A George Floyd mural in Houston was defaced with a racial slur overnight Thursday, a little more than a day after the former police officer who kneeled on his neck was found guilty of murder in Minnesota.
Someone spray-painted the slur followed by “lives don’t matter,” in a warping of the name of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Let me tell you something, and I want everybody to understand: Ignorant people with bad hearts and bad motivations — do not give them the power. Don’t give them the power,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Thursday.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) April 22, 2021
On Tuesday a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd on May 25.
Chauvin, who is white, kneeled on the neck of Floyd, who is Black, for around nine minutes. Floyd’s death and the shocking video of the encounter touched off protests around the world against police brutality and calling for racial justice.
The mural in downtown Houston was restored by the artist Thursday afternoon, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported. It was painted last year.
“As a human, it’s just wrong to do something like that,” Daniel Anguilu told reporters.
“My intention with this mural and with a group of friends when we painted it was of support, first, but also to help our communities heal from some of the issues that we’re facing,” he said. “So, it’s a reminder that we just have to keep working.”
Floyd, who was 46, grew up in Houston and was raised in the city’s Third Ward.
Finner, the police chief, said that Houston sticks together and would celebrate being what he called a great, diverse and sophisticated city.
“We’re going to stand together. We’re going to uplift the good; push down the negative stuff,” he said. “Because we don’t have time for it.”
He said if the person is caught they will be held accountable. Police were checking for surveillance video and canvassing the area for witnesses Thursday, KPRC reported.