January 18, 2013

He's Dead Tonight

We had some chortles on these pages at the expense of the kooky denizens of Boulder, Colorado, who were holding candlelight vigils for "Big Boy" the elk who was slain at 9th & Mapleton.

I had chance to discuss the incident with a good friend of this blog. She (and that is the absolute last hint you can expect) suggested that it was rather un-ThreeSources-ish of us to assume that the good and brave representatives of Boulder Government were on the up and up -- and that the people were wrong.

That stings a bit, but I rubbed some dirt in it and had to confess that there were some disquieting elements of the story. Clearly, an officer discharging a weapon in the city limits should file a report. And clearly there was a lot of activity outside of official sanction.

It is hard to choose between what is correct, consistent, and honest -- and what can be construed as agreement with Boulderites. It's hard and our friend admitted such.

The perps are going down, and I have to admit that -- candlelight vigils notwithstanding -- the police operate under scrutiny to be entrusted with force, and they should be held accountable.

District Attorney Stan Garnett today announced that Boulder police officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow were arrested this morning in connection with the Jan. 1 shooting of a towering bull elk on Mapleton Hall, saying investigators determined the two men conspired to kill the elk as a trophy and for its meat.

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at January 18, 2013 7:59 PM

Sadly they make it far too easy to take whatever side is the other side of a typical boulderite position just by being so obnoxious.

Posted by: Terri at January 19, 2013 8:34 AM

Dear Abby, Earl Weaver, Stan Musial, and Conrad Bain all shuffled off the mortal coil this week, and Boulder is having a candlelight vigil for venison.

I'm clearly missing something, or perhaps Boulder is.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at January 20, 2013 1:05 AM

I think we are all in fulsome agreement about the kookery one encounters at 9th & Mapleton. On the date of the original post I was further animated by the behavior of the fair citizens (embedded above).

BUT. We all hold that government's being uniquely empowered with the use of violence, that it must operate within the boundaries we set. That holds for the FDA, USDA, EPA, US Fish SWAT team ... and the Boulder Police Department.

Laugh at the candlelight vigil. Hate the thugs who chase these young women to their car after a council meeting. Fine. But we must ask the BPD to follow their own procedures and not lie to the public.

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2013 11:47 AM

Unless the text messages say, "I'm conspiring to fabricate a justification and kill a trophy animal out of season" the claim that "texts between the officers revealed they planned the trophy kill almost a day in advance" does not appear founded in evidence. A later reference to the texts says one of the officers "can be seen referring to the elk." What kind of reference? Nice rack? Shoot him? Or, he's been acting strange?

Officers of the law must obey it to the letter. If the animal was acting suspiciously it should have been reported to superiors and dealt with by CDW. However, we are talking about a wildlife regulation violation here, not the tyranny of jack-booted government thugs. At worst I see them guilty of illegal hunting, failure to file a report, and being good ol' boys. I expect their union provided legal counsel will get them acquitted, but also that the image conscious Boulder PD will find a way to hand them pink slips.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2013 12:54 PM

Ummm, yeah, I think not filing a report after discharging a weapon in city limits is a big deal. Me rong?

A deeper point is that the actions and motives of any government agency are immediately suspect at ThreeSources. Off with their heads if its the FOMC or the USDA or the Arapahoe County Anti-Doping Agency. Yet police enjoy a liberal benefit of the doubt. Armed government agents who belong to a public sector union are strangely above criticism.

I'm a law and order guy and a big fan of our brave first responders. And I would even support their being allowed to use a firearm without filing a report if no humans were hit. But I share the concern of our interlocutor when I have encountered it on no-knock drug raids. "Well, yeah, they busted into the wrong house at three in the morning and shot the family Yorkie and terrorized the kids. But hey, people make mistakes."

Chairman Bernanke, however...

Posted by: jk at January 20, 2013 1:30 PM

"However, we are talking about a wildlife regulation violation here, not the tyranny of jack-booted government thugs."

We're also talking about a known animal here, not some random elk that happened to wander through.

As we all know each animal has it's own personality and just as "my" horse is far more interesting than that one out in the field and my family/neighbor/friends are more worthy than those people over there, this elk for 2 years had been a part of the neighborhood. Without real threat, and without complaint.

He was killed and he's missed and as much as we (me included) dislike the boulderiteishness of life there, the wildlife regulation that was ignored, the shooting within city limits on the sly, the good ol'boy network of the unionized police is the problem in this instance.
Candlelight vigils we may think are silly is not the problem.

Posted by: Terri at January 21, 2013 10:15 AM | What do you think? [6]