Hawthorne, CA police arrest man for videoing them, shoot his dog

I clearly saw some aggression from the dog in the video. Which is understandable since his owner was being arrested – the dog’s natural inclination is to attack the people that he sees arresting his owner.

This is also a dog breed known for aggression, we aren’t talking about a tiny toy poodle here but a large pit bull. Per the ASPCA:


Pit bulls have been bred to behave differently during a fight. They may not give warning before becoming aggressive, and they’re less likely to back down when clashing with an opponent. When provoked, they may become aggressive more readily than another breed might. Sometimes they don’t inhibit their bites, so they may cause injury more often than other dogs.

It’s an unfortunate situation all around, but when put in a position where I could be mauled and disfigured for life by a large, aggressive dog who perceives his owner to be under attack – I’d also choose to put the dog down.

That appeared to be a Rottweiler, not a pit bull nor even closely related. Further, a dog has no “natural inclination” to attack people arresting his owner, though the dog might be trained to do so.


OK, Rottweiler, then – same “large, aggressive” rule applies.

A 2008 study surveying breed club members found that while Rottweilers were average in aggressiveness (bites or bite attempts) towards owners and other dogs, it indicated they tend to be more aggressive than average towards strangers. This aggression appears correlated with watchdog and territorial instincts.

A large dog – a breed that is known to be “more aggressive than average toward strangers” approaches you unleashed and makes lunging motions toward you because you are arresting its owner. Think quickly – do you want to be mauled or disfigured for life?

It’s an unfortunate situation, but if the dog had been properly leashed or secured in the car by its owner, perhaps avoidable. I’ve been told before that there are no “bad” dogs, just bad owners.

Seriously. That warning was not nearly strong enough for how horrifying that scene was.

The only problem: the dog didn’t lunge. If you think the dog was being aggressive, you have not been trained to identify dog behavior. The worst thing I saw was the leap at the end, but it went in with paws, not mouth–you can hear it bark.

Further, calling him a bad owner for not doing the exact right thing in the heat of the moment is exactly the same argument you are attempting to dismiss when we’re calling that guy a bad cop. Given the ramifications of the owner’s failure vs the cop’s failure, yeah, I’m going to go harder on the cop.


Perhaps tomorrow you can show the video of the 5 police officers being put in hospital by a dog attack in London.

I think it’s awfully easy to armchair quarterback when our skin isn’t on the line, and we aren’t at risk of being mauled or permanently disfigured by a large dog, a breed known for aggression toward strangers, that is unleashed and agitated because its owner is in perceived peril.

Nobody likes to see dogs shot, but nobody likes seeing people get mauled by dogs, either.

The dog thought it was just a game, it’s clear. The Policeman was not bright or aware enough to understand the situation, but that’s not a requirement it seems. I can’t help feeling that if the dog was on a lead, then perhaps it might have been a better outcome. Still, it’s another reason to hate dumb cops! :smiley: He’s even a crap shot, or just simply sick in the head, but I bet he felt cool in his stupid sunglasses.

Seriously though, aargh BoingBoing! That was horrendous, I wasn’t expecting to see a dog writhing in agony on the floor in it’s death throws. It made me feel hot in the face with anger and horror.

  • I’m must add my warning to others, this video may stay with you for a while. It’s probably not really worth watching, in other words.



Rottweilers are not “known for aggression toward strangers.” Dogs in general are not known for aggression, and dog bites are extremely rare; even assuming that single study were conclusive, that would only mean that you are slightly more likely to be bitten by a Rottweiler.

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Essentially, you’re arguing that you are justified in shooting any dog within your sight if the dog isn’t physically restrained, since all dogs have the potential to harm humans.

Please… just never carry a gun, okay? I fear for pets everywhere if you ever have the means to carry out your paranoia driven mission to remove any possible threat from your environment.

Also, consider that the vast majority of us manage to both survive and thrive in the presence of dogs without having to take them out first ala Rambo if they ever have the audacity to move faster than a sedate walk in our presence, and maybe reconsider your threat assessment abilities.


What generally bothers me about most incidents involving police is that lethal force is their default action. They don’t reach for pepper spray or a taser, they pull out a gun.

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Some forum spelunking provides:

I can personally attest to the fact that there are NO guarantees when it comes to pepper spray stopping people…or dogs. I have seen it fail to even slow down,much less stop,drunk or otherwise impaired individuals. I have also seen a large pit bull on the attack shrug off pepper spray like it was water and continue merrily chomping away. Food for thought: Have a plan “B”. Be ready to go to guns if appropriate,or,if not appropriate,a large fixed-blade knife,or even a baseball bat,will do. Pepper spray CAN work. It very often does. Just not always,every time.


A quality taser will flat out drop even the most aggressive dog where it stands. Trouble is hitting it while it is charging and before it locks on you or your dog and not hitting your dog once it has locked on. In a case of two or more dogs that are intensely fighting I couldn’t imagine being able to get a safe clear shot unless it was a contact shot. In my experience by far the best option is a larger canister of OC spray, and for dogs the type with the sticky foam base has worked great for us on several occasions in the past.

It’s a reasonable question, because there are definitely YouTube videos of dogs getting tasered and pepper sprayed. But animals are nothing if not unpredictable – if you want to be absolutely sure nobody is going to get mauled, disfigured, maimed, or even killed by an animal, then it’s indeed true that police use of lethal force versus animals seems to be common.

Anyway, arguing that the police should try pepper spray first on animals when they can (can you effectively pepper spray a dog that is charging you?), then go to lethal force only as necessary after that, does seem appropriate.

Aaaaand here’s the cop apologists.

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Common is not a moral justification.

People are unpredictable too–by that logic, why shouldn’t the cops have killed the owner too?

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People aren’t legally property in the eyes of the law. At least not since the 1800s in the United States of America, they aren’t.

I saw this today as the Daily Mail link was forwarded to me. Of course, If they’d just shot the black guy, the Mail wouldn’t have run the story…

Then it’s a good thing that you don’t carry a gun and a badge. There’s no place in civilized society for armed thugs who act out their fears with state-sanctioned violence.


You can’t even identify the dog, and yet you’re willing to shoot it.


Then stop doing it. Feel free to read our moderation policy regarding victim blaming.


You make a very good point. The ASPCA, American Veterinary Assoc, et al should start awareness raising campaigns to bring these every day dog murders to the public’s attention. These orgs. have certainly made clear their positions on dog treats from China and the Ag. Dept’s intention to allow the slaughter of horses for meat, among other issues dealing with the humane treatment of animals.
I also wonder if the rules of loyalty among the members of U.S. police forces inhibit members of the canine units from teaching other cops basic ways to handle dogs that don’t end up in so many killings. I would thing police who work with dogs might have some insight and empathy for ALL dogs. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t.

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