A makeshift memorial intended to honor two recent victims of police brutality was demolished by cops in California.
According to TMZ, residents of Bakersfield gathered on Saturday night (April 15) and hosted a vigil to commemorate the lives of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, who were both killed at the hands of police. Following the event, an officer was captured taking apart pieces of the memorial. An irritated woman pleaded with him to show respect and keep the memorial up, but her requests were simply ignored. When she asked the cop for his badge number, he provided her with the information then continued walking toward his vehicle with cardboard signs in hands.
The woman told him to put them back in place, but he refused, explaining that his decision was a cautionary measure. ”This would not be the first time a vigil went up in flames so things have to be removed to avoid a fire,” said the officer.
The incident comes in the days following the deaths of Toledo and Wright, who lost their lives only days a part from each other.
Wright was killed in Minnesota by former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter, who “accidentally” pulled the trigger to her gun during a traffic stop. The 20-year-old had been pulled over for his expired license plate as well as the air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror, but when officers noticed he had outstanding warrants, he got back in his car and was fatally shot. Potter has since resigned from her position and now faces a second degree manslaughter charge.
Days later, footage surfaced of 13-year-old Adam Toledo being chased down by Officer Eric Stillman in Little Village — a predominantly Latinx neighborhood in Chicago. He was asked to put his hands up and was shot moments later despite complying to officers’ demands. Cops claimed Toledo had a gun in hand at the time of the encounter, but the footage shows he had no weapon. Though John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Police Union, believes Toledo’s shooting was justified, the prosecutor who claimed the teen was armed has been placed on leave.