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Friend Of DPD Fallen Officer Celena Hollis Knew Vandalism Of Memorial 'Was A Possibility'

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver police are looking for whoever vandalized a memorial in City Park dedicated to an officer who was shot to death there on June 24, 2012.

The spray-paint is now almost entirely gone, but unlike the brash attack on a police memorial earlier this year, this one was in a much more remote area done at night.

(credit: CBS)

With sadness in their hearts the mother and sister of Officer Celena Hollis viewed the cleanup from what can only be seen as an attack on all police. At the very least it was disrespect to the fallen officer who shot to death. It was during a gang dispute from a bullet probably not even meant for her.

Celena Hollis' mother and sister talk with police officers at the defaced memorial (credit: CBS)

Officer Everett Moore was a good friend and colleague of the fallen officer. He told CBS4, "I didn't let it affect me although I knew it was a possibility when the memorial went up."

It was two years ago when the memorial was dedicated. It was a day full of sorrow, yet pride. It says "Blessed be the peacekeepers." There is also a high heel shoe with a badge on it.

An image from the memorial dedication (credit: CBS)

Now the vandalism has people shaking their heads. Those in City Park like John Henderson looked at the vandalism with feelings of disgust.

"That's disgraceful, it's really is, and it's pitiful," he said.

Carrie Rodney looked at the damage to the memorial and expressed her support for police.

Celena Hollis
Celena Hollis (credit: CBS)

"It's sad, they protect us every day," she said.

It's the second defaced police memorial this year. On Feb. 14 two men poured red paint over the Denver police fallen officers memorial. The vandalism happened at the end of an anti-police protest. One of the men has pleaded guilty to that crime.

Vandalized Police Memorial
(credit: CBS)

For those who knew Celena Hollis, like Officer Moore, the graffiti on the memorial is only paint.

"That can removed and put back, but her spirit and her legacy will never go anywhere," he proclaimed.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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