Protest Held Over Dog Killed by Police

Hawthorne police were the subject of controversy after they fatally shot a Rottweiler they say attacked them on Sunday

A protest was held on Saturday outside the Hawthorne Police Department over a fatal police shooting of a Rottweiler that was captured on a video that went viral.

Police said they didn't know how many protesters were expected, but they planned to have some 90 officers from six agencies available as a precaution. Authorities closed down side streets surrounding the Hawthorne Boulevard station.

"We want it to be a safe protest," said Lt. Scott Swain, of the Hawthorne Police Department. "We want them to exercise their First Amendment rights. We understand what this incident has created."

Leon Cordell Rosby's dog, Max, was shot Sunday at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue in Hawthorne, which is about 15 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. An officer fired after the Rottweiler jumped from an open car window and lunged toward him during a SWAT stand-off with armed robbers, police said.

After shooting the dog, police booked Rosby into the Los Angeles County Jail on a less-serious obstruction charge in connection with the incident, according to online jail records. He was held overnight Sunday before being released from jail on Monday.

The video, which has been seen millions of times on YouTube (Warning: Disturbing Content), shows an officer firing at a Rotweiler that appeared to jump at him.

The incident garnered threats against Hawthorne police, including from the hacktivist group Anonymous, which released a YouTube video saying Hawthorne police are "our primary target."

The police department defended their actions, saying the dog was a threat. They released their own video of the shooting shot from a resident from another angle.

They re-assigned the officers involved in the shooting to other patrol areas and placed their families under protection.

"We've been faced with threats and calls and emails," Swain said.

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