Law enforcement officials said they are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime, LAPD officer Jeff Lee said.
The two-block-long mural called “Our Mighty Contribution” was completed I 2002 and was painted by a dozen artists, per report and was meant to show the contributions of black people throughout history, said filmmaker and mural curator Gregory Everett.
The mural also features paintings of Frederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr., according to CNN.
“It’s just absolutely a travesty. It’s devastating. It is upsetting. And we can’t stand for this,” political commentator Jasmyne Cannick, who noticed the vandalism and contacted the police, told CNN. “The wall is our history. It’s a source of pride in our community. It tells our story.”
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) November 29, 2018
The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966, before expanding to cities across the country, and was controversial among law enforcement communities, in large part, because it used armed members to monitor cops, following instances of Black people being beaten and killed by police officers.
“A lot of people thought that they were a hate group, and that they had a disdain hate for whites. The only thing that the Black Panthers had problems with, was hate itself,” Enkone Goodlow, the artist who drew the Black Panthers on the mural, told CNN. “So, someone who has hate in their heart would come and put hate going across their face.”