However, it is illegal to hunt within city limits. The officer involved claimed it was injured, but Big Boy, the elk, was a favorite of the neighborhood and healthy. The officer then posed for a 'trophy shot' with the elk, seen here, then asked a fellow officer to help him load it onto his truck and butcher him.
It's pretty clear the policeman was a hunter and wanted some elk steaks and couldn't resist. He was put on unpaid leave, but has since quit the force, and is under investigation that include a possible $10,000 fine. We're damn serious about our elks out here.
Now here is where the weird part starts. Four days later the residents held a vigil complete with candles, a Christmas tree, choruses of Amazing Grace, and framed photos of the deceased. I thought about attending to see what kind of nut would attend a vigil, but realized 'what if someone saw me there' ? It was that same feeling I got when younger and being in an exotic bar. What if my father should walk in? Then came the inevitable answer that he was doing the same thing. By the way, I never saw him.
It didn't end there. A week later there was a 'silent walk' for Big Boy, where the demonstrators blew elk bulges (doesn't sound too silent to me) to press the DA into filing additional charges. A music video was made and it even got it's own 'gate' name: Elk-gate. Really? But there's more…
An animal rights group started a memorial and has since raised $3,000. $3,000! Is this for the victim's family to visit? Or his calves' college education? It turns out they want to build a permanent memorial on the spot where it was killed. Between this and all those plastic flowers along roadsides our nation is becoming one big funeral park. Have some dignity and grieve in private. It's not that I don't have sympathy. I am so fortunate how safe and healthy my family and love ones have been over the years and count my blessings. Vigils and the like are also very necessary for communities where an unspeakable crime has taken place. But doing it here diminishes the importance of loss. Do we all have to know how you feel on Facebook, and Twitter and on blogs, and…oh yeah, um, anyway. The point is, now I'm more annoyed than ever with those cops. Next time fellers, can you shoot it some place that I don't pass every day, like out in Erie?
Issue #2 in my series of EC inspired covers. I'm hoping to produce between six and twelve this year.