SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Black Lives Matter mural on Court Street in Springfield has been defaced the day after it was completed.
According to the office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, the vandalism appears to be from a burnout from a car and was found early Tuesday morning. He says the person responsible for the crime isn’t off the hook.
Mayor Sarno is disheartened by the vandalism and stated that the police will review the video footage from surveillance cameras and will find out who was responsible. He released the following statement:
“Upon hearing about the vandalism on the Black Lives Matter mural this morning, I immediately instructed Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and our city team to review the video footage from our surveillance cameras on Court Street to investigate this act of intolerance. We will find out who did this and the individual(s) will be held responsible. In addition, I have instructed our dedicated city crews to repair the vandalism on the mural and our city street.”
Our community came together peacefully over the weekend in a show of unity, mutual respect, and understanding. Unfortunately, there are still some in our community that looks to divide us – my goal will always be to unite us. There will be zero tolerance with regards to the desecration of any monument in our city.”
Springfield resident Naisha Armstrong said it was a disaster to see in her city, “It’s amazing that somebody would like to destroy a beautiful painting that represents me, you understand me. It’s a total disaster.”
The suspect would be charged with the defacement of real or personal property. If convicted, the person responsible could face fines and/or jail time.
The city finished painting the mural Monday morning. It covers both lanes of the street and you’ll drive right over the mural now when you go by City Hall. It was a multi-day project that was organized by City Councilor Tracye Whitfield. She said, “It was meant to raise awareness that the Black Lives Matter fight is very significant. It symbolically stands up to the powers that be that deny black people their humanity.”