LONG BEACH — Long Beach police continue to investigate the heat- related death of a police dog who was found alone last month inside a department-issued vehicle, but some activists aren’t content to wait for the results and are calling for an independent probe.

A small group of demonstrators have gathered in front of Long Beach Police Department headquarters for the last two Saturdays to demand justice for Ozzy, who was found dead by his handler at about 3:40 p.m. on Aug. 14, a day when the high in Long Beach reached 89 degrees.

Some of the same animal rights advocates also sent a letter to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey last week asking for a criminal investigation.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by City News Service, states in part:

“After much research, we fully understand that an internal investigation (by Long Beach police) may result in this story being hidden as a personnel matter and forgotten. But we believe that Ozzy was an officer of the law and deserves the respect that any human officer would receive.”

On Aug. 28, the LBPD said an investigation into the death was being conducted by the department’s Internal Affairs division.

Police said earlier they believe the dog’s death might have involved malfunctioning equipment.

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