Rottweiler shot by police: Charges filed against dog's owner


Leon Cordell Rosby, 52, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two felony counts each of dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime, intimidation of a witness and making criminal threats, and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

Online video shows Hawthorne officers shooting his Rottweiler during a police situation in the city on June 30.

Hawthorne police responded to an armed robbery on 137th Street on June 30, where a standoff ensued. Investigators said Rosby was interfering by blaring music from his car and walking within close proximity of armed officers. After Rosby put his Rottweiler in his car, two officers approached Rosby and handcuffed him. Moments later, Max jumped from the car and lunged at an officer, who shot the dog.

At a later date, Rosby allegedly went to the residence of one of the witnesses to the incident who had shot a video that police say shows the dog lunged at an officer before the officer opened fire. Rosby allegedly had a verbal confrontation with the woman and her son.

Mark Geragos, Rosby's attorney, says his client would have no reason to harass the woman who shot the video. His lawyer also says Rosby should have been released on his own recognizance.

"Why would we care about the video? The videos have gone viral, the videos show my client did nothing," said attorney Mark Geragos.

Rosby says he's never spoken with that individual.

"I don't go out and have individual conversations with anybody. I don't even know what they're talking about," he said.

Gerragos is preparing a lawsuit.

"We will pursue every legal avenue and remedy against Hawthorne PD. What they did was outrageous," he said.

Rosby was able to make his $310,000 bail. He addressed the media outside of the Hawthorne courthouse.

"First and foremost, I want justice for Max, and I want justice for me," said Rosby. "I have continuously been retaliated against by the Hawthorne Police Department, and I want them to stop. My family is being intimidated, I'm being intimidated, and I want them to stop harassing me."

From there, Rosby, his family and supporters presented the Hawthorne City Council with hundreds of thousands of signatures from an international online petition calling for the firing of the officer who shot Max. Rosby carried a very visible reminder of his dog.

"I'm walking around with an urn with Max in it, he wasn't just a dog. He was a family member," said Rosby.

Rosby's supporters also addressed the City Council.

"We want him charged with animal cruelty, we are serious. This is what we have left of Max, this is what we have left of Max," one supporter told the council, holding up the urn.

Rosby is due back in court Sept. 10. If convicted, he faces up to five years in state prison.

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