GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After spending 16 years in law enforcement, a West Michigan man said this is the first time his home has ever been caught up in the divide between police and people of color.
Jose Ontiveros said his home was vandalized on July 4. Although the damage is cleaned up, he said the image in his mind can’t be erased.
“It shook me for a minute,” Ontiveros said. “Why would somebody do that?”
A vandal spray-painted the acronyms for Black Lives Matter and all cops are bastards on his driveway, lawn and what he calls his thin blue line flag. Ontiveros said he was targeted for flying that flag.
“It represents police officers and line of duty,” said Ontiveros.
As a former officer for the Grant Police Department, Ontiveros took this vandalism personally.
“Your heart just sinks,” said Ontiveros. “We support thin blue line, we support BLM and other movements, but it was our choice to fly what we are flying now.”
Ontiveros said no other homes in his neighborhood were targeted. His neighbors did not see who sprayed his property.
Although the destruction alarms him, Ontiveros said he won’t be intimidated.
The former officer said he filed a report with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
In the meantime, he said he ordered more flags and will soon display them on his property.