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Black Lives Matter Mural In Downtown Orlando Defaced With Racist Message


Orlando city crews are cleaning up after a massive Black Lives Matter mural was vandalized overnight with a racist message, less then 24 hours after the paint was put down.

Orlando joined a growing number of cities Friday by painting a large mural Rosalind Avenue saying Black Lives Matter. Orlando's mural was done in black, red and green - the color of the Pan-African flag.

The vandalism, scrawled in black and white spray paint, seemed contradictory. Some wrote "more than paint," an indication that the mural was an empty gesture. Other parts of the mural had calls to defund or abolish the police, and references to abolishing the electoral college system. At least one of the letters was defaced with a racial slur against Black people.

Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill said defacing the Black Lives Matter mural would likely be felony vandalism. Having city crews come out on the weekend to clean and repaint was going to cost the city money.

"Hopefully once the investigation is completed, we'll find out and expose those that have brung such vitriol and hateful wording today, and such derogatory words against Black people," Hill said. "That stated, my major focus is healing the city, coming up with policies to equal the playing field when it comes to Black lives, and improving the quality of life in our Black community."

In a statement, the Orlando Police Department said it was investigating the incident, asking anyone with information is asked to call CRIMELINE. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the vandalism "saddened" him.