Philly officials are investigating after racial slurs were spray-painted on the city’s Cecil B. Moore mural.
Moore is a famous civil rights leader, as well as a Philadelphia defense attorney. He was also a local NAACP president, World War II veteran and held a position on the city council, NBC reports.
It was reported that Moore reportedly marched with Martin Luther King Jr.
Moore died in 1979 at 63-years-old.
In addition to the mural, Philly has both a street and a subway stop named in his honor.
The graffiti was discovered on the mural, which is located at Jefferson and Bouvier streets, on Saturday. NBC reports that neighbors found the phrase, “F-k N—-z” spray-painted on the Cecil B. Moore mural.
ABC spoke to residents in the area who said that they did not see anything. Some residents believe that the vandalism happened at dawn.
“Cecil Bassett Moore was a good man. Why would they do that to him? Why would they do that to his picture? It’s crazy,” 9-year-old Lyric Lewis of North Philadelphia told ABC.
Residents and officials alike were shocked by the graffiti.
“I firmly denounce this egregious and hateful attack on black culture and pride,” Democratic Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-181) wrote in a statement to NBC.
Kenyatta’s statement continued stating, “I will be reaching out and working with Mural Arts Philadelphia to do what we need to fix this. Cecil B. Moore is an integral part of our history, a man whose courage to take on hatred and inequality as a civil rights leader inspired a generation to follow in his footsteps. This vandalism should serve as a reminder that our fight is far from over.”
City Council President Darrell Clarke told ABC that, “We need to send a signal, we can’t have this in the City of Philadelphia. We’ve made a lot of progress, but as you can see, we still have a ways to go.”
A report released by the Anti-Defamation League shows that in 2019, Philly had 48 incidents of hate, extremism, anti-Semitism and terrorism. The report also said that there were 26 incidents of white supremacist propaganda in Philly in 2019.
A police report was filed as a result of the vandalism.
Additionally, it was reported that the city’s graffiti cleaning crew, as well as the mural arts programs, have been notified.
It has been reported that no arrests have been made as of Monday morning, and police have not released any information about possible suspects.
If you have any information about the incident, you are encouraged to call the police’s Central Divisions at 215-686-3093/3094. You can also call the police at 215-686-TIPS (8477). Additionally, you can email any tips to [email protected].