From California to Ohio to Florida, Black Lives Matter murals have been defaced and altered across the U.S. following weeks of protests against police brutality and systemic racism, reports show.
Overnight, a Black Lives Matter mural on a street in Chicago was altered to say “All Lives Matter,” photos show. City officials had most of the graffiti washed off by 10 a.m., the Chicago Tribune reported.
Local officials intend to work with the artists of the mural to restore it to its original condition, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The uniquely colorful mural was finished last month, WLS reported.
So in Oak Park, IL, some racist coward defaced Black Lives Matter Mural, to say All Lives Matter.
But is anyone really surprised?
For all pandering communities & business are engaging in, until we are ready to risk & sacrifice, to work to change policy & systems, this is it pic.twitter.com/kLnWLQUKwo
— Anthony V. Clark (@anthonyvclark20) July 8, 2020
“This is a reminder that if white folks can’t give us a small mural on a side street in Oak Park, they won’t be able to give up much,” Mak Flournoy, one of the project’s organizers, told the Times. “Sadly, I think that if they aren’t ready for this then they certainly won’t be ready for the things to really make this country, and this village and state better.”
The same night, vandals in Park City defaced a Black Lives Matter mural by covering the word “Black” with gray paint and the clenched fist symbol used as an ‘I’ in “Lives,” the Park Record reported. It was one of two murals on the street vandalized overnight, according to the Record.
The other mural, which read “Peace, Unity, Love” was altered as well, the Record reported. The mural depicts a hand with a bracelet with the letters “BLM,” and vandals used gray paint to cover the ‘B,’ according to the Record.
My friend painted a 300ft long “Black Lives Matter” mural and it was destroyed and defaced to now read “lives matter” in Park City, Ut. pic.twitter.com/Ts0goMBevE
— Lala Ellsworth (@LalaEllsworth) July 8, 2020
The mural was completed on the Fourth of July, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The project was led by the city government and the Park City/Summit County Arts Council, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The district attorney’s office in Martinez, California is charging a man and a woman with hate crimes after videos posted on social media showed the couple vandalizing a Black Lives Matter mural in the San Francisco Bay Area, McClatchy reported.
“The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country,” Diana Becton, the district attorney said, according to the New York Times.
A video posted on YouTube shows Nicole Anderson and David Nelson throwing black paint on the mural on July 4, McClatchy reported. Nelson can be heard saying “racism is lie” in the video.
“We’re sick of this narrative,” Nelson says in the video. “That’s the problem. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie. No one wants Black Lives Matter here.”
Vermont State Police are investigating the defacement of three Black Lives Matter murals as potential “bias incidents,” a news release from the agency said. One of the murals was painted in Jericho and the other two in Underhill, according to Vermont State Police.
A state trooper found all three of the murals Monday morning, the release said. The murals had tire burn marks on top of the words Black Lives Matter on two different roads and another on a third road that said Black Trans Lives Matter, according to the agency.
One of the Black Lives Matter murals also had white and brown paint splattered across, the release said. Police are investigating whether the incidents are related.
Community members in Orlando started painting a Black Lives Matter mural in June but it wasn’t even complete before it was defaced, WKMG reported. Two days after organizers started the project, vandals spray-painted “abolish the police” and “not enough” across parts of the 600-foot long mural, according to WFTV.
City of Orlando crews have been pressure washing and painting after someone defaced the #BlackLivesMatter mural with messages calling for more than just paint.
If you look close, you can still see “abolish police” and “defund OPD” near letter M. pic.twitter.com/Y7LJrMWRXU
— Allie McKinley (@alliemckinley) June 27, 2020
City surveillance cameras showed several people involved in the incident, WFTV reported. Orlando police asked the public to help identify the suspects last week, according to WOFL.
— Erik Sandoval (@ErikSandoval) June 27, 2020
“We’re deeply saddened that a symbol of our commitment to ending racial inequality created together with our community was vandalized,” Buddy Dyer, Orlando’s mayor, said, according to WKMG. “We find this type of behavior disturbing, it has no place in our city, and this will not deter our efforts to bring about real change and action.”
Vandals defaced a Black Lives Matter mural in Cleveland in late June by writing “BLM IS MARXIST” and “STOP KILLING EACH OTHER” across it, WKYC reported. Cleveland police confirmed a criminal mischief report was filed about the incident, according to WKYC.
Guess I have to buy some paint and touch up these beautiful works today.
Thankful and grateful that the weather is good today! https://t.co/rFoJqBdCmr
— Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) June 30, 2020
Residents living near the mural told a city council member they took photos of a middle aged African-American man writing the messages over the mural, WKYC reported.
“I am somewhat shocked that a man, apparently possessing some pent-up anger, would boldly step out in broad daylight to deface the newly painted ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural on East 93rd Street,” Blaine Griffin, a Cleveland city council member, said in a statement, according to WKYC. “I am extremely disappointed and outraged that someone is so selfish to push his own agenda - one that is demeaning to the greater community.”