'Cop Lives Don't Matter' Graffiti Hits West Philadelphia Avenue - NBC 10 Philadelphia

'Cop Lives Don't Matter' Graffiti Hits West Philadelphia Avenue

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    Anti-Police Graffiti Hits West Philadelphia Avenue

    Anti-police sentiment has materialized in the form of graffiti along a busy avenue in West Philadelphia. NBC10's Deanna Durante has the story. (Published Friday, Dec. 19, 2014)

    In the wake of more protests against police nationwide as well as the shooting deaths of two NYPD officers, local police continue to search for the person or people responsible for anti-police graffiti spotted along a busy avenue in West Philadelphia.

    Three messages were scribbled in spray paint on a fence, bar and abandoned church on Baltimore Avenue between 48th and 50th streets.

    They read "PPD Killed Brandon Tate Brown," "F--- the Cops" and "Cop Lives Don't Matter."

    Brandon Tate Brown is the man shot in the head and killed by a Philadelphia Police officer on Monday following an altercation during a traffic stop. The last message is a play on the chant "Black Lives Matter" that demonstrators have been using recently while protesting against police treatment of African-Americans.

    The protests in Philadelphia and other cities around the nation began after grand juries declined to indict white officers in two high profile cases surrounding the deaths of unarmed black teen Michael Brown and the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

    It's not clear when the structures were tagged.

    "Back in the day you could really run to a cop and trust the cop, but now people are scared to go to cops," nearby resident Sharon Weaver said after seeing the message on the fence.

    Kale Good, another resident, said he doesn't agree with defacing a person's property, but that he understands how a person might feel it's the only way to have their voice heard.

    "I think what the person is trying to express is that they feel police in general are disregarding their lives or aren't valuing their lives, and so they probably feel an amount of frustration and this is how they expressed it," he said.

    A painter was removing the "Cop Lives Don't Matter" message from the fence around noon Friday.

    Anti-police graffiti is spray painted on a fence in West Philadelphia on Dec. 19, 2014.
    Photo credit: NBC10

    "It’s a shame that someone defaced someone else’s property. We’re going to handle it as a vandalism case, just like we would any other,” Philadelphia Police spokeswoman Tanya Little said.

    Little said it is one person's point of view and that the department has and continues to have positive interactions with the community.

    "Regardless what the message said, even if it said ‘I love the police,’ this was really a crime against someone else, the property owner," she said.

    There were no leads or an estimate on the vandalism's cost, police said.

    The city would handle removing the other messages, Mayor Michael Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, said. He didn't immediately have further comment on the graffiti.

    NBC10 also reached out to the police union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, for reaction.

    The physical anti-police commentary comes a day after city leaders condemned online commentary by a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic.

    The medic, who works in Southwest Philadelphia, posted a photo to his personal Instagram account of two black men pointing guns at the head of a white police officer. The accompanying message said: "Our real enemy ... Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other and at the ones that's legally killing us and innocents."

    The post has since been deleted, an apology made and investigation launched.

    On Saturday, a gunman shot and killed two NYPD officers sitting in their squad car in Brooklyn before running to a nearby subway station and turning the gun on himself, officials said. A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson called the execution-style slayings a "horrible act of terror." 

    "Intentionally murdering a police officer is not the way to solve anything," the spokesperson said in a statement to NBC10. "In fact it destroyed the lives of two families (those of these officers) that had absolutely nothing to do with the events taking place across this country. Our thoughts and prayers are with New York Police Department and the families of these officers. All of us in this country must really take a look at ourselves and our actions and get this right, because the loss of human lives surely isn't the answer."

    A rally in support of the Philadelphia's men and women in blue was held on Friday night in the Mayfair section of the city.