Cops who killed raccoon under investigation

March 13, 2018 06:48 PM

COEYMANS - The New York State Department of Health has confirmed the raccoon that was deliberately run over and killed by two Coeymans police officers on Monday "did" have rabies.

That diagnosis, however, according to many, doesn't vindicate the officers involved.

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Acting Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento says an internal investigation is underway to determine if the officers involved were guilty of any wrongdoing. Contento says suspension or termination are possible results of the investigation.

When Coeymans police officers arrived at the Faith Plaza in Ravena Monday afternoon, they say they encountered a sickly raccoon that was having difficulty walking and had lost its fear of contact with humans.

Concluding there was a public hazard and fearing their service weapons would only heighten the danger, the officers decided their best option was to eliminate the animal with their squad cars.

"I was sick to my stomach and I was appalled by it," said Todd Cramer, President of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, "I've never seen anything like this in my 20 years doing this type of work."

Cramer says he has no problem with the decision to euthanize the raccoon, his bone of contention arose because of the manner in which the animal was killed.

"You want to eliminate or minimize pain, suffering, fear, and distress and that doesn't appear to have happened in this case for this poor raccoon," Cramer added.

Contento issued a statement Tuesday afternoon pointing out the offers acted "without malice or contempt, and without another remedy, and acted only with the public's wellbeing in mind."

"There's no clear solution to this problem," opined John Cooney, a retired Troy Police captain. "In a sense we have a success story, offensive to some, understandably but when the police have to exercise judgment to resolve a situation, it's going to be offensive to the public, it's going to be something we don't want to watch."

Added Contento: "While as anomalous as this incident was, the Town of Coeymans Police Department is committed to developing and implementing a less visceral and safer solution to any such incidents going forward."


Dan Levy

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