Local

Vandals paint Fresno Peace Officers Memorial

Friday, July 09, 2010

The ripple effect from a verdict in Los Angeles reached both the Bay Area and the Central Valley. In Oakland, protesters lashed out at police and local businesses. And in Fresno, vandals defaced a monument to officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Authorities are checking to see if suspects were caught on surveillance cameras placed around area.

Graffiti clean-up crews spent the morning removing damage left behind by vandals at the Fresno County Peace Memorial. Leon Isaac says he was shocked to turn on the TV and see his son's name defaced. "The camera was focused in on my son's name and it was covered with white paint. Immediately I felt really very sad and disrespected."

Nearly 14 years ago Fresno County Deputy Jeffery Isaac was killed in the line of duty. Many local officers say they are devastated.

Near the paint splattered memorial authorities found slivers of paper with the words Oscar Grant -- no justice no peace near the monument.

On Thursday a Los Angeles jury found Johannes Mehserle, a white former transit officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting Oscar Grant -- an unarmed black man on a Bay Area train station platform. Activists in the Bay Area and Fresno staged protests angry that Mehserle was convicted of manslaughter and not murder.

A minority activist group called the Brown Berets organized Thursday's protest. They deny having anything to do with the vandalism. A spokesman offered this statement.

Adriana Becerra said, "We understand why people are upset a murder is a murder and there is going to be backlash."

However Jacky Parks with the Fresno Police Officers Association says there is a right and wrong way for people to let their voices be heard.

For this father -- the monument will be restored, but he says it will never be the same. "This wall has been violated damaged ... we all know it's been violated."

It will take nearly $3 thousand to restore the granite to its original condition. A local group has stepped in -- volunteering to fix the monument at no cost.

Late Friday afternoon the sheriff's office released a statement saying the investigation continues however there have been no arrests.

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protest, fresno downtown, fresno, fresno county, local, deshaunta bullock
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