Statement from Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner:

As you know, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett has announced that his office will file charges against the two Boulder Police officers involved in the shooting death of the Mapleton elk on January 1st. The officers face three felony charges in addition to a number of misdemeanor charges.


The Boulder Police Department fully supports the decision of the district attorney to pursue charges in this case. It’s the right decision, and the Department has assisted and cooperated fully with the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.


Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow have been on paid administrative leave since January 3rd, while the case has been investigated, as dictated by department policy and contractual due process.


Effective immediately, I have placed Sam Carter and Brent Curnow on unpaid administrative leave.


We realize that this case has hit a sensitive nerve in the Boulder community, and I want to reassure our community that I understand their concerns and that I intend to hold these officers accountable for their actions.


While the criminal investigation has (mostly) wrapped up, there is still an internal personnel investigation underway at the Boulder Police Department. This investigation is different and separate from the criminal investigation, and has to do with whether these officers may have violated rules, policies or procedures. We needed to proceed cautiously with the internal investigation because we didn’t want to interfere with the criminal investigation. The Boulder Police Department provided some of the evidence for the criminal case and cooperated fully with investigators.


We hope to move quickly now to complete our internal personnel investigation. Once that is finished, there is a review process that includes a combined community and department member review panel which will provide recommendations to me on the final disposition. If the allegations are sustained, the discipline for such allegations – including being untruthful – would typically be termination from employment.


We apologize for this unfortunate incident. We want our community to know that we take their concerns very seriously and that we’re working hard to correct this situation.

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