SANTA CRUZ – A Black Lives Matter mural painted on a street in Santa Cruz has been broken with vehicle marks across the painting, police said on Saturday.
Police investigators have identified a possible vehicle and person of interest in connection with the incident.
Police said the mural is located at 800 Center St. in Santa Cruz.
According to a police statement, “Responding officers found a damaged mural, which had vehicle marks on the painting.”
Officials said the vandalism is believed to have taken place on Friday night.
Detectives were able to obtain video of the incident with the help of the community.
“In the video, a vehicle can be seen deliberately ‘burning’ and putting tire marks across the length of the mural,” police officials said.
The video is believed to be helpful in the police investigation.
“With this video evidence, investigators have identified a possible vehicle and person or persons of interest,” Santa Cruz police said.
Police believe that crime is not common.
“Investigators are working on the case from the perspective that it is a hate crime,” police said.
The city’s mayor and police chief both condemned the desecration of the mural.
“The vandalism of our Black Lives Matter mural is unacceptable and must be dealt with immediately,” Santa Cruz Mayor Donna Meyers said.
The mayor said they were being kept up to date by the police department.
“This type of behavior is unacceptable in our community, and we will put all necessary resources to ensure that we identify and prosecute those responsible,” Police Chief Andy Mills said.