Rockland, Maine – Two (former) police officers with the Rockland Maine Police Department were fired on September 22 after video footage surfaced in early June showing porcupines being bludgeoned to death with police batons. The officers implicated in the cruel acts are identified as Addison Cox, 27 and Michael Rolerson, 30.
Rolerson and Cox lost their jobs with the department and are facing aggravated animal cruelty charges. Please add your name to the petition to help ensure that these men receive the maximum punishment for their despicable behavior.
According to Law & Crime, video of the senseless killings were posted via Snapchat to the RPD Underground and the Night Crew groups. One of the videos allegedly shows Rolerson beating “something” with his baton and then saying “I got it.” The accused officer allegedly claims that he has killed other porcupines and sometimes uses pepper spray on them first.
The Press Herald reports that Cox and Rolerson have admitted to killing porcupines; Cox admitted to killing three and Rolerson believes that he killed eight.
One particular detail in the killings is especially horrific – a police officer who heard what happened drove an estimated seven hours to where the porcupines were said to have been killed. The officer found a grievously injured porcupine still “alive and twitching” after all that time…
Chris Young, Chief of Police, issued a statement about the lack of details surrounding the officers’ termination. He writes:
I understand that many of you want to know the details around the termination of two Rockland Police Officers. I know that demands for police transparency are coming. I want you all to know that I agree with those demands and understand the frustration of not knowing exactly what transpired to cause two officers to be terminated.
If it were up to me you would have those details; you would know exactly what occurred and how it was dealt with.
These killings were cruel, senseless, and utterly unnecessary. Though Rolerson and Cox have been fired, they have not yet been criminally punished. Please add your name to the petition to help ensure that Cox and Rolerson will receive the maximum punishment for their felony charges.
Petition target: Sagadahoc County Assistant District Attorney Mike Dumas
* Individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Cox received a 90-day sentence, 10 suspended for the animal cruelty charge, and seven days for the night hunting charge, served concurrently. He also has fines, community service, and complete treatment for PTSD.
Rolerson was sentenced to 270 days in jail, all except 20 days suspended, and he too received seven days for the night hunting charge, served concurrently. He has fines to pay, community service, and undergo treatment for his PTSD as well.
DA Irving stated, “Rolerson received a heavier sentence because he was the senior officer and killed more animals.”
The majority of their jail sentences were suspended, and charges downgraded partly because they were both veterans who has served active duty. Animal Victory thanks everyone who took the time to sign this petition and fight for justice for the victimized animals.
Update 4/7/2021: Animal Victory was informed by the Knox County court clerk that court is scheduled for 6/1/2021 (time not yet set).
Update 12/4/2020: The prosecutor’s office has informed Animal Victory that the case is still pending.
Update 10/20/2020: Read our letter to Prosecutor Natasha Irving here
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