CHICAGO — Several billboards meant to honor Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty have been defaced by vandals in recent weeks.
The discovery comes after the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation placed 66 billboards throughout Chicago to honor the uniformed men and women who sacrifice daily to serve and protect the city.
One vandalized billboard, in particular, pays tribute to Officer Samuel Jimenez, the 28-year-old who died while responding to a mass shooting at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center back in 2018.
The city police’s memorial foundation said they are “saddened” by the destruction of several billboards.
“The act of destroying a billboard placed to honor one of Chicago’s Fallen Officers is despicable.
The individuals that take time to cause destruction to these billboards are cowards. They are not
helping make the City a better place,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police
Memorial Foundation, in an official statement. “We know that many of Chicagoans support our officers and we invite them to show their support in positive ways.”
Four billboards have been defaced within the last few weeks, officials said. Two billboards were defaced on May 25 – one at N. Ashland and another at N. Pulaski. Two other billboards were defaced on Tuesday, June 8, including one at N. Elston and another at N. Lincoln.
Police say they are still working to identify the culprit(s).
“We are trying to show that police are heroes. They’re out there doing the right thing. They’re family people too and it’s just a shame what happened there,” Cline added. “It’s despicable that someone would do that to a billboard.”