Why did this Illinois State Trooper lend a civilian his shotgun to dispatch a wounded deer?
The Journal Star reports the incident, which happened in 2018 on west bound Interstate 74 near mile marker 99, that saw a trooper hand his service shotgun to a civilian to put down a deer. The deer was severely injured on the highway after an apparent car-deer collision.
Obviously, the deer was not going to live through the incident and had to be put down.
What's more, the whole thing was caught on film and has since been uploaded to YouTube. You can see it below where the officer clearly hands his weapon off to the civilian.
Whoever took and released the video is still unknown, as is the civilian the trooper handed his gun to. Illinois State Police are required to maintain control of their firearms at all times.
The video identifies the trooper as Master Sergeant Jacob Tresenriter, but police have declined to confirm the trooper's identity, so that remains to be verified.
In any case, the district commander in charge of the trooper, Captain Steven Riesenberg, says the department has already investigated the incident and handed out discipline. Riesenberg did say the trooper had no previous disciplinary issues. While there is no state statue regarding officer responsibility for weapons, there are policies with the state police that make service weapons the responsibility of the officer. As such, they are to remain in an officer's control.
Unclear from both the video and the reports is exactly why the trooper let the civilian dispatch the deer in the first place. It seems like something the officer should have done himself, but perhaps there is something we don't know. In any case, we were unable to dig up any more information on this incident, so we may never know for sure.
What do you think? Should this trooper have been disciplined?