Mayor, police union respond to vandalism of mounted patrol unit

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The Atlanta Police Union is calling it a senseless act against police officers. Someone smashed and keyed a transport vehicle used for the mounted patrol horse unit.

The city uses a trailer truck to move officers and horses around the city. Tuesday morning, vandals smashed the windows and took a key to the vehicle which was parked in downtown Atlanta.

"They're lashing out," Vince Champion, Atlanta Police Union. "And their vehicles are being attacked, clearly a message. And the message is, whomever, whether it's one person, whether it was a group, we don't know that or course, but the message is 'We don't like you.'"

Champion said there needs to a message from the top condemning such behavior.

"They don't deserve it, they do an incredibly difficult job," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "What I think that we need to do regarding the vandalism we're seeing is we need to try to find the folks who engaged in that behavior. But make no mistake, I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women and men of the Atlanta Police Department and we will not tolerate our officers being treated badly."

"That transported officers and horses to a place to where they could take the horses out and do their jobs to you know to ride the horses and be a presence. That’s it. They weren't there for a protest. You know tearing up stuff is not a way to come to an agreement on what needs to be done or how to change things,” said Champion.

Champion said if any member of the community feels the police are not living up to the best interest of the public, he will be more than willing to sit down to discuss it with community leaders.