Three Hawthorne (Calif.) Police officers appearing in a video in which one shoots and kills a dog as they arrested its owner were pulled from street duty on Wednesday following numerous death threats against them and their families, police said.

The decision to assign the officers to duties within the station for their safety followed an inundation of threats over the telephone, on Facebook and in emails, Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain said.

The vitriol followed the Sunday incident at 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue during which the Rottweiler was shot after lunging at the officers. The dog had reacted aggressively after officers handcuffed its owner, Leon Rosby of Hawthorne, for allegedly causing a disturbance toward the end of a nearly two-hour police operation to arrest a suspected robber holed up in a house.

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