Alberta, CA — A woman recorded a disturbing video with her cell phone last week as a police officer repeatedly ran over a suffering deer with his car as if to torture the poor animal.
Erica Pritchard took the video on January 5th as she was driving her father along a scenic route. She witnessed a vehicle slam into the back of a young deer which apparently broke its back legs.
According to Pritchard, no one was hurt in the crash except for the deer. However, when the Lethbridge officer arrived on the scene, Pritchard says she was disgusted at what happened next.
The officer then proceeded to run back and forth over the deer multiple times.
“I figured that that’s not what you’re supposed to do,” said Pritchard, who then started to film the disgusting act. “Hearing the deer screaming every time he ran over it was shocking.”
As GlobalNews.ca reports:
In the almost 15-minute video, shared exclusively with Global News, the officer runs over the injured animal slowly with his truck at least four additional times. The video begins with the officer running over the animal with his front tires as the animal shrieks in pain.
Roughly seven minutes later, the young deer raises its head and attempts to struggle to its feet before falling to the ground. The vehicle then runs back and forth over the animal twice more before stopping on top of the animal.
The video ends with the officer exiting his vehicle and dragging the animal to the side of the road before driving off.
“It made me feel really sick, actually, where we couldn’t watch anymore,” Pritchard said. “We turned up the music a little bit in the truck so we wouldn’t hear the screaming of the deer.”
After the video went viral, police chief Robert Davis responded to the incident by noting that they referred the case to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) for investigation.
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“After watching the video, I understand the concerns people have and I can assure the community that we take this very seriously,” Davis said. “The ASIRT investigation will review the officer’s actions as well as our current policies and procedures for responding to injured animal calls.”
Why, exactly, the officer didn't simply pull out his side arm and put the deer out of his misery remains unclear as this would have been the most humane and quickest way possible to stop the deer's suffering. Instead, this officer went on for several minutes, extending the last moments of this deer's life with brutal torture and pain.
“My whole career, you deal with an animal by shooting it,” Davis said. “However, there may be circumstances where that is not practical, and if that is a gap that is identified in the investigation, then we will rectify that gap.”
“At this time, I’m not familiar with any processes outside of using a [firearm],” he added. “You want to end the suffering as quickly as possible.”
The ASIRT investigation has no timeline, according to Global News, as to when the investigation into the officer will be complete. But Pritchard knows that someone should take action.
“A cop shouldn’t be running over deer like this. That is actually animal abuse,” she said. “Someone should take action on the matter.”
As TFTP has reported before, cops running over animals with their cruisers is unfortunately not extremely rare. Earlier this year, police officers in Delaware were criticized for their response to a call about two stray dogs, and the concerned citizen who called animal control to ask for help said that the officers' actions were actually what she hoped she could save the dogs from.
Leigh Spencer told Fox 29 that she was horrified when she witnessed the officers intentionally trying to run over over the dogs with their patrol cars. "I was the one that called Animal Control, and this was the outcome," she said.
Spencer said that about a dozen police officers initially showed up and began clapping their hands and whistling, which made the dogs even more scared than they were before. She should know as she claimed one of the dogs actually came to her and put its snout in her hands. She was about to get control of one dog but she said police "brushed her away."
After none of the officers were successful in getting control of the two strays, police then made the decision to run them over with their patrol cars. Both dogs were injured when the SUV hit them. One dog was then shot and killed by an officer, while the other dog successfully got away.