Riverside “Safe In His Arms” police memorial vandalized, suspect arrested

RIVERSIDE – Officers from the Riverside Police Department arrested a transient Friday, July 8, at about 2:15 p.m., after a witness saw the woman vandalizing the “SAFE IN HIS ARMS” police memorial monument at the Riverside Police Department’s Orange Street station, at 4102 Orange Street, in Riverside.

A witness who saw the female ripping off and breaking some of the tiles from the base of the statue immediately notified police of the woman’s description and location.

Officers quickly located the alleged suspect nearby and arrested Shannon Powell, a 47-year-old transient resident of Riverside. She was booked into jail on a single count of misdemeanor vandalism.

The vandalism happened the same week as protests about two police shootings of black men, and the day after five Dallas officers were killed in a much-publicized sniper attack. However, “Officers determined the suspect appears to suffer from a mental illness and this incident did not have any relation to recent events,” according to a press release from the department.

“Located in front of our station downtown, the “SAFE IN HIS ARMS” memorial depicts a Riverside Police Officer caring for a small child,” a police official explained in a press release about the vandalism and arrest.

Safe In His Arms, a memorial erected in 1983 was recently vandalized by Shannon Powell, a Riverside area transient.

Safe In His Arms, a memorial erected in 1983 was recently vandalized by Shannon Powell, a Riverside area transient.

Erected in May of 1983, the memorial is “dedicated to all Peace Officers who cope with the day-to-day rigors of their chosen profession, and honoring those within the county of Riverside who gave their lives in the service and protection of your community, lest we forget, our indebtedness to them…” 

The police memorial is a place for all Riverside County law enforcement officers, deputies, and agents to honor those who have given their lives in the service and protection of our community. The memorial lists the names of all the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in Riverside County.

The front of the memorial cites a verse from the New King James Bible, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans chapter 13 verse 4.

A multi-agency ceremony honoring those officers and their families is held in the month of May each year.

A jail record search revealed Powell was booked on suspicion of vandalism of property at the Robert Presely Detention Center. She was released later the same day with a citation to appear at the Riverside Hall of Justice Sept. 28.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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