JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville officer came home to find that his personal vehicles had been targeted by vandals and trashed… and the message they left showed the level of hate that sadly still exists in this world.
Officer Jason Murphy got home from a long shift on Tuesday and pulled into the parking lot of his Jacksonville home. As he climbed the stairs and went upstairs to go let the dog out, just as he does every day, he noticed a distinct smell in the air.
“You could smell that something was on fire, but there was no smoke,” Jason said.
Peering from the balcony, Jason noticed that the taillights of his black pickup truck were flashing. Not the front ones, but just the rear. Thinking it was strange, he decided to head back down the parking lot to investigate.
What he saw made his heart drop.
“As I came around the corner I could see the damage right away,” Jason said.
The veteran officer found both his and his wife’s vehicles completely trashed. Windows were smashed in, paint jobs were ruined – and in the very middle of his truck in massive letters, they left a horrific racial message.
Officer Jason Murphy came home to find his and his wife’s cars trashed by vandals. (Provided to LET by Jason Murphy)
As he approached the Dodge Charger had saw that it had been spray-painted as well, and smoke was coming out of the driver’s side window. Jason said that the vandals didn’t stop at the smashed windows and racial tags.
Upon further inspection, Jason noticed that each vehicle’s floorboards were charred and melted, quickly explaining the smell that he had noticed when he came home. The vandals had tried to set both of the cars on fire, but luckily the closed doors cut off the full wave of oxygen, preventing the blaze from spreading.
The Dodge Charger was hit as well. (Provided by Jason Murphy)
Jason quickly called emergency responders to come out to the scene to file a report and have them investigate. As of right now, the local police have no leads. Jason told us that there were no witnesses and there are no cameras in the lot. In fact, the complex is surrounded by woods, which could easily provide cover for someone wishing to do something like this.
“I came to Jacksonville about two years ago,” Jason told LET. “I go through racial stuff pretty often, no stranger to that down here, but this was the first time someone actually took that next step and did something truly hateful.”
When we asked if he had a message for the vandals, his response was inspiring.
“More love, less hate,” he said. “What else can anybody else say? We’re living in a time when we all need to pull together. It’s sad, but this stuff is still very real and it happens every day.”
Now, the crew at Brothers Before Others
have banded together to help pay for the damage — and rebuild the notion that there are still good people in this world.
The BBO crew is a non-profit organization made up of active and retired LEO’s. They started the National Flower Fund
, which makes sure that flower arrangements are provided at the funerals for every officer that’s killed in the line of duty. They heard about what happened and immediately threw together a fundraiser on Wednesday to help cover the deductibles from the damage plus any extra expenses that insurance wouldn’t take care of.
They raised $3000 in just a matter of a few hours.
The vandals attempted to start fires in each of the vehicles.
Jason was overjoyed by the show of support from his brothers in blue.
Jason’s track record at his previous force in Detroit is not something to ignore. We spoke with a former coworker about their time there, and the level of dedication and effort that Jason puts into his work.
“I never heard anything but good things about Jason,” said the Detroit officer. “He earned the code name ‘Rocket’, and it wasn’t just because he loved motorcycles. Jason is fast when it comes to running… real fast. He was known to take down a lot of guys when they took off on foot. They couldn’t get away from him.”
Police have no leads as of yet.
Jason reportedly was responsible for taking a lot of guns off the streets in Detroit. He also put a major dent into stolen cars.
“We worked as part of a surveillance unit where we went after high profile rape and murder suspects. These were really bad people,” he said. “We would track, target, surveil and then take them down. Jason was one of the top guys we had on the unit.”
That unit boasted some staggering numbers.
“In a 3-month span we logged 55 arrests for rape and murder suspects. It was a massive operation. And hugely successful.”
The LEO was also inspired by the support shown from cops across the country.
“Brothers Before Others exists to right some of the wrongs in this world,” he said.
When we asked him about Jason’s situation, he expressed his sadness over it but also made it clear that these are the kind of battles police are up against every single day.
“Racism still exists — from all side. As far as policing in America goes right now, it’s a tough thing. We’re under a microscope. And we’re being targeted.”
He went on to talk about the recent assaults on police with the water bucket challenge that’s gone viral.
“Look at the NYPD and the water bucket situation, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.”
He said there’s an outright war against police, and it’s only getting harder each day.
“It’s not a good time for us, and it hasn’t been for awhile.” We need to get back to policing. We need to get back to the fundamentals. You treat every victim, perp or suspect like they’re a member of your family, because they could be. We do our best and that’s all we can do.”
“We have a split second to make a decision when everyone else gets months and years to go through every detail with a fine-tooth comb and look at it from every angle. This isn’t sustainable.”
Anyone wishing to get more information on Officer Murphy or the Brothers Before Others mission, visit their website here.
Blue Family: let’s make sure everyone sees this and knows that we stand together in support of our protectors. The only color we see is blue.