Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. Hide the children. Tell the faint of heart to leave the room. What you are about to watch is horribly graphic and deeply disturbing… Okay, maybe that’s overstating things a bit.
What you’ll see in the video is a Maryland Sheriff taking out a wily groundhog, who allegedly refused to cooperate with the LEO’s commands.
Cpl. Jon Light with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office explained why the officer opted to use deadly force against the rodent.
“You see the groundhog coming after the officer. At this point in time, the animal was not acting as a normal animal would. It is within our policy to dispose of any animal that could pose a health threat,” Light said in an interview with W-BAL.
“It doesn’t appear that it had bitten anyone at that point,” added Light.
What is a “normal” reaction for a frightened and distressed animal? Dunno, but evidently, this chubby little guy wasn’t behaving in that manner.
Here’s the official narrative from the Sheriff’s Office:
The deputy was travelling on Rt 26 in the area of White Rock Road when he observed traffic backing up along the road. He found that the groundhog in question was walking into the roadway, causing vehicles to stop and creating a hazard. He got out of his vehicle to assess, and as he tried to direct the groundhog off of the roadway, he realized that it was not responding as expected for an animal that was not being cornered or trapped. Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s safety.
Justyna Olkowska was the onlooker who recorded the confrontation on her camera phone. Judging by her narration during filming, it’s clear she didn’t expect it to end the way it did.
“It started out as a cute encounter where I thought he was trying to help the little fella,” said Olkowska, of Pikesville, Maryland. “I obviously did not think that it would take this turn and was kind of shocked. I am sure the officer did the best thing in this situation. It is not for me to judge.”
While it’s probably wise to avoid armchair QB-ing the officer’s response, people on Twitter can’t resist the urge:
My super progressive friends are using a Carroll County Sheriff Deputy shooting a sick groundhog as a evidence of entrenched police brutality and racial inequality. Those things do exist and they are a problem, but the video has nothing to do with either of them.
— Rob Carlson (@vees) May 8, 2018
Completely unnecessary. #Pathetic
The groundhog was almost to the other side. I’m gonna go out on a limb, and speculate that the sheriff will claim the animal was Rabid.
— Chef Joseph C. Kenny (@Superstarzchef) May 8, 2018
Police officer kills scared groundhog causing traffic backup. This is really sickening. He assumed it was sick since it would not runaway. He could have picked it up and put in the nearby woods. Instead he shoots it dead claiming its a hazard.https://t.co/1zDoyMaXPE
— William T. Riker (@RikerResist) May 8, 2018
The only thing that stops a groundhog without a gun is a bad cop with a gun.
— BeerBrewerDan (@BeerBrewerDan) May 8, 2018
This dude legit shot the groundhog because it didn’t obey his order to exit the other side of the street. It began running for the left side and he pulled out his gun and shot it. Pathetic coward. pic.twitter.com/ANacRXynFF
— tony (@_2XL_) May 8, 2018
That behavior was untypical of a groundhog. it was a sick groundhog and he painlessly put it out of it’s misery and helped stop the spread of distemper or rabies. Good job
— diddy (@karylparks) May 8, 2018