People Outraged As Cops Who Beat Porcupines To Death On Duty Receive Reduced Sentences

by : Julia Banim on : 17 Jul 2021 16:10
People Outraged As Cops Who Beat Porcupines To Death On Duty Receive Reduced SentencesRockland Police Department/PA

People have been left outraged after two Maine police officers who beat porcupines to death were given reduced sentences.

Officer Addison Cox, 28, of Warren, and Officer Michael A. Rolerson, 31, of Searsmont – both of whom were fired from the force last September – pleaded guilty to beating the animals on several separate occasions while on duty.


The officers were sentenced in Knox Superior Court on the misdemeanour charges of animal cruelty and night hunting, according to court documents.

Porcupines (PA Images)PA Images

Cox was handed a sentence of 90 days behind bars, as per WGME, with all but 10 days suspended.

He also received a fine of $1,000 and was put on administrative release for a period of six months. During this time, he will be prohibited from applying for law enforcement positions and will also need to carry out 100 hours of community service.


Meanwhile, Rolerson was given a jail sentence of 270 days, with all but 20 days suspended, plus a fine of $1,000. He will also be placed on probation for a six month period, during which time he must give up his Maine Criminal Justice Academy Credentials.

Many people have felt the sentences to be a little too lenient for how cruel these crimes were, with one person commenting:

I feel like they should’ve just had a heftier fine and then have to do community service in an animal shelter. Jail for 10 days? Really? It sounds like ‘go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done!’ A little silly in my book. Let’s make the time fit the crime!


Another said:

We need to have much tougher animal cruelty laws in Maine. These two got what amounts to a time out. They should NEVER be allowed to be public servants in any form.

A third person wrote:

How the hell does being a military veteran excuse killing a defenceless animal? Even if it’s considered a mental health issue, the men admitted to repeated offenses. If 10 days is good enough for a porcupine, is 20 enough for a human? What’s the scale on cruelty?


A fourth person suggested:

Good start but need to be a little more harsher! Lots of jail time and need to take classes on animal compassion!! And that fine should go to an animal sanctuary!!

porcupine (Public Domain Pictures)Public Domain Pictures

Cox will reportedly serve out his jail time during the weekends, while Rolerson will begin serving out his sentence in January. Rolerson was handed a heavier sentence as he had been the senior officer on duty and had also killed more animals.


Prosecutors reduced the charges to misdemeanours partly because both officers were military veterans who had served active duty.

Rolerson has previously stated that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his time serving in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Both men are reportedly now getting treatment from the Veterans’ Administration.

If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice.

If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Maine, no-article-matching


  1. WGME

    Maine police officers who beat porcupines to death while on duty sentenced to jail time