pages. 

      About 3 days ago, on Tuesday, Leon came to our group and posted asking who was the admin of this particular page (NOT a group, but a community page): 

      And he actually thought I was one of the admins. He posted his number – and I called him and confirmed I was NOT the admin of the page above (distinguish from the “group” I am an admin for). Leon mentioned on the phone that there were some pages that were posting erroneous information and that it was getting out of hand how many pages there were. His family pointed this out – he was too busy mourning, being depressed, and going to therapy that he did NOT immediately go home after Max was killed and start a FB page – but others did. Some of the pages were using pictures from his own personal FB page (a violation of trademark/copyright law and a violation of FB’s ToS) and appeared to be spinning some of the facts to make supporters less sympathetic. For instance, some of the pages were posting that if anyone wanted to make a donation to the Leon/Max cause to send it to the ASPCA. This is erroneous – Leon tried to correct it but they ignored and/or banned him.

      So, the page in question, while I had Leon on the phone – I messaged the admin. 

      Here’s the beginning of the thread (keep in mind that I am at this point investigating on behalf of Leon who I had on the phone at the moment this thread was going on): 

      Conversation started Tuesday

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      Who is the administrator of this page??

      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      I am one of the Admins. What can I help you with?

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      But, who are you? I have Leon on the phone – he wants to know who you are!
      He needs to issue you guys a license for using the name “Justice for Max” and wants more clear communication on what is being posted. There’s some inaccuracies. We can do a conference call if you’d like! 212 XXX XXXX,

      [no response]

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      Hey there: Just got off the phone with Leon. He says he’ll message you in a minute or tomorrow. Basically, he wants to know who you are and wants to establish a direct line to you (the admins) so that the information is authenticated before it’s disseminated to the community. With a community of 15000+ yo
      u can do a lot of good or a lot of damage if the wrong info is posted!

      [13 hours later – no response]

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      Guys, whoever the chief admin is – please contact Leon at XXX XXX XXXX. The idea is to have a quick engine of dissemination but not necessarily too close to home. In other words, perhaps, he can text an admin directly (a member of his team) for breaking news, etc, for quick posting on the page. In reality, simply knowing who some of the advocates are is ideal – but only one is necessary. Making him an admin is less desirable, I believe, because it can backfire if someone posts something negative and he’s an admin – he can take bad press for that. If he has a circle of 5-8 advocates who are charged with the various social media outlets, that would make for a tight, well organized, machine. I wonder if I’m making sense here. On the phone, he wanted to know who the admin/s is/are so I’m not making this stuff up – I’m only trying to help him get organized. I’m going to help build the website and am one of the admins for the group but for this community page with 15000 likes, we have no idea who the admin/s is/are!

      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      Joseph you’re making sense but I’m telling you, we all have jobs – I

      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      I don’t have time to call you, none of us are going to call you. We run the page by just grabbing info as we get it and post it. If there is anything Leon wants posted, simply have him message the page. I can’t be on call for you – I’m literally at work right now in an office. BUT, if you message the page, we will see it. We are more than happy to help spread the word about whatever is needed! We just are too busy to basically be “on call” for you via call or text message.

      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      As we said before, we are happy to post anything that needs posting. Just let us know or have Leon let us know. If we have any questions about verifying something before it goes out, we know we can go to you or him now. We are more than happy to run this page and keep the content going but none of us are going to give you our personal numbers as we do not work for you – we’re just running a page here! So please just message us with anything important. Thank you!

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      OK – Spoke to Leon briefly today; he would like to have direct access to the lines of dissemination but if you’re able to post things relatively quickly, that should work. He’s likely going to have his own official pages launched soon so he can post things and then you can mirror off of there. Cool? The page you’re running looks good though – it’s good for keeping people interested in the cause which is very crucial.

      I thought the thread was over there – and that the issue was “dead”. But it continued the next day (see below).

