Vandals destroyed a part of the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery on Sunday, just a day after mourners and officials had gathered at the site to pay their last respects to New Orleans Police Officer Vernell Brown Jr.
A metal urn that supports a gas-powered eternal flame atop the memorial, which is maintained by a nonprofit group, was knocked off sometime Sunday, according to a news release from the city.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he has donated $2,500 from his campaign fund to help repair the memorial, and, in a news release, he encouraged others to donate, as well.
“In the last month, we have laid to rest two sons of this community who died honorably serving the city they loved,” Landrieu said. “We will not stand for the desecration of the memorial that honors the memory of our fallen heroes. I am disappointed that vandals would care so little about a memorial that honors those who have sacrificed so much for us.”
Landrieu was referring to Brown, a 17-year NOPD veteran who was fatally injured on the Pontchartrain Expressway this month while on the job, and 22-year veteran Daryle Holloway, who police say was shot and killed by a suspect he was transporting.
NOPD is investigating the vandalism. Anyone with information is encouraged to call (504) 658-6030.
Crimestoppers also is offering a $2,500 reward for information. Those with information can call (504) 822-1111 and are not required to give their name.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help repair the memorial can mail a check to P.O. Box 851050, New Orleans, LA 70185 or get more information at www.lleom.org.