A mural of George Floyd in Houston was marred with racist graffiti by “some knucklehead,” according to the city’s police chief — who dared the vandal to strike again.
Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters the east Houston artwork was targeted late Wednesday or overnight Thursday.
“I’m upset about it as well, but you know what?” Finner said. “Let ‘em do it again, let ‘em get caught.”
Finner called on city residents to rise above the hate and not to react in anger as he blasted the “knucklehead” responsible for writing “n—- lives don’t matter” in red spray paint over Floyd’s face.
“I don’t know what their motivation is, if it’s hate or whatever,” Finner said. “But one thing I want to say about Houston, Texas – we stick together … And when you see something, you say something. We got the call and HPD are here.”
Daniel Anguilu, one of the artists who painted the mural, told the Houston Chronicle it was the third time it had been vandalized.
“We really don’t know why this happened or if they really meant something by it,” he told the newspaper.
Anguilu said he restored the mural to its original form Thursday. Someone had previously scrawled “KKK” across it, he said.
“I believe in freedom of expression,” Anguilu continued. “If somebody felt the need to do that, that’s fine. It’ll get cleaned up.”
Finner stopped short of calling the incident a hate crime since he said he was unsure of the race of the suspect or suspects.
Investigators planned to scour nearby surveillance cameras in hopes of identifying someone, the Chronicle reported.
The vandalism occurred just days after a jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges he faced — including second-degree murder — in Floyd’s May 2020 death, which led to protests worldwide against police brutality.
Floyd, 46, was born and raised in Houston before moving to Minnesota in 2014, according to Texas Monthly.
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