A newly painted mural in Garner, North Carolina was defaced over the weekend, and the Garner Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the suspect’s arrest.
The mural was painted outside the new Garner police station that the department is expected to move into soon. On Friday, someone defaced the mural with this message: “Kill A Cop, Save A Child.”
On Sunday, the Garner police chief was livid about the incident. “A hate crime in my opinion; it must stop,” said Chief Brandon Zuidema.
Zuidema also took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the matter. “Disgusting act with absolutely no justification or reason,” Zuidema Tweeted.
“That someone would choose not only to deface a mural that’s intended to be a community asset but would deface it with the words ‘kill a cop’ on it, makes me sick,” said Zuidema.
The mural was done by a local artist who spent hundreds of hours working on it.
In an interview with WNCN, Vincent Wood, the artist who made the mural, said, “Hurtful, it was really hurtful for me to watch that happen to those officers. At first I was kind of mad that it happened to me. And then I realized it had nothing to do with me at all.”
When he first heard about the vandalism of his work, Wood wrote on his Facebook page, “Well, someone spray tagged my mural. Ruined over 200 hours work. Just heartbroke.”
Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams was also upset about the vandalism of the mural, and he promised to do whatever he can to bring the person that defaced the mural to justice.
Wood said that he plans to repaint the mural and left a note for the vandal on his Facebook page.
“To the vandal that tagged our mural… I am gonna make it better than it was gonna be. You can’t beat me, chump, I am from Garner,” he wrote.