CHICAGO - There is anger from a former top cop after vandals struck a billboard dedicated to a fallen Chicago police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
About a month ago, billboards honoring Chicago police officers were put up across the area and so far, graffiti has been sprayed on four of them.
The 66 billboards placed throughout the city are meant to show officers in a good light and also that they too have families to return home to.
Located in Jefferson Park at Elston and Leclaire avenues, a billboard honoring Officer Samuel Jimenez was found tagged Wednesday morning with the word "propaganda."
Officer Jimenez responded to an active shooter at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on Nov. 19, 2018. The gunman, Juan Lopez, shot and killed Dr. Tamara O’Neal in the hospital’s parking lot. Lopez and O’Neal had previously been engaged to be married.
Lopez also killed Dayna Less, a pharmacy resident. In a gun battle with police, Lopez killed Jimenez.
The vandalized billboard was cleaned up Wednesday afternoon.
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation leader Phil Cline called the act a disgrace to the Jimenez family and to all other fallen officers.
"First of all it's despicable, and the person who did it is a coward. And for them to write ‘propaganda’ up there, that's a true story, it was covered by all the media and everybody else. Sam Jiminez was a hero that day and he's a hero to all Chicagoans and he should be. And for this person to go up there and defile that billboard is terrible," Cline said.
Police are looking at surveillance video from nearby building in hopes of catching the vandal.
Cline said the officer’s wife called Wednesday morning and was concerned that her children would see pictures of the billboard defaced.
Cline also said the last person who defaced a police memorial received two years in jail.
Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.