A video of police shooting a dog to death in front of its owner has gone viral after being posted to Reddit Monday afternoon.
The dog owner, Leon Rosby, was taking video of police officers in Hawthorne, Calif. as they barricaded a house, CBS reports.
Another bystander behind Rosby was recording him, and can be heard saying that Rosby asked the police why there weren't any black cops present. This drew the attention of two Hawthorne police officers, who started to approach Rosby.
Rosby can then be seen putting his dog, which looks like a Rottweiler, into his car and voluntarily putting his hands behind his back to be arrested. As he was being handcuffed by the officers, the dog started barking and jumped out of the car.
As the dog approached the officers, barking, the police shot the dog several times. Police said they had no choice but to shoot as the dog lunged towards them.
"It looks like the officer tried to reach down and grab the leash, and then the dog lunges in the direction of him and the other officers there," Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said to the Daily Breeze. "And I know it's the dog's master, and more than likely not going to attack him, (but) we've got a guy handcuffed that's kind of defenseless. We have a duty to defend him, too."
Rosby's attorney, Michael Gulden, told CBS that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Hawthorne Police Department. He said the incident took place at 137th Street and Jefferson.
The bystander uploaded the video of Rosby's arrest and the dog's death, undated, to YouTube on June 30.
Two hours after it was posted to Reddit, the video had 32,000 upvotes, but the comments were disabled because of Reddit's rule against, "witch-hunting or or incitement to witch hunt. This means no demanding 'Reddit justice' in any way in post titles or comments."