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Jersey City removes memorial for man who gunned down rookie cop

Top: The memorial for Lawrence Campbell is seen in Jersey City on July 14, 2014.  Bottom: The same space is seen on July 15, 2014. Marla Diamond/WCBS 880 and Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A memorial for Lawrence Campbell, who shot and killed police officer Melvin Santiago Sunday, has been removed by police in Jersey City, CBS New York reports.

The memorial went up in the neighborhood where Campbell, 27, lived. It included candles, balloons and empty liquor bottles. A pair of white t-shirts were taped to a red brick wall, with handwritten messages on them including "thug in peace" and "see you on the other side."

"I don't think that a few residents are going to express the sentiment of a city like Jersey City, and I'm not going to have it. So we had it taken down last night," Mayor Steven Fulop told 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck. Fulop previously said the memorial showed "ignorance" and was "disgusting."

melvin santiago

Melvin Santiago

CBS New York

The memorial was erected just a block away from the scene of an unrelated police-involved shooting early Tuesday.

Some people in the area told Schuck the memorial should have remained.

"He was someone's child, he was a friend, he was a father. So, they had somewhere to come and grieve for him," one woman told Schuck. "I don't think it was a disgrace."

"For the cops to come take it down, I think it was wrong," a man told Schuck. "Even though he killed a cop, all right, but that's what we do in the inner city. He was somebody's kid."

Campbell ambushed Santiago, 23, when he and his partner responded to a call at a Walgreens on Communipaw Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard at around 4 a.m. Sunday, police said. Campbell shot Santiago with a gun he had snatched from a security guard he assaulted, police said.

A wake for Santiago is scheduled for Thursday, and his funeral will be held Friday.

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