Three Hawthorne police officers go off street duty after shooting dog

HAWTHORNE DOG SHOOTING

Rina Palta/KPCC

An impromptu memorial at the site where a Hawthorne police officer shot and killed a Rottweiler. A subsequent online video has had millions of views and an intense reaction on social media.

Southern California police officials say they've pulled three officers from street duty after a widely circulated video showed an officer fatally shooting a Rottweiler and drew numerous death threats.

RELATED: Dog shooting video: Hawthorne police receive threats, chief asks public to back off

Dog shooting video: Hawthorne police receive threats, chief asks public to back off

Hawthorne police spokesman Lt. Scott Swain told the Daily Breeze the decision is for the officers' safety after the uniformed officer shot the dog four times on Sunday.

RELATED: Were Hawthorne police justified in killing man's dog during arrest? (video)

A cellphone video that had more than 3.7 million views on YouTube by Thursday morning shows the dog, named Max, being shot after scrambling out of a car's back seat through a window and lunging at officers who had handcuffed its master.

RELATED: VIDEO: Southern California police officer shoots, kills dog during arrest

The dog's owner, Leon Rosby, says police needlessly killed his dog. His lawyer, Michael Gulden, said Rosby's complaint will be added to an existing lawsuit Rosby has against police.

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