Monuments honouring fallen Edmonton police officers defaced with graffiti

·2 min read

Edmonton police are investigating after monuments paying tribute to officers killed in the line of duty were found defaced by vandals.

The vandalism was at Constable Ezio Faraone Park, at the north end of the High Level Bridge.

Patrol officers first noticed the graffiti on Thursday afternoon, police said.

As of Friday morning, a statue honouring Faraone was covered in spray-painted tags and a nearby plaque honouring Const. William Nixon was also defaced.

Nixon was shot by a stranger in the street while patrolling his beat in 1919.

Faraone was killed on June 25, 1990. He was shot in the back as he pursued two suspects in an armed bank robbery.

Two years after Faraone's death, the park overlooking Edmonton's river valley was named in his honour.

The black and white paint included vulgar messages. One of the tags read "F--k cops."

Sgt. Michael Elliott, president of the Edmonton Police Association, said the Faraone statue has been vandalized four times in the past two months.

The graffiti feels like a violation, he said.

"I mean, you just slapped Ezio in his grave," Elliot said on Friday.

"He was trying to protect the citizens of Edmonton during a bank robbery and was actually shot in the back."

Elliott said he believes people frustrated with the state of policing in Canada are lashing out.

"People have a right to voice their opinion," he said.

"That's freedom of expression. You know, we're looking for change. We're looking for dialogue. How do you create change instead of just saying we want change, how do we do it? Well, let's do it correctly.

"I know that people are very frustrated and angry. But when when I saw the monument, I'm like, 'Really? So what purpose does that really help create positive dialogue or positive change?'"

Mayor Don Iveson also expressed frustration at the vandalism.

It "doesn't advance the cause for social justice," Iveson said on Twitter.

"Edmontonians are extremely grateful to our first responders for their sacrifice."

Police are investigating and are asking the public for any dashcam video that may be available of the area from Wednesday and Thursday.

By around 10 a.m. Friday, city crews had arrived to begin scrubbing the defaced monuments clean.

Juris Graney/CBC
Juris Graney/CBC