George Floyd, a Breonna Taylor mural vandalized with paint in Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A mural at the intersection of 11th and West Main streets in Louisville depicting black people recently killed by law enforcement – including Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and George Floyd – has been vandalized.
The “Say Their Names” mural, which was unveiled in July 2020 and is on the side of the building that houses Trifecta Event Productions, was covered in light blue paint on Monday morning.
Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Dwight Mitchell said Monday the department’s premier division was in the early stages of investigating the vandalism and noted that it was “currently gathering evidence and probing the neighborhood for all witnesses “.
Braylyn Resko Stewart, one of the three artists who created the mural, said he first discovered the vandalism on Monday morning after the building owner sent him a photo of the disfigured mural .
Stewart said he was “in disbelief” when he first saw the vandalized mural.
“I have seen other murals in town degraded,” said Stewart. “I know it was only a matter of time before this happened.”
Stewart said he would restore the mural and put up a GoFundMe page raise several thousand dollars to purchase anti-graffiti coating and other supplies. By mid-Monday afternoon, the page raised nearly $ 1,000 in donations.
It is not known who vandalized the mural, although the words “Patriot Front” were painted on the mural in white lettering in several places.
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The Patriot Front, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was founded in Texas in 2017 after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Anti-Defamation League says it is a “group of white supremacists whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to themselves” and who “espouse racism, l anti-Semitism and intolerance under the pretext of preserving the “ethnic and cultural origins” of their European ancestors.
Patriot Front materials found on the University of Louisville campus earlier this year, alarming students and triggering an investigation by university officials. Northern Kentucky University reported similar acts of vandalism during the academic year.
Mitchell said the LMPD “did not rule out the motives of the perpetrator (s).”
The “Say Their Names” wall vandalism follows that of the mural by Breonna Taylor on the newly renovated basketball court at Lannan Park in the Portland neighborhood. Previously posted video of two people vandalizing the mural in June, and an anonymous donor announced a reward of $ 2,500 for information about the pair.
Although Stewart said he was “upset and hurt” by the vandalism of his mural, he said he received a lot of support from the community.
“In our entire artist community and our community in general, there is more love than hate,” said Stewart. “So I think we’re going to bounce back well and even stronger from that.”
Mary Ramsey contributed to this article.