Authorities probe 'possible hate crime' after Sacramento Black Lives Matter art vandalized

Black and yellow paint splattered on a Black Lives Matter mural in Sacramento.
Black and yellow paint splattered on a Black Lives Matter mural in Sacramento. Photo credit Katie Valenzuela/Facebook

The defacing of a colorful Black Lives Matter mural at a midtown Sacramento performance venue is under investigation as a possible hate crime.

The incident at the Capital Stage Co. building was reported on Tuesday afternoon. It wasn't immediately clear when it happened, but suspects allegedly vandalized the mural with black and yellow paint – colors associated with the far-right Proud Boys organization.

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The motive isn't yet known and a suspect or suspects have not yet been identified, Sacramento Police Department Spokesperson Karl Chan told The Sacramento Bee, but the vandalism "is being investigated as a possible bias or hate crime."

Capital Stage Co. is a nonprofit theater company, which posted to Facebook following the incident: "We support our artist Leon Willis and will help clean and restore our mural. We are proud to support the #blacklivesmatter movement and message in our community. #EraseTheHate."

There is no direct evidence linking the Proud Boys to the incident, however Sacramento City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela – who represents the neighborhood – said on Facebook "the choice of colors as well as the chosen target suggest that it may have been a bias related event." She went on to post that "racism, bigotry, and hatred are not welcome in Sacramento. These kinds of attacks only reinforce our resolve as a city to continue to fight for equity, diversity, and liberation."

Anyone with information is asked to call Sacramento police.

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