Kennewick officer’s personal car vandalized with slur aimed at police

A KPD officer's personal car was targeted Wednesday night with a hateful message aimed toward police.

KENNEWICK, Wash. Police Officer James Canada was driving home Wednesday night when his wife, in a separate car behind him, told him to pull over.

“She called me and was like, ‘Where you at?’ And I was like, ‘Well I’m in front of you, I see your headlights.’ And she said, ‘Well you need to pull over, somebody spray-painted something on your car and it looks like it says f-something.”

Officer Canada said he turned into the nearest Circle K and parked. When he got out, he saw the large “F@$# 12” written on the passenger side of his car.

“I did feel a little disappointment like, man, how could somebody do that to me?” Officer Canada said, noting the instant feelings of anger and frustration.

Canada, a Washington native, became the KPD’s first Black officer over 17 years ago. In the nearly two decades of working for the police force, he said while the amount of diversity has grown, there is still more to be done.

“I take pride in my job,” Officer Canada said. “I just feel like it’s just my part to try to help people out and bridge the gap between the police department and the community.”

He added that navigating the past year as a Black man who works as a police officer was “interesting.”

“You know as a father, as an African-American, definitely I reinstill that the police are people that we can trust and that will protect us,” Officer Canada said. “Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Franklin County, Benton County, we have good men and women that do this job.”

While Canada said he understands why some might be skeptical, he wants to use what happened as a learning experience.

“This is kind of the times that we’re living in and this is the kind of thing that I want to change from happening,” Officer Canada said. “I know all people aren’t gonna like me but I think the majority of people I come in contact with I try to treat fairly.”

Marco Monteblanco, the president of the Washington Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP), said this shouldn’t have ever happened.

“He is a great person, he’s a member of our organization and is very active in this community. No one deserves to have their property damaged, we should all have a community speak out against this type of behavior,” Monteblanco said. “He has dedicated his professional life and his personal life to the Kennewick community to make it a better place for all who live and work there. This kind of behavior is uncalled for and will not be tolerated.”

Canada added that being a police officer is a “job like no other.”

“No other job in the world besides the military do you have a complete stranger that will lay down their life to protect someone else,” Officer Canada said. “Growing up, my grandparents and parents all say it takes a village to raise a family and I think we’re just one big village and one large family and we need to help each other out.”

KAPPKVEW asked Officer Canada if he had a message to the vandal(s) that targeted his car.

“It strengthened my resolve to just continue to do what I’ve been doing and do more. No matter what you do, me and a host of other men and women are going to continue to serve this community and you know I think the community is going to be stronger because of it,” Officer Canada said.

He also wanted to thank the outpouring of support from the local community and Mel’s Inter-City Collision who helped get the spray paint off of his car for free.

WAFOP issued the following statement today in response to the crime:

“Our organization recognizes the responsibility of law enforcement to evolve and re-establish strong, trusting, and respectful working relationships with the local community. But trust and respect are two-way streets, and cowardly actions like this damage more than personal property; they damage the hard work done by diverse stakeholders to make our community a better place.

WAFOP extends its support to Officer Canada and to the entire Kennewick Police Department in light of this reprehensible action.”

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