Two police officers in Rensselaer, New York, were suspended without pay on Monday after allegedly intentionally running over a woodchuck with a golf cart and killing it.
The incident occurred at a Rensselaer Police Benevolent Association golf game at a course in Troy, New York, on July 29.
According to a police report obtained by the Times Union, the officers chased after the animal in a golf cart until it was exhausted, then ran over it and killed it.
The incident shook local citizens, who called it an act of animal cruelty and even “woodchuck homicide.” The police department’s Facebook page has been flooded with 1-star reviews calling the officers “absolutely disgusting” and “sociopaths.”
“There’s something unstable about anyone who tortures an animal,” Carmella Mantello, president of the Troy City Council, told the Times-Union.
The officers were originally put on paid administrative leave while Troy police and the state Department of Environmental Conservation investigated the incident.
Officials considered firing the officers, but that was ruled out when the investigation didn’t find enough evidence to warrant criminal charges.
The suspension without pay was a result of failing to report the investigation to their superiors.
“They failed to report it,” Rennselaer Mayor Dan Swyer told Times Union. “So they’re being given a 30-day suspension without pay.”