POSTED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 4:50pm
HAWTHORNE, CA (CNN) — There's controversy in Hawthorne, California, where police shot and killed a man's dog last weekend.
It was all caught on camera and the video has gone viral.
The dog's owner and several witnesses believe the officer could have tased the dog or shot it only once.
But the Hawthorne PD says the officer acted in self-defense.
Several cellphone videos capture the encounter that led to a Hawthorne Police officer shooting two-year-old max.
The rottweiler jumped out of Leon Rosby's rental car window as police were arresting him. We can't show you what happened next but we can hear the shots and witnesses screaming in horror.
"He wasn't just a dog, he wasn't just a dog, you know, he lick on my face, lick on my ear."
It happened on sunday night. Rosby, who lives around the corner, was coming home from the dog park when he saw this scene of barricaded suspects. On this video, you can see him with Max. He's videotaping police with his cellphone and his radio is blaring in the background. He also shouts out to police but what he says is indiscernible. Rosby tells us he was trying to make sure police weren't violating anyone's civil rights. The 52 year old has six complaints against Hawthorne PD, and has even filed a lawsuit alleging officers broke his rib. He says one of the men named in the suit spotted him at the scene.
"And I saw him and he noticed me, he pointed at me."
That's when he alleges these two officers started walking towards him. He puts Max in the car, but the windows are open. He turns around and lets officers cuff him. As officers move Rosby, Max gets out.
"That dog would not have lunged at you if you wouldn't have approached him like that, I know it, I know my dog."
No one at the Hawthorne Police Department would go on camera, but in a written statement said quote the dog lunged and made aggressive movements towards the officer. Fearing that the attacking rottweiler would imminently bite the officers, one officer fired his duty weapon several times, striking and killing the dog.