According to news reports, the officer responded to a report of a cat hit by a car near a local residence, and then beat the cat to death with “at least 15-20 hits” of his baton. The officer violated police department policy by not attempting to ascertain ownership before killing the cat, using deadly force against the cat as a first option, and failing to explore any alternatives before violently beating the cat.
The beating is beyond any law enforcement officer’s responsible behavior and constitutes a clear case of animal cruelty. We urge the City of Harrisonburg to dismiss the officer and to refer the case to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for prosecution. We will be pressing the mayor’s office for action and we will continue to monitor developments in the case.