GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING
Authorities in upstate New York are reportedly investigating a video that allegedly shows police officers taking turns to run over a rabid raccoon.
The viral video, which was shot in Coeymans, south of Albany, shows one police-marked vehicle and another unmarked sedan repeatedly striking the animal as it attempts to escape, the Times Union reported.
Bryanna Catucci, a local resident, recorded the video on her phone and posted it on Facebook. She said it took 15 minutes for the raccoon to die.
"We are appalled," Todd Cramer, CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, told the paper. "This was a completely unacceptable, reckless and inhumane way to address the situation."
The Albany County District Attorney’s Office and its animal cruelty task force is investigating whether the officers properly handled the situation, Fox 5 New York reported.
Investigators told the station that concerned residents reported a sick raccoon to the Coeymans Police Department. Officials said the town does not have an animal control officer to handle the call.
Acting Police Chief Daniel Contento told the station that the video was disturbing.
Contento said the officers were concerned the animal was rabid and wanted to shoot it, but did not due to public safety concerns. The State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed that the animal had rabies, the report said.
“I can’t say I agree with their actions,” he said. “But I can say what they did was out of the norm.”