Want Justice for Alton Sterling? Vandalizing Police Memorials Is the Wrong Way to Get It

The police shooting deaths of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, along with the deaths of five police officers in Texas, last week flared emotions among African-Americans and people in law enforcement. There is palpable anger in both communities.

Vandals in Richmond, Virginia, spray-painted a large red "X" on the torso of a bronze police memorial in Byrd Park, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Wednesday. The words "Justice for Alton" were written on the stones below the statue, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham told the newspaper.

The statue was expected to be fully restored in the coming days, Durham said. Users on Twitter shared pictures of the desecrated statue. One referred to the unidentified vandals as "#BlackLivesMatter scum."

The vandalism made an apparent reference to 37-year-old Alton Sterling, the man who died after being shot multiple times by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 5. People in Richmond had been leaving bouquets of flowers at the base of the statue after word of the vandalism spread, the Times-Dispatch reported.

The vandalism certainly isn't in line with the wishes of Sterling's family. During a Wednesday press conference, Cameron Sterling, the slain man's son, urged protesters to remain peaceful and avoid guns, drugs, alcohol and violence.

Add vandalism to the list of things to avoid.

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