Paint splattered on the Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Via City of Santa Cruz / Instagram)
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Santa Cruz police investigating new damage to Black Lives Matter mural

The City of Santa Cruz received a report Saturday evening of blue paint spattered on the Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall. The mural was repainted just in late June.

Little more than a month after community members gathered to repaint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Santa Cruz City Hall, police say the mural has been damaged once again.

The Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) said around 6 p.m. Saturday, the city received a report of blue paint splattered across the letters A and C of the mural. The city public works team is working to assess and mitigate the damage.

In the City of Santa Cruz’s Instagram post about the incident, City Manager Matt Huffaker and Santa Cruz Police Chief Bernie Escalante denounced the vandalism.

“This is deeply disappointing and completely contradictory to the values the city holds dear,” said Huffaker.

“We will not tolerate any actions aimed at undermining the fabric of our diverse community,” said Escalante. “We want to emphasize that Santa Cruz should be a safe space for all individuals, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.”

The mural was spearheaded by the SC Equity Collab and painted in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, which sparked a nationwide racial justice movement.

SC Equity Collab co-founder Sean McGowen told Lookout on Sunday that the group is working with SCPD to figure out what actually happened, and that it was unclear whether the incident was intentional.

The Black Lives Matter mural in front of Santa Cruz City Hall ahead of its June repainting.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In 2021, Brandon Bochat and Hagan Warner did burnouts over the mural, leaving dark skid marks across the yellow paint. The pair were convicted of vandalism in November. The skid marks remained for more than two years, until June, when more than 50 people gathered to help repaint it, including Bochat and Warner, who apologized for their actions as part of a restorative justice process.

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