      In that same conversation, I recommended to Leon, and walked him through the procedure step-by-step including the wording, title of page selection, etc, the creation of his own “Justice 4 Max” FB page which he created at that moment and appears here (in fact, I was the first like!):

      Now, you can confirm the ill-will of the page above (Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police) because you can visit them and see that they refused to post Leon’s new page info, Max’s funeral services info, and also his accurate donation info (he set up a fund receivership through a CPA in Northern California and he wanted to post that info because he was getting lots of messages asking how people can donate to the cause – he was in deep about 10K at that time including the memorial, examination of Max’s corpse by their private medical examiner to examine the trajectory of the rounds shot by Salmon, the legal fund, the legal research, the criminal defense by the criminal lawyer, lost wages/salary, etc.) 

      So, to confirm that the page above is not being honest, simply look for evidence that they are NOT posting all the info concerning Leon/Max such as his official page and Max’s funeral services. Once you see that, you should be able to more easily determine that they have some other interest or agenda. I can speculate along with you once we look at some evidence. 

      So the thread continued that morning – I messaged them asking them to post Leon’s new official FB page info and here is the thread (notice how it bounces back showing they blocked me):

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      Please post this (feel free to authenticate by going to Leon’s page): “Attention ALL members and visitors to this page: Please visit the **OFFICIAL** Leon Rosby/Max the Rottweiler Facebook Page here:
      While the present page you are on is excellent to help gather support for the cause, if you want official information and news directly from Leon and his team, please go to the official Facebook page!
      Thank you to the wonderful admins of this page for creating this page to help gather support and keep up the good work!!”

      Justice 4 Max – My Baby Rottweiler Killed by Hawthorne, CA, Police
      OFFICIAL Page for Justice 4 Max about Max my Rottweiler who was killed by the Hawthorne Police in Hawthorne, CA. Please visit 4 OFFICIAL latest/breaking news & info. God Bless. Let’s get Justice 4 Max and ALL DOGS unjustly killed by police! by Leon Rosby
      Page: 707 like this

      Mail Delivery Failure

      ***** SO at this point, the message bounced back so this was a bad sign so went ahead and posted a message on our GROUP inviting people to go to their page and post Leon’s official page info and there were some pages not working with Leon and possibly pursuing their own agendas. I was then unblocked and that same page sent me this message (she creates a bit of a straw man or smoke argument where she says I have a problem with them because they won’t surrender personal information – not true; the message above shows I/Leon were fine with them just posting what we wanted… that is until she blocked):


      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      Joseph – I see that you are posting in the group that somehow us not giving our identities away is bad. Did you consider we don’t want to be in your back pocket for every beck and call you have? Also, you claimed that you asked us to share your official page – you did not, look at this thread! Did you ask that? No. Instead you spammed the page and are trying to get it shut down. Great, yeah, get rid of 15k supporters! Sounds like a good plan! lol (sarcasm)

      Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police
      PS – we don’t need you to issue us a license. We’re the ones who created a page. Leon is free to message us anytime, as we’ve said again and again. 

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz
      Uh, then offer to make me admin, Leon admin, or someone he chooses. You didn’t even posit that as a possibility… why not? Beck and call? What are you talking about? If we didn’t, then we must have internally mis-communicated. No, not trying to get it shut down – YET. What I did was to begin the process by telling FB that your page is infringing by using our photos, likeness, etc, without permission. If you were willing to work with us and simply communicate better we would then give you a license to use Leon’s name, likeness, etc, to make it legal and legitimate to do what your’e doing. You’re not a lawyer, right? I am.

      **** READ THIS **** Now, it’s clear that the young lady who runs the page (she does work as a brand ambassador by sitting and posting for other small companies’ FB pages) doesn’t understand IP law. That’s fine – it normally involves a license to use photos, etc, on another page – otherwise, photos are protected works that cannot be taken and used without permission. She didn’t understand that.
      So at that point, blocked again, I can offer some thoughts on her state of mind. (After the serial blocking/unblocking we had a few more messages where I indeed accused her of having a fragile ego, which is true, and of being an imbecile only after she referred to me as a “moron”. In reality, she’s ignorant as to IP law and common intuition and has a thwarted sense of doing the right thing: it is appropriate by any standard to work with the cause you are supporting – and I’ve already proven she’s NOT. As for “personal information” she could have called from a blocked number, a Google Voice account, etc, and/or she could have simply posted what we wanted her to like Leon’s new official FB page where she refused to – I was not after her personal information, but it would have been nice and transparent )

