Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — Police are investigating after a Black Lives Matter mural was vandalized in Santa Cruz Friday night, authorities said.

On the morning of July 24, the Santa Cruz Police Department received a report of vandalism to the Black Lives Matter mural painted at 800 Center Street.

Responding officers located the damaged mural, which consisted of vehicle tread marks across the painting.

Police said the crime took place Friday night. Detectives were able to obtain video of the crime, in which a car is seen intentionally “burning out” and putting tire tread marks across the mural.

With the video evidence, investigators have identified a possible vehicle and person(s) of interest.

Investigators are continuing to follow up on all leads to identify and locate the suspect(s). This is being investigated as a hate crime.

“Vandalism of our Black Lives Matter mural is unacceptable and must be dealt with immediately. The Santa Cruz Police are actively investigating this crime and keeping me up to date,” Mayor Donna Meyers said. “We will work to repair the mural and stand in solidarity with our community to oppose hate.”

“This type of behavior is unacceptable in our community, and we will pour all of the resources necessary to ensure we identify and prosecute those responsible,” Chief Andy Mills said. “Justice must be served as this crime affects deteriorates the civility of our community, and creates a higher level of anxiety for many citizens, including our black community.”

“This crime saddens me greatly. The NAACP is glad the police have placed a high priority on this investigation,” Brenda Griffin, the NAACP’s local branch president, said. “It’s extraordinarily frustrating as some people still don’t get Black Lives Matter too. This mural is a symbol of hope. We want our youth to know we have their backs.”

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department
Investigations Unit (831) 420-5820.

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