Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Monday, July 22, 2013

What Is This About? Well, I'll Tell You.

I've been closely following this story since I saw the video (which went viral almost immediately) on June 30, 2013. I myself exploded online with a stream of profanity that still didn't even begin to convey the outrage against what I'd just seen. This is about Leon Rosby, who was arrested videotaping police activity near his home in Hawthorne, California. He was there recording these activities because there have been numerous complaints against those very officers in the past regarding abuse of power and excessive force.
As you can see in the following videos, Leon Rosby was not the only one recording the police that day. So why not arrest everyone with a camera phone? Maybe he happened to be standing a little closer than everyone else. So what? It didn't look like he was interfering to me.
Or maybe... he was one of those in the community who had a pending complaint against some of the officers in that Department. That much is fact.
This is about Max, Leon's two-year-old family pet that he raised from a 6-week-old puppy, brutally shot to death in front of him when he tried to come to the aid of his owner.
Max, who was protective, uncertain, possibly trying to understand the meaning of why everyone was yelling at him, at his owner, at each other. Max, who being in the middle of all this sees a hand suddenly come toward his face.
Dogs view that as a threat, and if Jeffrey Salmon, the officer who ultimately shot Max knew anything about dogs at all (he claims to be a dog owner himself) he would have at least known that. Max, who despite being confused, taunted and threatened, never once went into a full attack mode. Never once bit... anyone.
Since that day, worldwide public outrage (and some death threats) in the form of emails, letters, and phone calls prompted the Department to pull those officers off the street. As far as I know they're still pulled from duty.
I also know that so much of this outrage has now been focused into efforts geared toward holding such officers accountable for their actions, because it is a well-known fact that this police brutality against our family pets isn't just a problem in Hawthorne, California.
It's a nationwide epidemic, this violence by law enforcement against family members - that's right, I said family members - has gone on unchecked far too long.
Case after heartbreaking case all over the U.S. of a police officer pulling out a gun and killing the dog on the street... after throwing him down a stairwell.... while on a catchpole and only trying to get away... while sitting in her own open garage.... while still in his yard.... inside the home... while still in their crates.
This list is endless. This has to stop. This has to stop.
This is about Leon and Max. Putting a stop to it begins with supporting Leon and Max.

Original video, as well as the one police claim exonerates them: