A public artwork on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue has been damaged just days after the commission by the City of New York was completed.
Mayor Bill De Blasio joined the community effort to paint the ‘Black Lives Matter’ road mural in bold yellow letters last Thursday but by noon Monday a man had vandalized the area outside the President Trump’s NYC residence, Trump Tower.
The project carried out by young people wearing ‘I Am Peace’ T-shirts last week, only last days before it was splattered in red paint.
Cops said the vandal was wearing a black shirt and black cap. The suspect dumped the paint then fled down 56th Street but it was smeared further – most of it across the letters ‘K’, ‘L’ and ‘V’ – by passing vehicles.
The Black Lives Matter mural was vandalized Monday afternoon, just days after it debuted
The red paint was spread further by passing cars on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York
A man stops his bicycle to look at where the mural was partially destroyed by a vandal
The suspect reportedly escaped before law enforcement officers could catch up with him.
Police said they are reviewing surveillance footage and asked people to get in contact with any information. Crews were working to get rid of the vandalism on Monday afternoon.
The iconic skyscraper has been heavily-guarded since Trump delved into the world of politics. It has been the site of numerous protests, including one on Saturday where Trump supporters clashed with anti-racism protesters.
On Monday a man wearing and selling ‘Dump Trump’ gear witnessed the property damage.
He was pictured standing nearby a man holding up a gas-lighting sign that read: ‘The only time black lives matter is when they are shot by a white policeman or an Oreo cookie. Defend all policemen.’
An ‘Oreo’ is a derogatory term used against people of color, comparing them to the cookie which is classically brown on the outside and white on the inside.
The slur suggests the person exhibits behavior that the judge aligns with being characteristically white.
This month Trump said the artwork would ‘denigrate’ the luxury shopping area which has quietened down amid the coronavirus pandemic
Cops said they were unable to catch the suspect who dumped the red paint on the mural
New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers are investigating the vandalism incident
The artwork was restored to with a fresh lick of paint on Monday after it was ruined
Heavily armed New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers look on as workers re-paint
Workers re-paint a portion of a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural that was vandalized with red paint
The mural was one of five announced for New York City last month as part of an initiative to honor civil rights activists.
This month Trump expressed his opposition to the mural, saying it would denigrate the luxury shopping area. He also said it would ‘further antagonize New York’s finest’.
Before cops guarded the area while the mural was being painted, the president tweeted: ‘Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street.’
The decision came as Americans across the country expressed their hurt at statues and memorials to Confederate soldiers and slave-owners looming over public places for decades.
‘When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement because there is no America without Black America,’ de Blasio said.
On Monday a man wearing and selling ‘Dump Trump’ gear witnessed the property damage. He is seen speaking to Trump supporters
A Trump supporter held up a gas-lighting sign on Monday: An ‘Oreo’ is a derogatory term used against people of color, comparing them to the cookie which is classically brown on the outside and white on the inside
‘We are acknowledging the truth of ourselves as Americans by saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We are righting a wrong.’
Trump recently signed an executive order that would see anyone found to have tampered with a statue or monument face up to 10 years in prison.
It’s unclear what the suspect’s punishment could be. On Tuesday, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged David Nelson and Nicole Anderson with a hate crime after they destroyed a similar mural that was painted in Martinez, California on July 4.
‘We must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country. The Black Lives Matter movement is an important civil rights cause that deserves all of our attention,’ District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement.
‘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. We must continue to elevate discussions and actually listen to one another in an effort to heal our community and country.’
On Saturday, two days before the vandalism, Trump supporters and ant-racism protesters stood outside the Trump Tower to voice their views