Being a police officer has always dangerous, physically demanding and emotionally draining, but recently, anti-police sentiment has made it thankless work.
At least in Milwaukee, however, a small change cleverly turned an act of vandalism into a pro-police message.
Recently, violent riots and calls to defund police departments have persisted in the weeks following the death of George Floyd, whose neck was knelt on by a Minneapolis police officer for nearly nine minutes during a May 25 arrest.
Besides toppling statues and defacing monuments, protesters have vandalized public property with their messages, including in Milwaukee, where they painted “Defund the Police” in large block letters along the street which runs in front of Milwaukee City Hall, according to Urban Milwaukee.
A view from above, and more info https://t.co/4PPCXwIATs
— Jeramey Jannene (@compujeramey) July 2, 2020
But at least one anonymous patriot changed that demoralizing message to an encouraging one with a simple tweak.
The letter “u” was painted over with the letter “e” so the mural would instead read “Defend the Police.”
Someone in Milwaukee changed the “Defund The Police” street mural to “Defend The Police” pic.twitter.com/KFnkOShUXf
— Amy (@MaybeAmes) July 4, 2020
Many Twitter users thought the change was for the better:
Proof that patriotism is the counterculture now.
— Joshua Landesman 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 🦅🗽 (@jjl207) July 4, 2020
The backlash is gathering force….
— hal78 (@hal7810) July 5, 2020
That’s the American spirit I know!
— Kellie Mann (@kelliegeiger) July 4, 2020
Well done mystery patriot!
— Nikki (@graphitti_girl) July 4, 2020
A group of approximately 30 vandals had painted the original slogan on Wednesday.
The backlash was swift, as Milwaukee Alderman Robert Donovan shared an aerial image of the mural on Thursday with the words “Defund the Police” completely crossed out and replaced on the photo with the “thin blue line” which separates the rest of society from utter chaos.
“Fixed it for you, folks!” Donovan said.
Donovan ended up paying the price for his pro-police stance, as protesters showed up in front of his home Thursday and scribbled “Black Lives Matter,” “Defund the Police”and other slogans on the concrete, according to photos posted on his Facebook page.
The change to the actual mural occurred Friday, although WITI-TV reported that another painter had changed it back to the original message within hours of it being altered.
Nevertheless, it is clear that at least one citizen, many supporters on Twitter and a city leader have stood up for police in the face of public protests and ridicule.
City officials throughout the nation have allowed or even encouraged demonstrators to scrawl messages against police or the slogan “Black Lives Matter” all over streets and buildings with little resistance as protests have dragged on for weeks.
Ironically, this kind of property destruction and anti-police vandalism demonstrates exactly why officers on the streets are necessary, but sadly does not register as such with the spineless politicians in charge.
Largely unimpeded, mobs instead destroy public property and paint messages denigrating the brave men and women who protect and serve their cities.
Sadly, that one lone letter change on a street mural showed more support for Milwaukee’s finest more than the city’s own council, which last month approved a proposal that could eventually slash the police department budget by 10 percent.
If officials have no interest in stopping unlawful and disrespectful actions against public property and police, at least there are folks willing to paint over a single letter to show appreciation for the city’s police officers — and sometimes, that’s all it takes.
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