Sometimes, people do things that proves just how deplorable the human race can be. While trying to help with a traffic backup caused by a wandering groundhog, a Maryland sheriff’s deputy did the unthinkable by drawing his gun on it and firing. The incident was captured on video, inciting rage and confusion across the internet.
To viewers, it appears as if he just grew tired of dealing with the rodent before pulling his gun. Based on a statement from the sheriff’s office, however, the deputy was acting in the public’s best interest. The Maryland sheriff’s office claimed that the deputy believed the “groundhog to be either sick or injured” and that he “put the animal down for the public’s safety.”
What began as a comical mishap quickly turned disturbing when a police officer — initially trying to get a groundhog out of the road — took out his gun and shot it in front of a line of cars. https://t.co/s2Qu8JZ92R pic.twitter.com/upat4eYnIr
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 8, 2018
Corporal Jon Light of Carroll County commented on the incident, citing local policy regarding animal control. “You see the groundhog coming after the officer. At this point, the animal was not acting as a normal animal would. It is within our policy to dispose of any animal that could pose a health threat.”
“You see the groundhog coming after the officer. At this point in time, the animal was not acting as a normal animal would. It is within our policy to dispose of any animal that could pose a health threat,” spokesman Cpl. Jon Light said. Story/video: https://t.co/o0RtZKmkmO
— Carroll County Times (@CCTNews) May 7, 2018
Of course, once the video made its rounds on Twitter and news outlets, the public spoke out against the actions of the deputy. One Twitter user, @CollinTaylorInc, gave his own take on the incident. “Obviously the animal wasn’t hurt. Looked more scared and disoriented.” Speaking on behalf of many animal lovers, he continued: “Shame on this officer. Should be charged [with] animal cruelty.” Others took to making Groundhog Day jokes, like @slayermode83’s quip: “Which one is supposed to be afraid of its own shadow again?”
Obviously the animal wasn’t hurt.. looked more scared and disoriented.. doesn’t this county or city have an animal control office that would have been more equipped to handle this defenseless animal? Shame on this officer. Should be charged w animal cruelty.
— Dave Holmes (@CollinTaylorInc) May 8, 2018
A cop and a groundhog. Remind me, which one is supposed to afraid of its own shadow again?
— Legit Lefty (@slayermode83) May 8, 2018
When the groundhog says there will be 6 more weeks of winter pic.twitter.com/EvCcX47BAw
— Jake Smail (@BiggieSmails72) May 8, 2018
There has been no word about whether or not the deputy will face corrective action, but the backlash he’s received over his actions may wind up being punishment enough.
Warning, groundhogs: Carrol County police will shoot you dead if you do not comply with instructions.
— Sean Gallagher (@thepacketrat) May 8, 2018
There's like….bigger fish to fry in the world of policing I guess but a Westminster police officer treating a five pound groundhog like a Walking Dead zombie is amazing
— Klippenstein’s Monster (@DieRobinsonDie) May 8, 2018
one of the good things about America is if the police say the cop shot the groundhog in front of a bunch of people because he thought it was sick, a chunk of people will be like "oh that's perfectly normal then"
— thomas violence (@thomas_violence) May 9, 2018