No Justice for Porcupines Clobbered by Cops

No Justice for Porcupines Clobbered by Cops

Thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters were outraged after hearing about two police officers who beat at least 11 porcupines to death while on duty in Rockland, Maine. Unfortunately, the sentences they received for their acts of cruelty were extremely disappointing.

Last October, Addison Cox and Michael Rolerson were both charged were aggravated animal cruelty and night hunting after videos of them killing porcupines that were shared on Snapchat led to an investigation.

The pair were alleged to have beaten at least 11 porcupines with retractable batons while they were on duty in 2020. During the investigation, an unnamed officer said that Rolerson would pull to the side of the road to beat porcupines and bragged about pepper-spraying them before or after the beatings. One porcupine was found alive and twitching at the side of the road several hours later.

More than 10,000 dedicated In Defense of Animals supporters signed our alert calling for the maximum penalties for these former officers.

Former Rockland police officers Michael Rolerson and Addison Cox. Credit: Rockland Police Department

Unfortunately, the sentencing in these cases was much weaker than expected. Cox was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with all but 10 days suspended. He may also not apply for a job as a law enforcement officer and must also complete 100 hours of community service.

Rolerson was sentenced to 270 days in jail, with all but 20 days suspended. He was also placed on probation for six months, required to relinquish his Maine Criminal Justice Academy credentials, may not hunt, and must complete 100 hours of community service in addition to undergoing psychological evaluation with counseling and treatment.

Both were fined $1,000. A third officer who recorded the crimes and shared them on social media was placed on administrative leave.

Cruelty to animals by any person is offensive, but seeing it inflicted by law enforcement officers who are charged with protecting our communities while they’re on duty is even more reprehensible. We’re grateful for our donors who provide the funding for our important work, and for all of those that signed our alert demanding justice, but also the officers who brought this cruelty to light, who investigated the allegations that were made, and to the investigators who took this seriously.

For more on how to help victims of animal cruelty visit our Justice for Animals campaign.

You can also help animal victims of crimes by making a donation.