Vandals spray paint profanity across Lafayette George Floyd mural

Vandals spray painted a bright red profanity across a downtown George Floyd mural near Sixth and Ferry streets.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 2:01 PM
Updated: Jun 23, 2021 6:36 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Vandals spray painted a bright red profanity across a downtown George Floyd mural near Sixth and Ferry streets.

Lafayette police say a UPS driver took a picture of the graffiti Tuesday and reported it to the city.

The vandalism is under investigation. It's unclear if it was racially motivated.

The mural wasn't sanctioned by the city or local arts groups.

This is the second time it's been defaced since it popped up in downtown Lafayette last year after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers.

In the previous incident, the vandals crossed out the word "black" in the phrase "Black Lives Matter" and replaced it with the word "all."

Now, a profanity is scrawled across the mural in bright red spray paint. But community partners are coming together to restore this George Floyd mural to its former glory.

"By the time we get done, it should look like the first day it got painted," says Margy Deverall, who manages public art for the City of Lafayette.

Deverall looked over the damage Wednesday morning. She's also consulting local arts leaders and a graffiti abatement team, a group of volunteers that removes graffiti across the city.

"If it's tagging that you can just take a roller and paint a square over it, done, anybody can do that, but if it's a mural that actually needs artistic talent to match paints and make it right again, then not everybody can do that," she says.

The team fixed one mural underneath Harrison bridge. Deverall says this new project should be easy in comparison.

"Compared to the one we did previously under the Harrison bridge, this is going to be a piece of cake," she says. "It's a fraction of the size. If you look behind me, there's only four or five colors we need to come up with."

The mural's original artist now lives out of state. Deverall says she's consulting with the artist to restore the mural as closely as possible to its original form.

"Occasionally there will be a mural that somebody takes issue with and they'll put something derogatory on there and we'll go back and fix it," Deverall says. "It's sad to see it happen, it's unfortunate that it happens."

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