LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A southern Alberta police officer caught on video repeatedly running over an injured deer will not be charged.
Alberta's police watchdog investigated with the help of Fish and Wildlife officers and the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says the Lethbridge city police officer responded to reports of an injured deer on a road the night of Jan. 5.
ASIRT says the officer, who was working alone on a busy shift, determined the young female mule deer needed to be euthanized, but was left with a pool of bad options.
The watchdog says the officer was reasonable in deciding not to use his gun because a bullet might ricochet and hit a person.
It says other options may have prolonged the animal's suffering or put the officer's safety at risk.
The animal died after about 15 minutes.
"With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that the decision to kill the deer using the police vehicle was problematic. It did not work as the officer had intended," ASIRT said in a release Wednesday.
"The deer's ability to move and the inability of the officer to clearly see where the vehicle tires were in relation to the critical organs of the deer, frustrated the attempts to cause fatal injury. That having been said, no method is or was perfect and complications or problems occur. That did not render the officer's conduct criminal or unreasonable."
The Canadian Press