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Vandals Burn Flags On Louisville’s Memorial To Police Officers Killed In Line Of Duty

Louisville, KY – Police are searching for the suspects who vandalized the Louisville Law Enforcement Memorial last week just days before crowds descended on the city for the Kentucky Derby.

The monument to fallen heroes who died in the line of duty is located downtown in Jefferson Square Park, near the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections building, the Courier Journal reported.

The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) said it received a call reporting the vandalism from a corrections officer leaving work at about 11:15 p.m. on May 3.

LMPD First Division officers responded to the memorial site at the intersection of South 6th Street and West Jefferson Street and found what appeared to be two flags that had been set on fire in the eternal flame at the top of the monument, the Courier Journal reported.

Remnants of the burned flags lay around the base of the memorial and there was burn damage done to the monument, WDRB reported.

The corrections officers sent a picture of the burned tribute to fallen heroes to Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Vice President and Governmental Affairs Director Ryan Straw.

Straw posted the image to social media and lamented the timing of the vandalism, the Courier Journal reported.

“Derby Week in Louisville….a time where we can show our city off to the world. Showcase all the good things about the place we call home,” Straw tweeted. “But there are always those both hometown and visitor, who do things I will never understand. Our law enforcement memorial-the symbol of those who have fallen in service to our community, vandalized by burning a flag and melting plastic onto the facade. Our service is next Monday and what a slap in the face this is to our families of the fallen, our officers still serving, and the entire community.”

Police departments across the nation celebrate fallen heroes in the days leading up to National Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15.

LMPD Sergeant Matt Sanders said that there were surveillance cameras in the area where the memorial is located and that the vandalism was captured on video, WDRB reported.

Sgt. Sanders said the videos were being reviewed by investigators.

The local police union – the River City Fraternal Order of Police – put out a statement about the vandalism on May 4, WDRB reported.

“During the evening hours of Wednesday, May 3rd, a person or persons vandalized the monument at the Law Enforcement Memorial at Jefferson Square. It appears that several flags were burned on the monument,” the statement read.

“Our thanks go out to our fellow members at the Louisville Metro Police Department of Corrections for spotting and reporting the vandalism, and to our partners at the Department of Public Works for their quick response to clean and restore the monument,” the statement continued. “Criminals and vandals may be able to desecrate the stone and marble that make up the FOP Law Enforcement Memorial…but to no avail. Nothing they can do can ever touch the sacred place in our hearts where we honor and cherish the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters.”

Most of the damage appeared to have been cleaned up by Thursday afternoon, WDRB reported.

Comments on social media posts indicated that more than one resident and organization had offered financial assistance to repair the memorial if needed.

Anyone with information is asked to call the LMPD crime tipline at 502-574-LMPD (5673) or send an anonymous tip through the police department’s Crime Tip Portal.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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