Man Charged For Burning Memorial Of Killed Police Officer

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A man was charged Friday for destroying the memorial of a police officer that was killed in the line of duty.

“It’s frustrating and terribly wrong,” Steve Pierson, the father of the fallen officer, told ABC WHAM.

Jonathan Snowden was arrested and pleaded not guilty to fifth-degree arson, a misdemeanor, and third-degree criminal mischief, The Democrat & Chronicle reports.

The memorial was a small blue and white cross to honor the death of Rochester police officer Daryl Pierson, who was fatally shot while pursuing a suspect last fall. The cross had the date of Pierson’s death and “EOW” which stands for “End of Watch” written on it.

The memorial has since been replaced.

“Lately in the national news, it’s not a surprise that some people don’t like the police,” Lt. Richard Waldo, a Captain at the Rochester Police Department, told ABC WHAM. “So it’s not surprising for me as a police officer to see someone damage something to remember us.”

Thomas Johnson III was convicted of aggravated murder in May for shooting Pierson in the chin during a police pursuit. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 55 years for other crimes.

Pierson and his partner  Michael DiPaola began pursuing Johnson late one night September of last year. During the chase, Johnson turned and fatally shot Pierson.

DiPaola continued chasing Johnson and shot him. The shot wounded Johnson and allowed him to be arrested.

A video obtained by the Democrat & Chronicle shows the entire incident, but it is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.


Jonathan Snowden mugshot

Jonathan Snowden mugshot

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Casey Harper