A California mural honoring Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was chased and then shot to death while jogging in a suburban Georgia neighborhood, has been disfigured.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, it is unclear when Arbery’s portrait was destroyed with light pink paint. The image of the 25-year-old appeared on the now closed windows of the Pekin Cafe Chop Suey restaurant, located on University Ave.
A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department Lt. Adma Sharki said his office only learned of the vandalism after reporters inquired about the incident on Tuesday, Nov. 30, revealing no one had it. reported. When authorities contacted the owners, they declined to pursue a criminal investigation.
The mural also featured Breonna Taylor, a paramedic who was shot dead by Louisville police officers in her apartment on March 13, 2020, after her boyfriend shot undercover officers, who were executing a no-knock warrant.
Johnny Pucci, the artist behind the mural, told reporters he was surprised the mural hadn’t been taken down sooner. “Given the state of the nation, I’m really surprised it’s lasted this long,” the 35-year-old artist said. The tribute was painted just days later George Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020.
Pucci said several people reached out to him via Instagram, telling him about the damage, many of whom the artist said were angered by the incident, except him. “I’m not mad,” Pucci said.
“It doesn’t make me angry, it just disappoints me. How come someone sees a painting of someone who was murdered, with a message that says, “Spread the love,” and they say, “No, I don’t like that? “He plans to repair the mural when he returns from a trip out of the country.
Pamuela Halliwell, a North Park resident and president of the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, told the outlet she was “surprised” when she noticed the damage last month on her way home from work. The scene prompted her to stop and snap a photo, which she later shared on her social media page.
“It’s disgusting, it’s shameful, it’s disappointing and completely disrespectful that (Arbery) was killed by these three people who had nothing to do with him in the first place,” she said. told reporters.
Last November, the three men involved in Arbery’s murder, Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, were all convicted of murder and forcible confinement, aggravated assault and attempted criminal to commit a crime. They also face federal hate crime charges. The federal trial is scheduled to begin in February.
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