PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphian police are investigating after a mural depicting Cecil B. Moore, one of the city’s best known civil rights leaders, has been defaced by racist graffiti. The North Philly neighborhood is outraged and angry about the incident in the middle of Black History Month.
“I don’t know why they did it right there, what they did is crazy. I’m baffled, I’m applauded,” said neighbor Chris Jackson.
North Philly residents are outraged after discovering offensive and racist language on Moore’s mural. The vandalism included the word F and the word N and was a punch in the corner of Bouvier and Jefferson Streets on Saturday morning after someone defaced the 25-year-old mural overnight.
“Timing is Black History Month. It’s a nice black area. It’s not just adding up,” Jackson said.
Moore was a former Philadelphia city council member, lawyer and WWII veteran who led the struggle for the desegregation of Girard College.
Residents say he raised his children in the mural neighborhood.
Police interrogated possible witnesses and looked for surveillance video on Saturday evening while an employee of the mural arts department cleaned up the graffiti.
Mural Arts released a statement, saying in part, “We condemn the defacement of public art, particularly with racist insults from one of Philadelphia’s great leaders.”
Residents say they want to capture the perpetrator and never want to see it happen again.
“I don’t know what’s going on here, but this has to end,” Jackson said.
No arrests were made while investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information about the accident is invited to contact the police at 215-686-3093 / 3094.