BLM mural Court Street Spfld 091320

Western Mass News file photo

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- There is anger in downtown Springfield after a freshly painted Black Lives Matter mural is defaced with tire tracks on Court Street.

“Something as simple as Black Lives Matter, mattering it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a symbol of hope for a large number of people,” said Wesley Swan in Springfield.

That symbol of hope is now partly covered in black tire marks. Some folks said the only person who could do this is someone who is not supportive of Black Lives Matter.

“It's mean and hateful. It's awful. It shouldn’t happen. We’re in 2020, we’re not in 1820,” added Kathleen Burge of Springfield.

Springfield City Councilor Tracye Whitfield organized the mural painting on Saturday. She told Western Mass News this is something she saw coming.

“We knew that the racist bigots would come out and deface the mural, so we’re not surprised,” Whitfield noted.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno told me the police department has surveillance video of the driver leaving the tire tracks.

“We know who it is and that sends a message to others to deal with any monuments or murals we have in the city of Springfield. I have zero tolerance for any type of desecration,” Sarno said.

Western Mass News has requested that video. In the meantime, Sarno said the suspect faces potential fines. He also wants the Black Lives Matter mural cleaned up as soon as possible.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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