(13-WHAM Alexis Arnold) Since news and video of the
The village mayor and elected officials have received death threats.
One derby supporter was caught on camera threatening protestors Saturday.
“You're lucky all these people here around you are protecting you because without them, somebody is going to shoot you,” the protestor shouted.
Dozens of protestors stood on corners of the small village.
Supporters say the derby is just for fun, while others say the fun comes at the expense of a harmless creature.
“This should not be done for fun, it shouldn't be turned into a contest where you get prizes,” Director of Animal Allies of Western New York Morgan Dunbar said.
“It's about having a community organization like the fire department promoting and encouraging the killing of an animal and offering this activity to children as young as 12 years old,” Dunbar said.
For some in western and upstate
President of the Holley Fire Company David Knapp said it's an event necessary to maintain the fire department.
“Budgetary constraints and funding make it difficult for first responders in this community to support this service,” Knapp said.
The derby is a fundraiser that's been popular for several years.
Saturday’s event brought in hundreds of licensed hunters like
“This is something we like to do, we're not out to hurt anybody or cause problems,” Palumbo said. “It seems like nowadays people like to protest against pretty much everything.”
The Holley Fire Chief said so many people participated this year and with the protestors, they had to outsource security.
As for that individual who threatened the protestors, he was arrested and ticketed.
He's scheduled to appear in court in March.
The FBI is investigating threats made towards village officials.