Vandal Defaces Mural of Late Civil Rights Icon John Lewis in Brooklyn

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A mural painted to honor late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis was defaced last week in Brooklyn.

Police and the owner of the Greenpoint Glass, a two-way mirror at a home near Norman Avenue and Lorimer Street that has become somewhat of a landmark, say the painting was Lewis was vandalized the night of Aug. 13.

The mural was painted earlier in the week by a local 16-year-old artist, according to homeowner Molly Graeve. It depicted the image of Lewis with Black Lives Matter signs in the back, as well as the title RIP John Lewis 1940-2020. It's meant to honor the memory of Lewis who died at 80 last month after a battle with pancretic cancer.

Graeve said she called the police to report the vandalism. The officers who first arrived said it was a criminal misdemeanor but needed clarification for a hate crime. A lieutenant was later called to the scene, Graeve said, and he refused to file a police report or acknowledge a criminal act had occurred.

An NYPD spokesperson on Sunday said the criminal mischief was reported Saturday and no description of a suspect is available. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Sadie, the young artist who painted the mural of Lewis and a mural of Breonna Taylor before that, returned over the weekend to restore the painting.

"Her talent and passion for this project is inspiring. Thank you to everyone who reached out with help and concern," Greenpoint Glass wrote on Instagram.

A horse-drawn carriage carried John Lewis over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, marking the final procession for the civil rights icon over the bridge he's forever linked to in history.
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