Graphic Video: Police Unjustly Arrest Cop Watcher and Brutally Kill His Dog

Warning: The above video is incredibly disturbing.

In a candid display of police brutality and the implications of cop watching, officers in Hawthorne, CA, unjustly arrested Leon Rosby after peacefully exercising his right to film police activity — and then fired four fatal rounds into his 3-year-old dog, Max. Rosby was filming the multiple police cars and armored vehicle that responded to an armed robbery call when he quickly became a target of overly aggressive and discriminatory policing tactics.

Police allege that music coming from Rosby's car interrupted their focus, although the above video clearly shows Rosby documenting police within his legal boundaries. Speaking in an interview Rosby clarified, 'The music may have been a little loud but I was complying . . . I said, 'Sir, I want to make sure nobody's civil rights were being violated.'" He was immediately put in jail overnight on charges of "suspicion of obstruction" and barred from keeping the remains of his dog.

Rosby had already filed six complaints against Hawthorne police and attributes this most recent arrest as retaliation for reporting his experiences with police harassment and racial profiling. Max's killing will be included in Rosby's most recently filed complaint from last July when police ruthlessly beat him, broke his rib, and jailed him without reason.

The incident highlights the inherent risks of cop watch, the importance of cop watching in a group, and how valuable it is to have video of police misconduct as proof and exposure of when officers abuse their authority. Police resistance to Cop Watch is common and it is important to know your rights and best practices for cop watch before pulling out your camera.

ColorOfChange recently launched Cop Watch NYC, a community-based website to empower New Yorkers to exercise their rights and use cop watch as tool for transforming policing tactics and holding officers accountable. Each of us can do our part, and if enough New Yorkers routinely film the police, officers will think twice before engaging in discriminatory and abusive behavior. Please join the Cop Watch NYC community today and get all the information you need to safely Cop Watch, share your story, post video, and strengthen the police accountability movement.

Go to CA State Page
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