A Ferguson police officer has been suspended after he called a memorial left in honor of Michael Brown “a pile of trash.”
Police Officer Timothy Zoll, a spokesman for the Ferguson Police Department, was contacted by a Washington Post reporter after residents claimed a motorist had intentionally driven through a memorial set-up for Michael Brown.
It is the statement Zoll gave that resulted in his suspension.
“I don’t know that a crime has occurred,” Zoll told Washington Post reporter Jose A. DelReal over the phone. “But a pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?”
Zoll has been placed on unpaid leave while the decision whether to enact a more serious penalty is being considered.
“The officer has been placed on unpaid leave, effective immediately, while disciplinary proceedings begin,” a department press release read in-part. “The City of Ferguson wants to emphasize that negative remarks about the Michael Brown memorial do not reflect the feelings of the Ferguson Police Department and are in direct contradiction to the efforts of City officials to relocate the memorial to a more secure location.”
Justin (@jay_myles2) tweeted about the destruction of the memorial, writing, “Just got to #MikeBrown memorial and it’s been ran over. Someone who saw it on video said it was intentional.”
Footage of the destroyed memorial may be viewed below.
The memorial was restored by morning.
“A few people are here and planning to restore the memorial right now. Hate won’t win tonight #MikeBrown #Ferguson,” Justin tweeted.
Brett A. Blume (@brettblumekmox) posted a picture to Twitter of the rebuilt memorial, writing, “The rebuilt #MichaelBrown memorial on Canfield. @michaelcalhoun first reported car destroying it this am.”