The eternal flame that serves as the centerpiece for a memorial that honors Louisiana law enforcement officers was destroyed last weekend hours after the funeral for a fallen officer.
Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, photo via Yelp.
The vandals ripped apart the structure housing the flame the night after Officer Vernell Brown, Jr. was laid to rest at the Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery where the memorial is located. Brown was killed in the line of duty while investigating a vehicle fire. Brown, 47, was a seventeen-year veteran of the NOPD.
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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement Monday announcing he was donating $2500 from his campaign funds to help rebuild the memorial.
“NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu donated $2,500 from his campaign fund to support the restoration of the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial after vandals damaged the solemn site on Sunday, July 26. The memorial, located at the Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery, features an eternal flame commemorating and honoring fallen Louisiana law enforcement officers and their legacy of service and sacrifice.
“On July 26, vandals destroyed the metal vessel of the memorial that supports the gas-powered eternal flame. Just hours earlier, the memorial was the site of a memorial service for New Orleans Police Officer Vernell Brown Jr., who was killed in the line of duty in a traffic incident on U.S. Highway 90B earlier this month. He was a 17-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). In June, 22-year NOPD veteran Officer Daryle Holloway was also killed in the line of duty when he was shot and killed by a suspect he was transporting to Orleans Parish Prison.
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““In the last month, we have laid to rest two sons of this community who died honorably serving the city they loved. We will not stand for the desecration of the memorial that honors the memory of our fallen heroes. I am disappointed that vandals would care so little about a memorial that honors those who have sacrificed so much for us,” said Mayor Landrieu.
“The public may also make contributions toward the full restoration and maintenance of the memorial by visiting www.lleom.org or by mailing a check to PO Box 851050, New Orleans, LA 70185.
“The Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the lives and memories of Louisiana police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, correctional officers, and federal agents killed in the line of duty. The memorial relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to carry out its work of honoring and remembering the heroes of Louisiana’s law enforcement community. Among other things, contributions enable the organization to maintain the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial as a special place of honor that is visited by surviving family members and is the site of an annual candlelight vigil during National Police Week.
“The NOPD Third District Detective Investigative Unit is leading the investigation into Sunday’s vandalism incident and can be reached at 504-658-6030.
“Citizens with information that can help solve this crime are asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP. You could receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for the information leading only to the arrest, except on homicides, where Crimestoppers will pay half of the reward upon the arrest and half on the indictment of the responsible person(s). You do not have to give your name nor testify to receive the reward but you must contact Crimestoppers directly with your information. Citizens can also submit an anonymous tip online to Crimestoppers at www.crimestoppersgno.org .”