Vandals spray 'Black Lives Matter' over Springfield mural

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Police are looking for vandals who spray painted “Black Lives Matter” and other symbols on a new community mural in north Springfield this week.

The mural was a community project that Habitat for Humanity and Moon City Creative District used grant money to complete on October 21.

In all, they estimate the damage is worth about $2,000.

“This was an act of thievery and we'll reclaim it,” Linda Passeri says. She is one of the three principal designers of the mural, and is also president of the Woodland Heights neighborhood association.

Passeri says this hurts because they took the remnants of a burned down warehouse and turned them into art.

“We felt like someone took our positive and tried to turn it back into a negative,” she said. “But, we're not discouraged by it, because now we can turn this negative again into a positive.”

Three artists designed the mural, and everyone in the neighborhood was invited to help paint it.

Despite the topical nature of the graffiti, the designers say they don’t read much into the messages.

“I don't think it's political so much as it's someone who's trying to make a statement,” co-designer Marian Chamberlain said. “I don't think there's anything political about it.”

Police are looking for help to find whoever did this, but admit that there’s not much to go on at the moment.

“It's hard if you have no one that witnessed it,” SPD officer Jim Cooney said. “Unless we had something happen on another side of town and someone witnessed that and we could tie the two together, we're not really going to know.”

The designers of the mural say they will keep fixing it.

“It hurts my heart,” Passeri said. “It hurts that someone would try to take this away from us. So, every day that it stays like this is a stake in the heart of creativity in Springfield. So, we will restore this and we will make it right.”