PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A local artist was back out at The Graffiti Bridge Thursday to repaint a mural of George Floyd after it appeared to be defaced Wednesday night.
This comes as protests against police brutality and racism continue across the United States after Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
The mural was found with brown paint splashed all over it.
“It was literally just hate, I think,” Artist Brandon Vessels said.
Vessels repainted the mural and understands how The Graffiti Bridge works with paintings being covered up but he feels the intent was different this time.
“It wasn’t covered with art,” Vessels said. “It was covered in brown paint smeared and splattered all of it. It wasn’t an artistic statement.”
Vessels received a lot of support from drivers honking as the passed by and from families who came out to help paint.
Shanequa Patterson said it hurts to explain what’s happened in Minneapolis to her four sons.
“I want my sons to be able to go outside and not have to worry about not making it back to me in the morning,” Patterson said. “I don’t want to have to have my son’s picture up here.”
Vessels was happy to see all the people who came together to support him and demand justice.
“It feels great because that’s exactly what I wanted,” he said. “I wanted people to come out and show love and support for this man’s life… he died in vain.”
The painting was complete after a few hours and people rallied chanting. Pensacola police arrived for a few minutes but only to tell protesters to not block traffic. The protests remained peaceful.
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