PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating after a mural depicting Cecil B. Moore, one of the city’s most well-known civil rights leaders, was defaced with racist graffiti. The North Philly neighborhood is outraged and angry that the incident happened in the middle of Black History Month.
“I don’t know why they did that right there, what they did is crazy. I’m baffled, I’m applauded,” neighbor Chris Jackson said.
North Philly residents are outraged after discovering offensive and racist language on the mural of Moore. The vandalism included the F-word and the N-word and it was an eyesore on the corner of Bouvier and Jefferson Streets on Saturday morning after someone defaced the 25-year-old mural overnight.
“The timing, it’s Black History Month. It’s a nice, black area. It’s just not adding up,” Jackson said.
Moore was a former Philadelphia City Councilmember, lawyer and World War II veteran who led the fight to desegregate Girard College.
Residents say he raised his children in the neighborhood of the mural.
Police questioned possible witnesses and canvassed the neighborhood for surveillance video on Saturday night as a Mural Arts department worker cleaned off the graffiti.
Mural Arts released a statement, saying in part, “We condemn defacing of public art, especially with racist slurs of one of Philadelphia’s great leaders.”
Residents say they want the perpetrator caught and never want to see this happen again.
“I don’t know what’s going on out here, but that’s got to stop,” Jackson said.
No arrests have been made as the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the incident is being urged to contact police at 215-686-3093/3094.