A George Floyd mural in downtown Houston was vandalized overnight Thursday.
An unidentified person tagged the painting with a racial slur that read: “(slur) lives don’t matter.” The mural is located at the corner of Chartres and Bell.
“Ignorant people with bad hearts and bad motivations do not give them the power,” said HPD Chief Troy Finner during a press conference at the mural. “Our city has been peaceful. The verdict came in, and it was the right verdict. Some people are upset about it. But one thing, in Houston, we are going to stick together.”
In addition to reducing homicides and violent crimes, Finner has often said building trust in the community is also among his department’s top priorities. As the restoration continues and authorities investigate the vandalism, Finner had a message for our community.
“Let’s celebrate who we are. A great diverse sophisticated city and we’re going to show the nation how we stand up. That’s what we should be reflecting on right now. Not the act of one stupid individual,” he said.
The artist behind the mural restored it later that afternoon.
“Knowing that we’re healing and knowing that we’re in pain as a community and to come here and put hate on top of what we don’t need is a reminder of what we are facing, maybe as a nation,” Daniel Anguilu said.
Anguilu said as a person of color he knows what it’s like to be the target of hate and has learned to use art as a means to navigate his way through that.
“It gives you the strength to stand up for what you know is right. Maybe this is bringing us together to learn more from it,” he said.
The mural was created after Third Ward native Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last May. This comes after Chauvin was convicted on three charges in the death of Floyd.
Houston police are checking to see if there’s surveillance video that could help them find those responsible. They are also canvassing the area, hoping to talk to anyone who might have seen something.