BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The district attorney in Boulder is expected to file charges this week against the police officer who killed an elk in a neighborhood.
On Sunday dozens of people took part in a silent walk to remember the animal some called “Big Boy.” Marchers played the sound of bugling elks to voice their protest.
The elk was shot on Jan. 1 near the intersection of 9th and Mapleton by Officer Sam Carter, who is pictured below posing with the elk like it’s a trophy.
“The officer that allegedly killed the elk blew its heart apart with a single blast from a police department shotgun, and that event pierced the hearts of many people here in Boulder,” one of the members of the walk said.
Boulder’s police chief Mark Beckner said the incident was against “protocol.” He said it wasn’t reported by either officer until residents began to ask questions about the killing. He said Carter, who was on duty and on patrol in the area at the time, reported that he felt the animal needed to be “humanely euthanized” because it was injured.
After Carter shot and killed it with a single shot, he called Curnow. After Carter posed for a photo with the elk, Curnow “took the elk in his own vehicle to process the meat for personal use,” Beckner said in a letter to residents.
Both have been suspended and are under a personnel review for the shooting and for not having reported firing their service weapons.
The residents of the Mapleton Hill area in Boulder say the police department risks losing credibility by not punishing the officers.
“We’re concerned about the larger culture of misconduct that needs to be addressed in order for taxpaying voters to regain trust in the department,” a Boulder resident said during Sunday’s walk.
Neighbors say the elk had been living in their neighborhood for weeks and was not a threat.
The fervor following the killing of the animal has been impossible to ignore. Prior to Sunday’s walk there was a candlelight vigil and meetings with the police chief. A musician also made a music video about the situation. (Watch the video on DailyCamera.com).