Breonna Taylor, George Floyd mural in Louisville vandalized, suspects caught on camera
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The “Say Their Names” mural created in July 2020 to honor the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others killed by police was vandalized early Monday morning, with footage of the suspects caught on camera.
The mural, located on 11th and Main Street on the side of the Trifecta Event Productions building, was facilitated nearly one year ago by No Justice No Peace Louisville, and created by Louisville independent artists.
At more than 100 foot wide and 30 foot tall ,the mural features the images of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, David McAtee, Elijah McClain and Sandra Bland, helping to raise awareness of Black people who were killed by police or died under police custody.
On Monday morning, Jordan Sabie, one of the employees of Trifecta Event Productions, noticed the mural had been defaced with spray paint in multiple locations.
“I came in and started immediately reviewing the camera footage,” Sabie said. “Saw that it basically took place at 1:30 a.m.”
In the security footage provided to WAVE 3 News, a person can be seen walking up to the mural just before 1:30 a.m. and using a paint spraying gun on the mural. One other person was located near the corner keeping watch, according to Sabie. Both persons can be seen running from the location around 1:33 a.m.
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In addition to spray painting over the mural, the name “Patriot Front” was written on the mural in three locations, Sabie said.
Patriot Front has been documented as a white supremacist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, tracking extremism in the United States. According to the New York Times, just four days prior to this incident, a statue of George Floyd in Brooklyn had been defaced and tagged by the group after only days after its installation on June 20.
Several other vandalism incidents across the United States have been reported in connection to the Patriot Front group, including a George Floyd memorial in Philadelphia back in June, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Braylyn Stewart, one of the Louisville artists who worked on the mural, said it was a great honor to work on the project and bring the memorial to life last year. Stewart said he was devastated when he found out the mural was defaced.
“It’s not tarnished, but it’s definitely hit a sore spot with me right now, until it gets put back to new,” Stewart said. “It’s going to get put back to new, and that’s on my word.”
Stewart said the mural would be cleaned with mineral spirits and an additional coat of UV protection would be applied.
“We will be coating the building so it will be even more protected,” Stewart said.
Stewart hopes the suspects involved are caught and brought to justice.
“These guys are idiots because there’s cameras everywhere,” Stewart said. “Just for them to be so ignorant, for them to do something so childish, you know, it just shows that the whole Patriot Front group are a bunch of cowards. They won’t do this, they won’t get away with it and if they want to march down the street, I have the entire city to my back and it will not end.”
A GoFundMe account was created by Stewart to help fund supplies for the mural’s anti-graffiti coating.
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