A Black Lives Matter mural painted on a street near Chicago was altered to say “All Lives Matter.”
“All Lives Matter” is a slogan that has come to be associated with criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and organization. Proponents of the slogan include Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is black.
It prompted the artists to decry the move as racist.
“The movement lives within us,” Kasani Cannon, one of the artists, told Fox32 Chicago. “You can paint over it, you can drive over it, but once this mural dries, our movement still goes on.”
Zaria Gilmore, another painter, said that she is not surprised “to see there are people who thought they were entitled enough to paint over what we’ve done here.”
The City of Oak Park said that it is working to restore the original message.
“The mural is considered a testament to community acknowledgment 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,” Oak Park said in a statement.
Oak Park police said the incident happened during the overnight hours near Scoville and Lake Streets. An investigation is being carried out.
“Public works crews removed the materials used to deface the mural,” police wrote on Twitter.
Two California residents over the weekend were seen on video altering a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint. They were charged with a hate crime, Contra Costa County authorities said.
Martinez, California, Police Chief Manjit Sappal said in a statement (pdf): “The community spent a considerable amount of time painting this mural only to have the suspects destroy it by dumping and rolling paint over part of the message.”