‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural in uptown restored after being defaced with tire marks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over a dozen artists returned to restore the “Black Lives Matter” mural painted in the heart of uptown Sunday after it was defaced with tire marks.

The mural has been a focal point for Black Lives Matter protests in Charlotte since it was unveiled last Tuesday. The city said 17 artists were involved in the project between 3rd and 4th streets that took all day to create.

Friday afternoon, the message was smeared by tire tracks right before the city closed the road so people could come and take pictures of the artwork. The marks span the entire length of the mural on South Tryon Street.

Channel 9′s Glenn Counts was with protesters Friday night when they made their way over to the mural and saw what had happened.

Demonstrators brought their call for criminal justice reform from First Ward Park, down Tryon Street, stopping at the mural. But someone had left an ugly touch doing burnouts on the unifying piece of artwork.

“It was sad to see, you could tell it was intentionally done and it bothers us," said Mario Black with a million youth.

But no amount of vandalism was going to dampen the spirit of these protesters.

There was a neighborhood protest Friday night in Newell Place, an upper-middle-income community organized by people who had never been in a protest before.

“I could not sit down any longer I wanted to do something, so I contacted all of my neighbors," organizer Jackie Perry said. “United we stand, divided we fall. We’re united so we’re gonna continue to stand."

The artists who created the mural worked throughout the day Sunday to restore the letters. The road is now closed to drivers so that protesters can view the mural safely.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said they are not sure who vandalized the mural but they are investigating the incident. No arrests have been made.

The artists not only had permission to paint the street, but the city paid them $500 per letter and also paid for the supplies.