PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The George Floyd mural at the Apple store in downtown Portland was vandalized over the weekend. The phrase “It’s okay to be white” was spray-painted across the portrait.
Artist Emma Berger was able to quickly fix the damage. She first painted the mural shortly after the store boarded up its glass storefront in early June. Back then, she didn’t exactly have a plan as to what the final product would look like. Since then, many others have added their own artwork to the wooden canvas.
Once she became aware of the vandalism, Berger headed downtown with her paints once again.
“I have the contact to be able to be called to it, and be a part of it in that way, but it’s everyone’s piece and it can have that type of vandalism on it,” she said.
Berger said one other mural was vandalized as well.
George Floyd has become nationally recognized as the man whose death inspired uprisings and protests over racial injustice in all 50 states and countries abroad including the United Kingdom, Korea, Australia, Brazil, and Syria.
Floyd was 46 years old when he was killed by 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin May 25. Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, saying “I can’t breathe.”
Murals of his portrait, as well as Breonna Taylor’s and countless others who have been killed by police, have been painted in public spaces in cities across the US.