A George Floyd mural painted in a Sugarcreek Twp. park was vandalized with “KKK” and “WLM” and has since been painted over by the Greene County Engineer’s Office.
Emily Smith said she painted the mural to give people hope for a better tomorrow. She said she’s not angry that her mural was vandalized — saying the mural itself was technically an act of vandalism — but that she’s hurt some felt it’s OK to blast a message of hate.
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“I put a lot of time and effort and some people decided to put very hateful, heavy words everywhere,” she said. “Somebody went out of their way and showed so much hatred toward the Black Lives Matter movement and that hurts.”
The mural was underneath Washington Mill Road in Mill Bridge Launch in Sugarcreek Twp. County officials said they were alerted to the graffiti Thursday morning and it was painted over. Sugarcreek Twp. police said no police reports were filed for vandalism.
Veronica Turner saw the vandalism on the mural and posted it on social media, where dozens have decried the act.
“The vandalism I saw personally broke my heart,” she told the Dayton Daily News. “I was on a walk with my sister who lives in the area when we stumbled upon it and I was in shock. I can’t believe people could be so hateful to destroy such a beautiful thing. This really does show the amount of change that needs to be made in the community.”
Smith said she painted the mural because she wanted to create something positive. She said she saw many of the protests around the country turn violent between protesters and police and she wanted to make something peaceful that everyone could appreciate.
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She said she has plans to continue to create more art, hopefully with permission.
“Justice is deserved. Black lives matter. I hope the people who got to see (the mural) before it was defaced feel encouraged and hopeful,” she said.