SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Santa Rosa Police are investigating vandalism motivated by the Derek Chauvin trial, and hoping it ebbs.
"Definitely we hope it does not continue," said Lt. Jeneane Kucker, "and we just continue to monitor the temperature across the nation."
The weekend incidents were grisly: The decapitated head of a pig dumped at a home and large amounts of animal blood strewn at two locations.
"Potentially they freshly slaughtered a pig to accomplish this," said Kucker, who noted the vandals were mistaken in their choice of target.
The west Santa Rosa home they vandalized is no longer the home of a Chauvin defense witness.
Use-of-force expert Barry Brodd moved out of state a few years ago.
Last week, Brodd testified that former officer Derek Chauvin was justified in his conduct toward George Floyd.
"I felt that Officer Chauvin's interactions with Mr. Floyd were following his training, following current practices in policing and were objectively reasonable," said Brodd.
But the vandals enraged at him hit the wrong people.
"Whoever did the crime didn't quite do their research," said Kucker, acknowledging the trauma for the current resident. "Certainly if I was the resident victim in this case, I would take that as threatening."
The victim woke up during the 3 a.m. attack and called police.
Home security captured murky images of a group dressed in black, running away.
"It was quite disturbing and I feel really bad for the victims," said neighbor Annie Barbour. "And it kind of made me think of 'The Godfather' film, for someone to go to that extreme to make a point."
After leaving the house, the vandals struck again in downtown Santa Rosa, smearing animal blood all over a sculpture that sits outside a shopping mall, and leaving a sign reading "oink oink."
"There's a lot going on around this case nationwide and a lot of emotions behind it," said Kucker.
Santa Rosa, like most communities, anticipates public reaction to the verdict.
But many people hope it's peaceful and directed at the correct individual.
"Brodd is just an expert witness paid to do this so for people to retaliate against him is a little extreme," said Barbour. "The person who should be held accountable is the police officer who started all this."
Brodd was a Santa Rosa Police officer until 2004.
His testimony prompted the current chief Rainer Navarro to issue a statement saying Brodd does not reflect the department's values or beliefs.