Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan seek a man and woman seen on video vandalizing the gravesites of President Gerald Ford and former First Lady Betty Ford. Surveillance footage and photographs show that this happened at about 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, cops said.
From the law enforcement statement posted to Facebook:
If you can identify these two individuals or have information regarding this larceny of U.S. Government Property, please call Sergeant Jana Forner at (616) 456-3836, Detective Curtis Sattertwaite at (616) 456-3989, Facebook messenger, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345/silentobserver.org.
Video shows the duo approaching the site. The woman kicked her skateboard at the memorial wall. The two then sit on the wall. Available footage shows the man apparently prying the E off “committed” in the message: “Lives Committed to God, Country and Love.”
The letter was replaced with a slightly smaller one after the incident. The suspects remain unidentified.
“The president and the first lady are interred here,” Joel Westphal, deputy director of the museum, told FOX 17 Online. “This is a presidential gravesite. There are not many presidential grave sites. We are one of only 14 presidential museums around the country.”
The museum wants charges against the skateboarders.
“We look at this as an extreme act of vandalism,” he told WOOD TV. “This is an important site. This is a presidential gravesite, and we’re not happy.”
President Ford passed away in 2006, followed by the first lady in 2011.
The Gerald R. Ford Museum and gravesite are pieces of our nation’s history. This is both disappointing and disgusting. #WestMichigan, if you have information please reach out to the @GrandRapidsPD or contact Silent Observer at 616.774.2345 https://t.co/DTtwA1bQHL
— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) April 4, 2019
[Screengrab via Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library]