Explicit anti-cop graffiti was found Wednesday painted across the midtown Sacramento office of a law firm that represents police officers in use-of-force cases, including last year’s controversial shooting of a man on Del Paso Boulevard.
The message was scrawled across the front of the Mastagni Holstedt law firm in red paint, visible to drivers and pedestrians walking in the 1900 block of I Street, where the office is located. By 3 p.m., the first letter of the message had been scrubbed off, though the rest of the message remained until employees and volunteers cleaned it later in the afternoon.
David Mastagni, the law firm’s founder and a managing partner, said the graffiti came a day after the funeral for New York Police Department Officer Miosotis Familia, who was shot in her patrol car last week.
The Sacramento office lowered an American flag and a flag with the Thin Blue Line design to half staff, in her honor, he said. The flags are posted behind a fence in the law office’s parking lot but can be viewed by the public.
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“As a matter of respect, whenever a law officer dies in the line of duty, we lower the flag to half staff,” Mastagni said. “I think (the vandalism) was because of the anti-police movement and the funeral of Officer Familia.”
He mentioned reports of a protester at the funeral who played “F--- tha Police” by the ’80s rap group N.W.A.
The Sacramento Police Department is investigating the incident, police spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein confirmed. He said the department is investigating the crime as felony vandalism and is seeking the public’s help.
Attorneys with the Mastagni law firm recently represented former Sacramento Police Department Officers John Tennis and Randy Lozoya, who were involved in last year’s fatal shooting of Joseph Mann on Del Paso Boulevard. Mann was armed with a knife with a 3.5-inch blade, and his family said he was mentally ill.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office determined that the shooting was justified, but activists contend that the officers were too quick to use deadly force and that Mann was not an imminent threat. Lozoya retired this spring, and the city has launched procedures to fire Tennis for reasons that have not been made public.
The law firm works with both the Sacramento police and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department employee unions, Mastagni said, and has offices in Stockton, Chico and San Jose.