Officials say the two police officers accused of beating porcupines to death face animal cruelty charges and have been fired, according to ABC news.
Addison Cox, 27, and Michael Rolerson, 30, also face charges of hunting at night, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
“A tremendous amount of power is given to. those who. wear and badge and are tasked with protecting their communities; it’s a power that I. do not take lightly,” Rockland Police Chief Chris Young posted on social media.
A third officer is on administrative leave for filming the video of Rolerson killing the animal, according to the Courier Gazette.
The incident happened back in June, but wasn’t reported until late August by another police officer, according to the Courier Gazette.
A court complaint states Cox and Rolerson, “in a manner manifesting a depraved indifference to animal life or suffering, did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause extreme physical pain to an animal; cause the death of an animal; or physically torture an animal.”
In a report gathered by the Bureau of Warden Services, Rolerson estimated that he killed about eight porcupines, while Cox killed three.
“Mike is a decorated veteran, a dedicated police officer and a loving family man. He and his family have been devastated by. these accusations. This is not an opportunity for some activist to score cheap points on a police officer,” Rolerson’s attorney, Steve Smith, told CNN.
Cox and Rolerson have appealed their termination, according to The Courier Gazette. The two are set to appear in court Nov. 9.