      ** PERHAPS THE MOST INFLAMMATORY THING SHE HAS DONE ** is when she WENT to the actual NEW Leon FB page and started bashing him. She pretends to be Richard Nelson, posts inflammatory things about Leon, then affirms it as the actual page she is the admin for “Justice for Max the Rottweiler – Murdered by Hawthorne Police.” See the unbelievable truth right here:

      So you have all the info now along with clear evidence that the girl who is running the page not only refuses to post Leon’s brand new OFFICIAL page on her page, but also has the absolute temerity to go to that page and bash him. AMAZING!

      So, in sum, the girl has a page with 15K likes which is valuable – about 1 dollar per like. And she built it all by herself! Yay, except she borrowed a cause and then refuses to work with the actual… cause itself/himself and then bashes that cause. You cannot write a better script for a lethal piece of vermin. I don’t need you to speculate – I’m all about the evidence: this is all out in the open and you only need to see a few things like the failure of her to post Leon’s info on her page and her posts on Leon’s page bashing him to realize she’s up to, as Leon said, “no good.” You can FURTHER AND CONCLUSIVELY confirm that she’s in it for other reasons (and therefore this ceases to become SPECULATION) by seeing this ** HEARTBREAKING ** and ASTONISHING post here where she posts ** asking for advice on what new cause to now support? ** In other words, she wants to abandon the Max/Leon cause – because she probably doesn’t really care for it – and wants to maybe commercialize the new page with 15K likes: maybe she wants to start selling some kibbles: which may carry a pay day for her. 

      I’m uploading a picture to show the post. SEE THE PHOTO!

      At this point I’ll post some thoughts on her state of mind. 

      As a teenager, she’s simply not an adult yet. She feels she built a page with many likes and does not want to relinquish control – to any degree – to anyone. It is what it is – people can be prideful. She clearly did not support Max’s cause fully or she would have posted Leon’s official page info, Max’s funeral info, etc, and certainly would not have gone to his page to bash him! The absolute nerve of that human being!! She’s NOT doing the right thing – and that’s my opinion. But she is/was gathering support for the cause and posting info on the petition which was why I was fine with her staying under her veil provided she posted some of the info we asked her to. When she didn’t do so, that was when I posted in my group that our members should go over there and post Leon’s official FB info on there on my behalf since I was blocked: and she deletes the comments/posts immediately. 

      Subjectively, the girl acts like a child, gets defensive easily, and is easily agitated. All traits I can work with – I think the kiss of death is the pride/ego that kicks in for her and the latent ill-will I started to sniff out. Many people would probably do the same and feel like they’re being bullied or intimidated and they simply do not want to respond to it. Notice in my message above we concluded the conversation and I was fine with her staying anonymous as long as she posted the info Leon wanted. Once I saw I was blocked, I went ahead and asked our members to go to her page and post Leon’s new FB page info – a very intuitive and reasonable thing to do. 

      So, at best the young lady perhaps has a hidden agenda (see picture), oozing pride, very fragile ego, and a degree of dishonesty (see her page and confirm she is NOT posting Leon’s page info yet claiming to not have info to post, etc, and she is obviously trolling other pages to see what’s going on so it’s clear she knows of the info but merely refuses to post it.) 

      You decide! 

      Here is my plea/advice for you:

      Press/exposure is critical. If you can go to her page and either 1) post Leon’s page info that would be ideal so we can steer traffic to Leon’s official page on the cause. Alternatively or in addition, 2) message the girl and tell her she needs to come clean and post Leon’s info and to please work with him since she is purporting to support the cause of “Justice for Max.” It’s not too late to work with the girl. She thinks I’m rude – but in reality, I am only rude – but not
      derogatory – only in the face of absolute and unrelenting ill-will and ignorance. If she then starts selling kibbles, then it is what it is – maybe people will look for a new page and will come across Leon’s official FB page on the cause.

      Joseph Cuervo Maya-Munoz's photo.
      18 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 2