2 Maine police officers were fired and charged over allegations they killed 11 porcupines with their batons
A porcupine stands in its enclosure in the park of the former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, in the village of Ziniare near Ouagadougou on September 21, 2019.
Addison Cox and Michael Rolerson, former employees of the Rockland Police Department, are charged with killing porcupines while at work, according to the Courier-Gazette.
Another official, Kenneth Smith, was on administrative leave for recording porcupine killings and posting them on Snapchat.
Cox and Rolerson were both charged with aggravated animal cruelty and night hunting after the incident was reported by a colleague.
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According to The Courier-Gazette, two Maine police officers were fired and prosecuted after an investigator reported that they hit and killed about 11 porcupines with their "retractable batons" while they were working.
The two Rockland Police Department officers - 27-year-old Addison Cox and 30-year-old Michael Rolerson - were charged with aggravated animal cruelty and night hunting offenses after various investigations into the incident, the Courier-Gazette reported.
Cox is also charged with unlawful use or possession of equipment or supplies, while Rolerson is exposed to lighting from wild animals or birds, according to the point of sale. Both officials have reportedly filed complaints about their dismissal with the support of the Teamsters union.
Police chief Chris Young said in a statement Sept. 30 that he was unable to detail incidents the officers were involved in, particularly while the department was pursuing an investigation into unspecified allegations.
"Those who wear a badge and are charged with protecting their communities have tremendous power. I do not take that power lightly," Young wrote in the Post. "I ask you to trust that if an allegation of police misconduct were brought up, I would take it very seriously and that any investigation would be conducted appropriately, with public safety and the trust of the community always at the fore. "
Another official, Kenneth Smith, was taken on administrative leave to record and post a video of Rolerson "killing a porcupine" on Snapchat, the Courier-Gazette reported.
The report says that footage released in June showed Rolerson allegedly hitting a porcupine with his baton and saying, "I got it." Shortly afterwards, according to the sales point, a picture of the dead animal was published.
The two officers later told investigators that they killed the porcupines. Rolerson said he killed about eight porcupines while Cox said he killed three, the Courier-Gazette reported.
A fellow officer reported the incident in August, telling her manager that "Officer Rolerson not only chased the animal into the woods to kill it, but returned with a smile on his face and appeared to him liked, "said the courier. Gazette.
A district attorney told CNN that the two officers are expected to appear in court in November. The network reported that neither of them had filed an application yet.
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