BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A group of several dozen people protested near a Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police building Saturday night.
The group chanted “Defund 12” and held signs reading “Black Lives Matter” as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder across Buena Vista Avenue in north Baltimore near the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3.
In a statement on Twitter, FOP said the group “defaced” its building and burned its American flag, calling them “losers who live in their Mommy and Daddy’s basements.”
Residents said the building was quickly cleaned up after protestors gathered on Buena Vista Avenue this weekend.
“I came out and saw floods of young kids coming up the hill as the helicopter continued for 30-45 minutes repeating the same message,” said Aladdin Collar, who lives nearby.
FOP President Mike Mancuso also blasted Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, saying the commissioner is “a complete no show”:
“Last night, anarchists attacked Baltimore City FOP Lodge #3 by defacing our building and burning our American flag. This was an attak on not only our building but also on the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department, both active and retired. The damage that was done has been corrected and we will continue our work to represent the rank and file members of the BPD. No losers who live in their Mommy and Daddy’s basements will ever be able to deter us in our mission.
“The Police Commissioner, however, is a different story and the fact that he seems to have disappeared during all of this is disgusting! Commissioner Harrison was available, several weeks ago, to kneel in the street with these losers but when it comes to supporting the working members of the BPD, he’s a complete no show; not even a simple phone call or text. While I understand his slight to me, the incredible disrespect he’s shown to our membership is unconscionable and I can promise that it will be remembers. Baltimore City and its Police Officers deserve better than a completely ineffective leader who disappears when leadership is required!”
— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) July 26, 2020
Resident Sam Kipnes said he heard the crowd, but did not associate the crowd with violence, adding he thinks the country is hurting and needs to heal.
“Graffiti is just about as non-violent as any other form of art painting is a peaceful act,” he said.
The city’s police department said Sunday morning a statement that an investigation is underway.
“Last night, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police building was targeted and vandalized with derogatory messages and an American Flag was burned. There is an active and ongoing investigation into this act of vandalism and destruction of property. While we will continue to engage with our communities to create and repair community-police relations and protect the first amendment rights of our residents, we will absolutely not tolerate acts of vandalism and will hold these offenders accountable.” said Commissioner Michael Harrison