Philadelphia officer creates portrait to honor Cleveland murder - WSMV Channel 4

Philadelphia officer creates portrait to honor Cleveland murder victim

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(Source: Philadelphia Police Department/Facebook) (Source: Philadelphia Police Department/Facebook)

PHILADELPHIA (Meredith) -- The Philadelphia Police Department shared a beautiful work of art to remember 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr., the victim of a fatal Easter day shooting in Cleveland.

Forensic Graphic Artist Officer Jonny Castro created the digital painting for Godwin’s family.

The department posted the portrait on its Facebook page to not only pay tribute to the father of 9, but to also send an important message.

“Every day in this country, individuals like Mr. Goodwin are senselessly killed by cowards whose names aren’t worth the keystrokes necessary to type them into posts like this one,” the department wrote. “Far too often, it is the names and faces of those criminals – not their victims – that are remembered as we see them plastered all over the media.”

Philadelphia police said the public’s help is vital in tracking down suspects, and that “regardless of your opinions on police, please consider putting them aside for just a moment to give us a call.”

Godwin was killed on Sunday in an apparently random shooting in Cleveland that was videotaped and posted to Facebook. The suspect, Steve Stephens, killed himself on Tuesday after a brief pursuit in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Officer Castro and the department pooled money together to ensure Godwin’s 9 children and 14 grandchildren would each get a print of the portrait free of charge.

Funeral services for Godwin are scheduled for Saturday.

Here is the message from Philadelphia police in its entirety: 

Good evening

This beautiful work of art was recently completed by PPD Forensic Graphic Artist, Officer Jonny Castro.

This digital painting of Cleveland, Ohio homicide victim Robert Godwin, Sr. is being shared in order to get an extremely important message out there. 

YOU - the public - are the best weapon we have in the fight against crime. Sure, that's a cliche - but some cliches become cliches for a reason. FACT: Mr. Godwin's killer is no longer a threat because a citizen picked up a phone and called police.

Every day in this country, individuals like Mr. Godwin are senselessly killed by cowards whose names aren't worth the keystrokes necessary to type them into posts like this one. Far too often, it is the names and faces of those criminals - not their victims - that are remembered as we see them plastered all over the media. 

The sooner those wanted individuals are in custody, the sooner we can stop posting their pictures. Believe us - getting them into custody and off of our pages and streets makes us very happy.

We need your help.

Call it "snitching", call it "ratting", call it whatever you want. Regardless of your opinions on the police, please consider putting them aside for just a moment and giving us a call. You can always remain anonymous - and you can quite literally save a life.

Our condolences to the family of Mr. Godwin, as well as to the families and loved ones of victims of violence throughout Philadelphia and the world. We promise to work tirelessly to bring closure for these victims as well as the loved ones that are left behind to pick up the pieces.

Please. We need your help.

Thanks for listening, for your support, and for your help in making our city safe. Stay safe.

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