Victoria Police are looking for a suspect and witnesses after the newly revised More Justice, More Peace mural in Bastion Square was vandalized Saturday morning, just two days after it was repainted.
Lead organizer of the mural, Charity Williams is disappointed with this recent news.
“It’s really unfortunate that people can’t see the message in this, people are once again going over the mural, and once again silencing us,” said Williams.
According to VicPD, the mural was vandalized with black spray paint shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Witnesses saw a man arrive on a motorcycle, paint over the newly written words on the “S” and leave the area, says police.
The "More Justice, More Peace" mural in Bastion Square was vandalized this morning. Suspect: Caucasian man, 5'8'', med build, multi-colour motorcycle helmet, blue vest over green sweater, dark cargo pants, riding red & white motorcycle. @VicCrimeStop https://t.co/VtHPzd56mR pic.twitter.com/cOvJb4fOtr
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) October 31, 2020
VicPD is now looking for the suspect, who is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a medium build. He wore a multicolored motorcycle helmet, a blue vest over a green sweater, and dark cargo pants. The motorcycle is red and white.
The man painted the “S” in the More Justice, More Peace mural, after it was repainted on Thursday, replacing the acronym ACAB, which stands for “all cops are bastards”.
City council recently voted to have it removed, and for the original artists to replace it with something different.
The new “S” featured a white feather, and the words, “This letter has been censored by the City of Victoria influenced by the Victoria Police Department. In doing so, Victoria is contributing to the silencing of Black and Indigenous voices and experiences across this land.”
Victoria Police Chief Del Manak recently released a statement, sharing his disappointment with the revision, saying it is just as, if not more offensive than the previous ACAB acronym.
“I think the chief’s message is really disappointing because it really opens up this kind of violence,” said Charity Williams, lead organizer of the mural. “I think it’s very unfortunate that he has once again missed the mark in this. I think he full well knew what would happen if he released a statement such as he did.
“It maybe isn’t their experience, but it’s our experience, and there’s people in victoria who deal with this kind of police brutality every single day.”
In a release on Saturday, the City of Victoria said, “The City calls on everyone to respect public art.”
But the mural organizers say it’s not enough.
“For them to just say, this is just public art and we need to protect it, is not enough,” said Williams
“The divisiveness that is created by Victoria Police, the City of Victoria needs to stand up against that. And they need to stand up for us and the silencing of our voices.”
If you recognize the suspect or have any information about the vandalism, you are asked to call the Victoria Police non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654 and select extension 1 for our report desk. To report what you know anonymously, you can call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.