August 13, 2013
Six charges have been filed against Leon Rosby, the man whose Rottweiler named Max was shot by Hawthorne Police on June 30.
Leon, 52, pled not guilty in court on August 13 to multiple felony charges including two felony counts of dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime, intimidation of a witness and making criminal threats, NBC reported.
Leon was also charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. This charge is hard for those who have watched the video to understand. Leon placed his hands behind his head before police were even close to him, and there’s video evidence to support this. So why has he been charged with resisting arrest?
For those new to this case, Leon and his 3-year-old Rottweiler who was shot by police received worldwide attention after horrified witnesses watched Leon being arrested and his dog Max being shot. What began as Leon videotaping an incident where police were trying to apprehend a dangerous criminal has turned into a fight for his very life.
Not only is he still suffering profound grief over the loss of his dog, he now has to contend with being sent to prison for several years.
Attorney Mark Geragos had several choice words for the judge, who threatened to sanction the lawyer for interrupting. After the hearing, Geragosn told NBC Los Angeles
“I would just send a warning shot to Hawthorne PD: The light has been shown on you and, like little cockroaches, you should run away. The cops are now scrambling get him into custody in order to try turn the spotlight away from their actions.”
Leon isn’t in nearly as much trouble from the events that occurred the day Max was shot as he is with the witness tampering charges. According to the district attorney, it’s alleged that Leon went to the home of one of the witnesses, where he verbally harassed her and her son.
If convicted, Leon faces more than five years in prison. His attorney told the Los Angeles Times that the charges were “one of the biggest perversions of the criminal justice system” he had ever seen.
Supporters for Leon believe the new felony charges stem from his case from July 2012, where he was allegedly assaulted by police during a non-violent domestic call and has a lawsuit pending. Although the suit won’t go before a judge until next year, Leon alleges
“an army of officers appeared and attacked Mr. Rosby without cause or reason…slamming him to the ground, and then punching and kicking him repeatedly. The officers stated while beating him that they recognized him as the “troublemaker” who had previously made a complaint about the lack of African American officers employed with the Hawthorne police department, and about a prior complaint that the Hawthorne police department had engaged in racial profiling of Plaintiff on July 29, 2012.”
Hawthorne Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Swain, the Hawthorne city attorney had already excused himself from deciding whether to formally charge Leon with a misdemeanor count of interfering with officers the day of the shooting, saying it would be a conflict of interest because Leon has a previous excessive force lawsuit against the city.
What do those of you who have followed this case believe is happening here? Did Leon interfere with a witness, or do the police just want to get him behind bars to prevent him from presenting a credible case of racial profiling against Hawthorne Police? Your comments are welcome.