Family and police chief respond to Americus fallen officer’s grave vandalism

Community News

AMERICUS, Ga. — An update out of Americus, where an officer who was gunned down with his best friend last year was laid to rest. The family shared a picture with News 3 that shows the footprints that were left behind on Officer Smarr’s grave.

Officer Nicholas Smarr’s family tells News 3 after monitoring the grave site for more than a week, they started noticing similar images and that’s when they decided to set up surveillance. The man’s mother and police chief have a message for the suspects, especially for the one accused of spitting on Smarr’s grave.

“Maybe they didn’t get taught respect..not to walk on people’s graves…older people know better but you know…some kids aren’t taught that,” says Janice Smarr.

Police say 17-year-old Kaheem Chambers and three other juveniles were arrested and charged with criminal trespass at Nick’s grave site at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Sumter County. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott says Officer Smarr was not deserving of such disrespect.

“He was a model-employee. He was a very good officer very much a part of the team…very much well-liked by the community,” says Chief Scott.

News 3 asked Chief Scott if there are any plans in place to closely monitor Nick’s grave overnight.

“There are already video cameras in place throughout that cemetery so it stays under video surveillance all the time,” he says.

News 3 also asked the chief whether the suspects had any ties to the man accused of shooting and killing Officer Nicholas Smarr and Officer Jody Smith. The suspect in their December 2016 shooting deaths, was Minquell Lembrick.

“As far as we know this was just a random foolish decision by four young people. I don’t know why they thought it was a good idea. I don’t know why they did it,” says Chief Scott.

“We was pretty angry at first but when we realized it was kids…that helped a little bit,” says Janice Smarr.

Janice says she’s trying to be understanding when it comes to what happened this week. Despite this, she says she still wants the public to not only respect her son, but also his best friend, Officer Jody Smith.

Police Chief Mark Scott says since the deaths of Officer Smarr and Smith, some people continue to make hateful posts on Facebook. The chief is encouraging people to not do this because it does nothing to solve community problems.

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