A mural erected to honor a fallen veteran of the Philadelphia police force killed in the line of duty five years ago was vandalized with graffiti over the weekend, according to a local ABC affiliate.
The public painting depicted Sgt. Robert Wilson III, who was fatally shot at a GameStop in North Philadelphia when he was walking in to buy gifts for his son and tried to stop an active robbery in the process. The local news outlet reported that Wilson’s actions spared other customers the day he suffered a lethal gunshot wound. They earned the African American sergeant a community mural two years later that was completed in 2015.
To the coward who did this: You didn't earn any extra "woke-points". You're not brave. You're not a revolutionary. You're certainly no hero. And despite all of your failings, heroes like Rob will still answer your calls for help. My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/jnTkIGdAPq
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) August 30, 2020
The mural was created by local artist David McShane with Mural Arts of Philadelphia, who dropped what he was doing to fix his vandalized work.
“I put supplies together, hopped in my car, and came over,” McShane told Philadelphia’s ABC 6.
The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 has offered an $11,000 reward for information that might lead to an arrest over the desecration.
“I’m saddened and angered that vandals would deface the mural of one of our beloved heroes, Sgt. Robert Wilson III. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wilson family on this sad day. Wilson served our great city with passion and compassion and is sorely missed by his friends and colleagues in the Philadelphia police department,” the group’s president, John McNesby said in a statement.
Brendan Hartranft, a Philadelphia native and the owner of a local pizza shop whose windows were smashed by demonstrators for the second time during riots last week, said he’s not surprised about the vandalism that took place in his own community but is “disheartened.”
“If the person who defaced the mural were in any real danger, there’s only two people they would call. It would be their parents or their cops,” Hartranft told The Federalist.
While his business has now suffered as the target of violent vandals twice this year, Hartranft said Philadelphia had overall been better than the anarchic chaos gripping the nation’s major cities in Kenosha and Portland.
“It just unfortunate that I happen to be at ground-zero,” Hartranft said, for the outbursts of destructive demonstrations that have erupted in Philadelphia. “My job is just to pick up the pieces and move on… I don’t see anger solving a whole lot of problems for me.”
The defaced Philadelphia mural has just become the latest in a long series of public artworks to face vandalism or outright destruction this year by social justice warriors desecrating memorials to actual social justice warriors. At least 180 statues or monuments have been attacked by the mob since the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.