JERSEY CITY, N.J.
A day after a rookie police officer was gunned down in an ambush, mourners came to pay their respects at a makeshift memorial with candles, balloons, empty liquor bottles and messages of love from friends scrawled on T-shirts taped to a brick wall.
Instead of honoring the officer, the memorial was for his killer. “Rest easy,” “Thug in peace” and “See u on the other side” friends wrote about Lawrence Campbell, who police say ambushed Officer Melvin Santiago early Sunday as he responded to an armed-robbery call at a 24/7 pharmacy. Officers returned fire, killing Campbell.
Visitors to the memorial would not give their names to The Associated Press. But Barbara Jones, Campbell’s neighbor, told The Jersey Journey that the Campbell she knew was nothing like the man city officials say was lying in wait for officers to arrive before opening fire.
Jersey City’s mayor and police director lashed out that some residents were grieving for the suspect instead of the officer.