Two Boulder police officers were arrested this morning on charges they conspired to kill an elk in a city neighborhood on Jan. 1, District Attorney Stan Garnett announced.
Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow were accused of taking the animal as a trophy and for meat.
Carter had told police the day after the shooting that he encountered an elk near Mapleton Avenue and Ninth Street late Jan. 1 that he said was injured and needed to be put down, according to an arrest warrant afidavit quoted by 9News. He allegedly called Curnow, who was off-duty, to help him with the carcass.
DA spokespeson Catherine Olguin said charges include tampering with physical evidence, attempt to influence a public servant and forgery, as well as misdemeanor charges of unlawful taking of a trophy elk, use of an electronic device to take an elk, and official misconduct. Several are felony charges.
The officers were released later today on $20,000 personal recognizance bonds, Olguin said..
Neighbors have said the elk was friendly and had been roaming the neighborhood for some time. Protests were held, including a vigil and a group of people who walked silently through town blowing elk whistles.
Police Chief Mark Beckner issued a statement today. according to the Boulder Daily Camera. It said in part:
"We realize that this case has hit a sensitive nerve in the Boulder community, and I want to reassure our community that I understand their concerns and that I intend to hold these officers accountable for their actions."
Both of the officers are on paid administrative leave as separate investigations are ongoing.
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