The recent vandalism of a memorial to two Vallejo police officers who were killed in the line of duty is being investigated, police said.
“This intentional act of vandalism is unacceptable and is not a First Amendment right,” said Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams.
The memorial — made up of large signs and photographs of officers Jeffrey Azuar and James Capoot — was discovered broken into pieces Oct. 8.
“These heroes sacrificed their lives attempting to apprehend violent criminals,” said Michael Nichelini, president of the Vallejo Police Officers’ Association. “It is heartbreaking that someone — or a group of people — would damage a community memorial that recognized and honored the ultimate sacrifice made by these two VPD officers.”
“This intentional act of vandalism is unacceptable and is not a First Amendment right.”Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams
Vallejo police spokeswoman Brittany Jackson said the department is working with the city attorney’s office to determine a protocol for collecting donations and working with community organizers on repairing the memorial.
Nichelini said the association would use its resources also to restore the memorial.
“We do not know who originally created this sign, but we are working with community and business members to restore it. We will donate the time and money to see that it is replaced and stands as a reminder of the heroism of Officer Azuar and Officer Capoot,” Nichelini added.
Azuar, a Vallejo police officer for 21 years, was killed April 12, 2000. He was shot in the head by a suspect whom he and another officer had been serving a warrant on.
Capoot was shot and killed Nov. 18, 2011, while chasing bank robbery suspects on foot after a high-speed vehicle pursuit. He had pursued a suspect on foot into a yard, where he was shot several times. Capoot had been with the Vallejo department for 19 years.