Boulder Furious Over Elk 'Murder'

Group holds candlelight vigil

A bull elk browses in Rocky Mountain National Park     Photo: Ingrid Taylar

Boulder residents outraged by the New Year's Day killing of a neighborhood elk by a police officer voiced their concerns at a meeting with the city's chief of police on Monday. Mark Beckner told attendees that his department was conducting an internal investigation, and assured them that the officer implicated, who is on paid leave, would be fired if necessary. "If we didn't think there were issues, we would not be investigating," he said. "It appears policies and procedure weren't followed. Now we need to either prove or disprove that."

According to the Daily Camera, that did not satisfy some Boulder residents.

But some members of the crowd did not take the same approach, with one comparing the paid leave to putting "murderers on vacation." Beckner also said he has received emails from people going as far as asking that the officers be executed.

The controversy start on January 1, when Boulder police officer Sam Carter shot the elk in Boulder's Mapleton Hill neighborhood. Afterward, he called off-duty police officer and part-time taxidermist Brent Curnow, who, with the assistance of a sheriff's deputy, loaded the elk into a pickup truck and brought it home to process it. While the officers claimed the elk was wounded, a Boulder police spokesperson said the next day that the pair had not reported the incident to the department as required.

Residents of Mapleton Hill have widely criticized the killing of the friendly elk, whom they called "our guardian." (Though at least one person says the elk had behaved aggressively toward people in the past.) In a uniquely Boulder response, a local group organized a vigil last Thursday—complete with candles and pictures of the elk—to "celebrate the life" of the animal.

Via Daily Camera

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