Black Lives Matter Mural in Oak Park Defaced, Changed to Read ‘All Lives Matter’

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Police said the incident happened during the overnight hours at the intersection of Scoville and Lake Streets and an investigation is underway

NBC

A Black Lives Matter mural painted on a street in Oak Park was defaced Wednesday with letters painted over it to instead read “All Lives Matter.”

Police said the incident happened during the overnight hours at the intersection of Scoville and Lake Streets and an investigation is underway.

“Public works crews removed the materials used to deface the mural,” police wrote on Twitter.

The village is also working with the Oak Park Area Arts Council and the artists who painted the mural “to determine what additional work will be needed to restore the mural to its original condition.”

The mural was originated by Oak Park and River Forest High School graduate Cullen Benson and was designed and painted by local volunteers. The village said the work is “considered a testament to community acknowledgement of the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused public attention on the inequities and systemic racism that have such a negative impact on people of color.”

The police department urged anyone with information on who was behind the vandalism to call (708) 386-3800 or submit a tip anonymously at oak-park.us/crimetip.

Activists have since planned a rally Wednesday evening at the site of the mural, calling for the reallocation of village resources to services and resources like art initiatives, a “strong racial equity policy” in the village, the removal of Oak Park police officers from schools and the declaration of a “day of recognition.”

“This morning we wake up to the defacement of our Black Lives Matter mural that lifts Black art and Black life,” the Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League said in a statement. “We have been bringing up the institutional and interpersonal racism in this community for years, and have been ignored long enough. We have come before the D97 Board, D200 Board, the Village of Oak Park Board countless times with our stories of trauma by police and by compliant institutions in this community. We need our demands met.”

It’s the latest Black Lives Matter mural to be defaced in the U.S.

Two California, residents seen on video defacing a Black Lives Matter mural over the weekend have since been charged with a hate crime, Contra Costa County authorities said.

This article originally appeared NBC Chicago News.

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