DENVER (CBS4) – Days after two protesters poured paint on Denver’s fallen officers memorial, many are showing their support for those fallen officers by placing flowers at the monument.
On Wednesday morning there was a steady stream of people laying wreaths, boquets, plants and messages of thanks at the memorial, which is located outside Denver police headquarters on Cherokee Street. The efforts were motivated in part by people using social media to spread the word.
The vandalism took place on Saturday after more than 100 people marched to DPD headquarters, some in support of Jessie Hernandez, a 17-year-old who was killed when she was shot by officers in January.
Police administrators let the vandals pour red paint on the monument and then made the arrests, rather than prevent it from happening. It was an act that has led to sharp criticism of Denver Police Chief Robert White by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Protective Association.
Outside the memorial on Wednesday at noon, White spoke with reporters about the policy of restraint that was demonstrated.
“We’re making sure that every officer clearly understands what happened and what decisions was made and why we made those decisions. I’m convinced once they get that information I think they’ll feel better about the decisions that were made,” he said.
“It wasn’t our desire for it to happen the first time, and I think people need to understand that. And it’s certainly not our desire for it to happen again and I think that was a learning experience to some degree. And I think we will be a little bit more prepared in case it does happen again. The first time was totally unbeknownst to us, contrary to what some people are saying.”
Vincent Hollis, the father of fallen Officer Celena Hollis, told CBS4 he was sad to see the vandalism, which has since been cleaned up.
“Well it hurt, you know, for people to do something like this. It’s something like desecrating a tombstone,” he said.
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The family of injured officer John Adsit also visited the memorial on Wednesday morning and showed their support and were embraced by White. Adsit, an officer in the bicycle unit, left the hospital after he was struck by a car in December.