On the evening of Tuesday, January 1st a beloved male elk that had been frequenting the Mapleton Hill area of Boulder, Colorado was shot dead by on-duty police officer, Sam Carter. Officer Carter stopped to pose with his trophy shortly after killing Big Boy, a name given to the elk by neighbors in the area. He then called fellow officer, Brent Curnow, who was off-duty, to come and collect the animal for butchering.
What both officers failed to do was report the incident either to their dispatch or supervisors at the Boulder Police Department. They also didn't report the incident to Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, which is also required.
Officer Carter has given several somewhat conflicting accounts of why he shot Big Boy, first telling investigators that Big Boy appeared injured and that he was putting him out of his misery. He also told investigators that Big Boy was aggressive and that's why he fired. Both of these stories have been contradicted by neighbors who saw Big Boy on an almost daily basis, including neighbors who had seen Big Boy just hours before he was killed.
What is clear is that Officer Carter acted recklessly, needlessly firing a shotgun in a heavily populated residential area. It's also clear that he was not interested in reporting the incident, which is a violation of the law he is sworn to uphold.
At the very least Big Boy's killing violates Samson's Law, which was passed after a similar incident in 1998 where a poacher killed another beloved neighborhood elk. Samson's Law is meant to protect so-called trophy animals from unscrupulous hunters. Animals protected under this law are those with six-point antlers or larger. Anyone caught killing one of these protected animals face a fine up to $10,000 and other criminal penalties.
This petition closed over 1 year ago
Officers Carter and Curnow have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by both the Boulder Police Department and Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. It...
Officers Carter and Curnow have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by both the Boulder Police Department and Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. It is our hope that both officers will be fired by the Boulder Police Department and charged in the reckless killing of Big Boy.