Police officer filmed stoning wombat to death will face no charges
The police officer who was filmed stoning a wombat to death will not be facing any charges for the incident, 7News reports.
In the footage which was widely shared online back in October, Senior Community Constable Waylon Johncock appeared to throw stones at the wombat. Behind the camera, his friend can be heard saying: "Yeah! You did it! First man I've ever seen kill a wombat on foot, bro."
Johncock can then be seen raising both arms up in the air in an apparent display of celebration.
His violent treatment of the defenseless animal has been naturally been met with an angry backlash. Indeed, a petition calling for his dismissal has accumulated more than 360,000 signatures as of this writing, and his employers have since launched an investigation into the case.
Learn more about the disturbing incident from this 7News report:
In spite of the backlash, South Australia Police have announced that Johncock will not be facing criminal charges or disciplinary action over his actions, has 7News reported. They also said that he will be given "managerial advice and counseling regarding the implications of social media".
Commissioner Grant Stevens said:
"As a traditional Aboriginal man, [Johncock] has an appropriate permit to hunt wombats for food.
"Whilst distressing to many who viewed the video, it has been established [his] actions were not inconsistent with traditional hunting practices. I have been advised that the wombat in the video was killed and eaten. T
"The video shown on social media was part of a longer video that has not been released. He went on to say that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution had been handed all the evidence and had found that if charges were brought there would be 'no reasonable prospect of conviction'."
Stevens also said that he was aware that some people would be at a loss as to why this outcome was decided on but said he hopes they would "respect it".
"I still find some of the content of the video disturbing - I take personal displeasure in seeing any animal distressed or being killed as the wombat was killed. I know many shared in my shock and dismay," he added.
"I ask people to show respect for the process undertaken and accept my assurances it has been a robust investigation. I ask they show respect for those involved in the incident."