The Black Lives Matter street mural outside Trump Tower was vandalized with red paint, police confirmed to CNN on Monday.
An unnamed suspect walked up to the mural, dumped red paint over the letter V in “Lives,” and ran away as passing traffic further splattered the paint across the sign, New York Police Department officials said.
President Donald Trump previously called the words “Black Lives Matter” a “symbol of hate,” and criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for “denigrating” the area.
In response, de Blasio said, “President Trump said we would be denigrating the luxury of Fifth Avenue. Let me tell you: we’re not denigrating anything, we are liberating Fifth Avenue, we are uplifting Fifth Avenue.”
After the project was completed, the mayor shared a video of the new mural, writing: “5th Avenue has never looked better.”
Oscar Vela said he was taping a video on Monday when he saw a man wearing a mask go up to the Black Lives Matter mural and douse it with a can of red paint.
“I was a little speechless at first cause I couldn’t believe that was happening in front of me,” Vela told CNN via Twitter, where he posted video of the incident. “I yelled for his name and he ran away. Sad to see this happen in NYC.”
The investigation into the New York City vandalism is ongoing, and no arrests have been made at this time, NYPD said.
Anyone with information regarding the suspected vandalism is asked to contact the police.