Volunteers Clean Up George Floyd Memorial After It Was Vandalized

Jun 21, 2020, 10:00 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2022, 11:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A memorial for George Floyd painted in downtown Salt Lake City was quickly cleaned up after it was vandalized late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

There are six murals painted near the intersection of 800 South and 300 West – each one depicting a different man killed by police. Only the mural of Floyd was targeted.

“Just hateful. A lot of hate. For no reason,” said Matt Maestas.

Maestas drives by the memorial every single day, and like many people, it means something to him.

“A change, a different change,” said Maestas. “No more violence with police officers.”

But when he saw the mural covered in black paint or tar early Sunday morning, his heart fell.

“Right on the forehead, there was black paint all the way down to the face,” said Maestas. “It takes a lot of time to do this, and somebody just comes in 10 seconds – not even 10 seconds – and ruins it.”

Tia Calvin was one of many who stopped at the memorial to pay her respects.

“I am out here because I want to walk and I want to come pay my respects to someone who died in the streets by the cops,” said Calvin.

She was disappointed to hear the mural had been defaced.

“I couldn’t ever do that. I wouldn’t ever do that,” said Calvin. “If that was my brother, if that was my son, that would make me very mad.”

News of the vandalism also spread quickly on social media. Even Donovan Mitchell weighed in on Twitter, saying “Can’t even have a mural… it’s sad dawg real sad!”

But just a few hours after it was first spotted, volunteers got to work – scraping, peeling, painting – and pretty soon, the memorial was as good as new.

Maestas said he hopes it stays that way and the person who defaced it is caught.

“I hope that they get charged for what they’ve done, either vandalism or a hate crime,” he said.

The Salt Lake City Police Department didn’t have a comment about the vandalism because no one has filed a police report.

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Volunteers Clean Up George Floyd Memorial After It Was Vandalized