Police memorial vandalized, officials say some are trying to “hijack” meaning of Black Lives Matter
DOVER, Del. – For the second time in less than a week, a law enforcement memorial was vandalized in Dover. As state police search for a suspect, other law enforcement officials say they understand people have legitimate concerns about policing and criminal justice but they believe crimes like this take away from the cause that many are fighting for peacefully.
“To deface a monument dedicated to those folks is simply disgusting,” says Lt. Thomas Brackin, the president of the Delaware State Troopers Association.
On Tuesday afternoon, crews were seen scrubbing paint off a Delaware State Police Memorial in Dover after it was vandalized overnight, the words “Black Lives Matter” spray painted on the stone.
“Any vandalism to such an important memorial is appalling and unacceptable,” says Sr. Cpl. Heather Pepper with the Delaware State Police.
The memorial, which was created in the 90’s, features the names of troopers who gave their lives in the line of duty. “Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the surviving family members who are heartbroken by this act,” says Sr. Cpl. Pepper.
The president of the Delaware State Troopers Association says he understands people have want to see changes in law enforcement. “The men and women I represent, recognize and understand that the concerns of police brutality and systemic racism and criminal justice reform are real. They are important and they deserve our attention,” says Lt. Brackin.
Brackin also tells 47 ABC that he believes people who commit crimes in the name of a movement are taking away from the cause that the majority of protesters are fighting for. “We do have to address those few people who are looking to hijack the true meaning of what the rest of the protesters are doing.”
As state police search for whoever is responsible, law enforcement representatives are calling on elected officials to speak out against crimes like this one and to join them at the table to make meaningful progress. “It’s also time to sit down and work on those issues of concern. Delaware State troopers association is more than willing and has already reached out to our legislative leaders,” says Lt. Brackin.
Delaware State Police didn’t say whether they have any potential suspects in this case but they’re asking anyone with information about it to contact Detective Baker with the Delaware State Police at 302-697-4454.
This recent case of vandalism comes about five days after the law enforcement memorial near Legislative Hall in Dover was damaged. Dover Police have already arrested and charged a suspect in that case.