Vandals threw a pig’s head at the onetime home of a former California police officer who was a defense witness for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer accused of killing George Floyd, police said.
The incident occurred early Saturday in Santa Rosa, California, at a house where the witness, Barry Brodd, used to live, Santa Rosa police said in a statement.
Police said Brodd appeared to have been targeted over his testimony.
“Mr. Brodd has not lived at the residence for a number of years and is no longer a resident of California,” police said. “Because Mr. Brodd no longer lives in the city of Santa Rosa, it appears the victim was falsely targeted.”
A person at the home found the head on the front porch, which was splattered with blood. People who were dressed in black fled as the person called 911, police said.
The same people are believed to have drenched a statue at a mall in animal blood about 45 minutes later and left a sign that read, “Oink Oink,” police said. They are accused of felony vandalism and have not been identified.
Santa Rosa Police Chief Rainer Navarro distanced his department from Brodd’s testimony, saying in a statement last week that Brodd hadn’t worked in the city since 2004 and that his comments “do not reflect the values and beliefs of the Santa Rosa Police Department.”
In his testimony, Brodd compared the neck restraint Chauvin used on Floyd for more than 9 minutes to an officer’s firing a stun gun at a suspect who falls, hits his head and dies.
“That isn’t an incident of deadly force,” Brodd said, according to The Associated Press. “That’s an incident of an accidental death.”
Witnesses for prosecutors, who have charged Chauvin with second-degree unintentional murder and other crimes, have said Floyd died from low oxygen after Chauvin pinned him to the ground for an extended time.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.