Black Lives Matter mural vandalized outside Cincinnati City Hall, police release footage of suspect

Updated: Jul. 14, 2020 at 11:18 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Around 20 demonstrators took to Plum Street Tuesday night after someone vandalized the Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall.

Cincinnati police confirm an unknown person poured red paint on the mural. They released surveillance footage of the suspect late Tuesday night.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.

The red smears cover two of the mural’s 16 letters, the ‘E’ and the ‘S.' There are also new tire marks through several other letters, including the ‘M.'

The demonstrators say they found out about the vandalism around 7:30 p.m. while they were having their nightly vigil outside District 1 Police Headquarters in the West End.

Around 10:30 p.m., some people showed up with equipment in an attempt to clean the mural.

A woman at the scene who does art conservation work tells FOX19 NOW the paint has been down too long and the mural will likely have to be repainted.

City Council member Jeff Pastor released the following statement to FOX19 NOW about the incident:

“If this is true, purposefully vandalizing BLM mural, I am sickened by this level of hate and vitriol. We must do better. This is why a pedestrian plaza is so critically important in front of City Hall, the ‘people’s house.’”

More | City unveils ‘Black Lives Matter!’ mural outside City Hall

The privately funded mural was unveiled June 19. Seventeen teams of local Black artists created the letters (and exclamation point.)

“What happened to the Black Lives Matter Mural is terrible and we need a fix quickly. We’ve been working with the Administration and Councilman Pastor on a fix, how to turn this section of Plum into a pedestrian friendly plaza, and how to allow the artists to fix the mural. We need to let people enjoy it without being worried about traffic,” Council Member Greg Landsman said.

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