NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - An upstate community is outraged after video was recorded showing police officers purposely running over a raccoon with their police cars. - WARNING: VIDEO ABOVE IS DISTURBING
It happened in Coeymans, south of Albany. Investigators say the ordeal started when concerned residents called saying they had spotted a raccoon acting strangely in a shopping center parking lot. The acting police chief says the town does not have an animal control officer that could have handled the call.
He says the officers, concerned that the animal was rabid, wanted to shoot it but opted not to due to public safety concerns.
Resident Bryanna Catucci recorded video on her phone of a police car repeatedly running over the animal.
While the chief says he finds the video of the raccoon being repeated run over by police vehicles disturbing he fell short of saying the officers acted out of line.
"I can’t say I agree with their actions," Acting Chief Daniel Contento says. "But, I can say what they did was out of the norm, dealing with a situation considering where it was.”
The raccoon later died from the repeated car strikes.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed that the animal did have rabies but animal activists say there is a lack of training in how to deal with these types of situations.
"They could have corralled the raccoon. They could have humanly trapped the raccoon. They could have used chemical capture," Todd Cramer, CEO of The Mohawk Hudson says.
The Albany County District Attorney's office and its animal cruelty task force is investigating whether the officers handled the situation properly.