WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Hawthorne man is suing the city in connection with the fatal shooting of his Rottweiler by police last year in an incident that was caught on video and viewed nearly 3 million times online.
Leon Rosby filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming as defendants Hawthorne police officers Christopher Hoffman, Michael Matson and Jeffrey Salmon. He alleges violation of civil rights, negligence and intentioinal inflictionof emotional distress.
Rosby is asking for unspecifed compensatory and punitive damages.
A representative of the Hawthorne City Attorney's Office did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
The dog was killed by police around 5:45 p.m. last June 30 at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue, where officers were on the scene of a barricade situation. According to police, Rosby pulled up to the scene and began taking pictures. Officers determined he was interfering with the officers and decided to arrest him, according to police.
The dog, Max, was in the backseat of Rosby's car when the animal jumped out and began lunging at officers, police said.
Hoffman shot Max multiple times, according to the lawsuit.
``Officer Hoffman's conduct was directed at Mr. Rosby and was intended to humiliate and harm him and to cause psychological trauma to Mr. Rosby by forcing him to watch the brutal and inhumane execution of his beloved dog,'' the suit states.
The video of the incident by a bystander ``was downloaded millions of times and became the source of national and global attention and utter embarrassment for the Hawthorne Police Department,'' the suit states.
In retaliation for the video, Hawthorne police ``fabricated police reports that claimed Mr. Rosby was the aggressor during the arrest,'' according to the lawsuit. ``The police reports also claimed that Mr. Rosby threatened and intimidated other witnesses from releasing other videos of the incident.''
Rosby was targeted for harassment by Hawthorne police after he filed a complaint against the department in July 2011 alleging ``corrupt practices,'' the suit states.