West Valley City, UT – A fire hydrant painted blue in memory of a slain West Valley City police officer has been vandalized with blood-red paint.
The Unified Police Department Taylorsville Precinct posted a photo of the paint-splattered hydrant on Facebook on Friday, and asked for the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for the vandalism.
The blue hydrant stands in the same neighborhood where 25-year-old West Valley City Police Officer Cody Brotherson was intentionally struck and killed by a vehicle while he was investigating a vehicle theft in 2016, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“Please help West Valley Police identify the subhuman(s) who have defiled the fire hydrant near 2200 W 4100 S.,” the post originally read, according to KUTV. “This is [hallowed] ground, as it is the same area where Officer Cody Brotherson was savagely murdered by a group of gang members. All give some, some give all!"
The department updated the post a short while later, and explained that the hydrant was “a memorial to a fallen officer.”
Three juveniles, ages 14, 15, and 16, later confessed to having struck and killed the three-year veteran of the department while they were trying to escape in a stolen vehicle, KUTV reported.
“The Brotherson family appreciates all those who shared the post asking for help identifying those who continue to vandalize this hydrant,” his mother, Jenny Turner Brotherson said in a Facebook post on Friday night.
“This hydrant represents the place Cody’s life was stolen from him at the far too young age of 25. As a family we drive past this everyday shedding tears and remembering our beautiful hero,” she continued. “This memorial to Cody is important in the sense that I know each person who drives past it may for a brief moment remember Cody and his ultimate sacrifice.”
Brotherson said that the blue hydrant is especially important to those who Officer Brotherson left behind.
“It may seem like something small and insignificant to others but to us it is a HUGE deal. Seeing it vandalized is another reminder of The pieces of garbage who murdered Cody who were NOT innocent young children,” she added.
The West Valley Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) admonished those who dishonored the slain officer’s memory, and said they stand behind him and his family.
“We assume it’s easy for you to judge all that we stand for under the cloud of protection we provide,” the FOP wrote in a Facebook comment. “Feel free to taunt us with your inflammatory comments, we’re still here. You’ll learn that we don’t falter; we don’t run; we don’t hide; all of us stand up to those that desecrate our fallen friends.”