HOUSTON - The George Floyd mural on Bell and Chartres St in East Downtown was defaced with a racial slur on Thursday. The move comes just two days after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter by a jury.
For the next two days, the artists behind the George Floyd mural in East Downtown will be re-creating their tribute piece, spray painting over the racist message defacing the Houston native’s face.
"N***** lives don’t matter. I'll say it again, N***** lives don’t matter. There’s a reason why George Floyd’s mural was defaced when there’s other murals on this wall, but they picked this one to deface. On purpose. It was not on accident," said Eugene Howard, President of Brazoria County NAACP.
The mural has served as a memorial site for Houstonians to pay their respects since Floyd's death last year.
"As a human, it's just wrong to do something like that. Knowing that we’re healing, knowing that we’re in pain as a community and to come here and put hate on top of that," said Daniel Anguilu, one of the artists.
Thursday’s vandalism comes just two days after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd.
"I just got back from Minneapolis with the family. We witnessed history in the making. And for me to come home and get out of my bed to see this atrocity; this is unacceptable. The Texas Coalition of Black Democrats believes this is a hate crime," said Dr. Candice Matthews, a representative with the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner says the destruction is now being investigated and warns whoever’s responsible that this type of hatred will not be tolerated.
"Ignorant people with bad hearts and bad motivations; do not give them the power. You will be held accountable," Finner said.
Finner said HPD does not have enough information right now to consider this is a hate crime. They will likely be investigating the incident as criminal mischief.
Anyone who knows anything about the incident is urged to call HPD.