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Anti-police vandals defaced for the second time murals honoring a fallen Philadelphia police officer.
In the latest incident, culprits spray-painted the acronyms ACAB (“all cops are bastards”) and FTP (“f–k the police”) on the mural that provides a tribute to Sgt. Robert Wilson III. Someone also tossed a bottle at the mural which contained a white substance of some kind.
A mural elsewhere in the city that paid tribute to the heroic officer was vandalized last summer.
Sgt. Wilson was killed in a March 2015 gun battle with thieves who were trying to rob a video game store. He had stopped in to do a security check there and to buy his son a birthday present. He is credited with saving the lives of other customers in the shop.
David McShane, the artist who painted the memorial to Sgt. Wilson, personally cleaned it as soon as he heard about what happened.
The local Fraternal Order of Police has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the responsible party or parties. The lodge president issued a statement about the incident that “I’m saddened and angered that vandals would deface the mural of one of our beloved heroes, Sgt. Robert Wilson III. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wilson family on this sad day.”
Sgt Robert Wilson III ‘s West Phila mural vandalized. The artist who painted the mural heard about the vandalism & within an hour came here to clean it. @6abc pic.twitter.com/bUzSN5H08l
— Annie McCormick (@6abcAnnie) August 30, 2020
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw took to Twitter to say that “To the coward who did this: You didn’t earn any extra ‘woke-points.’ You’re not brave. You’re not a revolutionary. You’re certainly no hero. And despite all of your failings, heroes like Rob will still answer your calls for help,” and added a longer statement.
To the coward who did this: You didn't earn any extra "woke-points". You're not brave. You're not a revolutionary. You're certainly no hero. And despite all of your failings, heroes like Rob will still answer your calls for help. My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/jnTkIGdAPq
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) August 30, 2020
Wilson’s sister condemned the latest act of vandalism. “The ignorance and disrespect shown toward Police is at an all-time high. Learning of this blatant disrespect that has been repeatedly shown toward my brother has resulted in an indescribable emotional reaction. In other words, WE ARE LIVID!”
In 2016, President Obama posthumously awarded Sgt. Wilson with the Medal of Valor.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Wilson…engaged in a ‘fierce and violent gun battle’ with the two suspects and even continued to shoot at them as he was being hit by gunfire…It was a shot to the head that killed Wilson.”
Two robbery suspects pleaded guilty to murder to avoid the possible imposition of the death penalty and are currently serving life sentences. The plea deal was met with outrage by Sgt. Wilson’s family and the law enforcement community, however.
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