Boulder officers in elk shooting resign, PD says

A Boulder police officer with a dead elk (Photo: Lara Koenig).

A Boulder police officer with a dead elk (Photo: Lara Koenig).

BOULDER, Colo. – Two police officers who were involved in a criminal investigation for their roles in the shooting of an elk have resigned, the police department said Tuesday.

Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow both turned in letters of resignation to Police Chief Mark Becker, said police spokeswoman Kim Kobel.

Although both men resigned, the internal personnel investigation in the shooting will continue, Kobel added.

“The Boulder Police Department does not tolerate this kind of behavior,” said Chief Mark Beckner in a news release. “Police officers and other members of this department will be held accountable for their actions and behavior, and we want the community to know how seriously we take this breach of trust,” said Beckner.

Curnow and Carter were arrested last week after the district attorney decided to press charges.

The men face charges including unlawful taking of an elk, misconduct and conspiracy.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of officers Bren Curnow and Sam Carter. Both turned themselves in Friday morning and are out on a $20,000 bond, police said.

If convicted, they could face prison time and loss of their official police certification.

The felonies the men face include attempting to influence a public servant, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and forgery. They also face several misdemeanors.

See the details that led to the charges in the arrest affidavit here. The arrest affidavits are identical for both officers according to the Boulder District Attorney’s Office.

The elk’s shooting sparked outrage among community members who knew the elk and even nicknamed him Big Boy.

Police said Carter shot the elk near Ninth Street and Mapleton Avenue on New Year’s Day because the elk looked to be injured.

Curnow was off-duty and took the carcass home to process it for meat, a Boulder police spokeswoman said.

Neither officer reported the elk being put down to dispatchers, nor had Colorado Parks and Wildlife been notified.

Police officers are required to make a report whenever they discharge their weapons. Parks and Wildlife is supposed to be notified when a large animal is killed.


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