A mural of George Floyd a Blackman that was killed by Minneapolis police which has caused protests and riots around the world was defaced in Stoneham, Boston, WBZ-TV Boston, reported.
The spray painting was painted on the walls of the I-93 tunnel in Stoneham, the graffiti shows Floyd’s face and name and says “Justice 4 Big Floyd.”
The artist behind the original image, Esben Rey, told WBZ-TV Boston, a local news outlet that he was inspired by the country coming together to honor Floyd’s life. Rey then painted the mural in remembrance of Floyd.
“Essentially I painted it because the times – it just broke my heart to see him murdered that way and it just hurt my heart a lot,” Rey told WBZ-TV. “So I thought the best way to positively interpret that was to commemorate him and paint a picture of his face.”
It further appears that whoever covered Floyd’s face with white paint, also tried to scribble out Floyd’s name before fleeing the scene.
One local woman believes this act was an intentional display of hate and stated it was uncalled for.
“This doesn’t help at all. Nope. It’s dividing everybody,” said Marie Cannatella.
George Floyd was murdered when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and other officers assisted holding Floyd down or just watched. Floyd was killed of asphyxiation on May 25th after arrested for allegedly trying to use a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes. While in police custody, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
The other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao — involved in the death of George Floyd have been charged with aiding and abetting amongst other charges.
Protests have erupted across the country for almost two weeks as protesters have voiced their concern for African American lives and the overall issue of police brutality. Unfortunately, police and protesters have clashed, with police using force against protesters often hurting innocent people, NY Times reported. Fortunately, some police who abused their power are being charged across the country or at least investigated for their use of force during or amid the ongoing protests. For example, six police were charged after video showed them breaking into a car and tasing its two occupants as Anewspost reported.
In another case, a police officer in Longbeach, California is under investigation after allegedly threatening to tear gas a man and his 2-year-old son on his shoulders. However, as a result of police responding to police brutality protests with force, there are now loud calls to dismantle or defund police departments nationwide. As Anewspost reported, nine out of twelve members of the Minneapolis City Council recently declared their support for disbanding and dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department at a rally in support of George Floyd.
Minneapolis isn’t the only city there is a nationwide push to dismantle, defund and end police departments gaining steam as a result of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. For example, a New York councilman has called for a $1bn divestment from the NYPD. In Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, San Francisco, and other cities, local policymakers have started expressing support for some form of defunding or opposing police budget increases.
Lawmakers in Congress have also begun a bipartisan push to defund the police and shut down a Pentagon program that transfers military weaponry to local law enforcement departments. Senators Rand Paul and Brian Schatz Introduced the Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act, which aims to restrict military weaponry from police departments by adding an amendment in the annual defense policy bill.
This growing division has seeded the country against itself, with those on the Right standing with police and those on the Left and center as well as anarchists standing with protesters. This recent act of vandalism will only serve to further divide a country that seems to be on the brink of societal collapse. Was this vandalism a deliberate hate-driven act or was it just kids ruining someone else’s artwork? The fact, that the perpetrator attempted to scribble out the name as well as cover Floyd’s face with white paint seems to point to the intent of further pushing hate and violence as America crumbles at our feet.