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Officers called Thursday morning to the city's Battery Park found the mural vandalized, police said.
“Hate will not be tolerated in Richmond," Police Chief Gerald Smith said in a news release. “We are asking for the public’s help by being another set of eyes on the murals and monuments of Richmond.”
It's the second time this week that a mural in Richmond has been defaced with such markings, police said. Police will monitor monuments and murals citywide. If damage from vandalism is $1,000 or more the person or persons responsible can be charged with a felony, police said.
Crews painted over the vandalism and the city immediately contacted Sir James Thornhill, one of the artists who had worked on the mural in 2017, WRIC-TV reported. Officials expressed hope that the mural could be repainted in coming months.
“Those responsible for this, and other like-minded shameful and cowardly acts, will be held accountable,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement. “Let me be clear: Hate will not be tolerated in our city.”