Brent Degroot, Forest Lake officer, cleared of wrongdoing for killing deer in caretaker's yard

Categories: Animals, Police
domesticated deer.jpg
Carpenter's beloved deer were gunned down by officer Brent Degroot, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
In February, we brought you the story of Jeff Carpenter, a Forest Lake resident whose two beloved deer were unceremoniously shot in his front yard by a young policeman named Brent Degroot.

At the time, Carpenter said his family was "trying to move on," but added that life wasn't the same following the shootings of fawns Abbie and Pinkie, who visited Carpenter's home to be fed every day.

Carpenter filed a formal complaint requesting that Degroot be suspended without pay for his actions. But yesterday, the Washington County sheriff's office said they've determined Degroot did not violate any laws and has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

Neither the sheriff's office nor Forest Lake police are saying much about their investigation. In an email to the Pioneer Press, Forest Lake Police Chief Rick Peterson wrote, "I know you may want more information regarding this investigation, but because of data privacy laws, I cannot discuss any of the details pertaining to this incident or the contents of it."

Prior to the January 14 incident, the DNR had requested Forest Lake police kill the deer due to a false belief Abbie and Pinkie had escaped from captivity. That morning, Degroot almost crashed his vehicle into one of the deer, then used a shotgun to kill both of them just feet from Carpenter's home.

Upon hearing a second blast of gunfire, Carpenter went outside and saw a man wearing dark clothes standing near his house with a shotgun in hand. According to Carpenter, Degroot didn't identify himself as a police officer.

"The situation could have easily ended in injury or death to Degroot, myself, or both," Carpenter said.

In a statement released yesterday, Carpenter expressed frustration with the sheriff's review of the case, along with the fact that the details of the investigation aren't being released publicly.

He said he and his wife are exploring seeking justice for Abbie and Pinkie in the civil arena.

Previous coverage:
-- Forest Lake policeman kills domesticated deer in caretaker's front yard, under investigation
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8 comments
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metaldon
metaldon

Sounds like the Sheriff has a major cover-up on his hands and wants this all swept under the rug. 

Joe
Joe

The only wrongdoing he was even potentially culpable for was firing his weapon in someone's yard without alerting them beforehand.  Granted had he done that the deer probably would have taken off.  Did he act poorly, and could he have thought it through a bit more?  Yes.  Did the people who live there seal the fate of those deer when they domesticated them?  Absolutely yes.  I am all for supporting and continuing the laws that protect MNs WILD deer herd so that I can continue to eat them after I hunt them.

FellowHuman
FellowHuman

Yes, 'domesticizing' the deer by feeding them was much more dangerous to deer than running around shooting them. Like if you feed the neighborhood stray cat - you just sealed its fate because some moron with a gun will shoot it when it doesn't run away.

Joe
Joe

Cats are domestic animals numbnuts.  Clearly you know nothing of DNR management of Minnesota's wild herds.  Feeding deer is one thing.  They put freaking *collars* on them.

And the word is domesticating.

Shush.  The adults are talking.

jim
jim

I'm surprised the police haven't pulled out the old standby, "the officer reasonably feared for his safety" as they do whenever they shoot someones dog while completely disregarding the safety of the neighborhood around him.

Mike W.
Mike W.

Sadly, I have a feeling the family will not be successful in the civil arena either.  My concern still rests on the fact that an officer discharged his weapon (a shotgun to boot) in a non-life threatening/emergency situation in such close proximity to a residence.  As a hunter, that kind of behaviour is inexcusable!

idrivefast
idrivefast

What a ridiculous double standard. Was Degroot even acting on the DNR's behalf? If so, why wasn't he in uniform? Data privacy laws shouldn't apply to state employees in a position of power like Degroot. The entire report should be available to the public. 

The level of hypocrisy within our local and state police force is alarming. 

Guest
Guest

I'm sure if I shot a deer in the Sheriff's yard I'd be looking at serious time.  Nice when you don't have to be accountable for your actions.

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