LONG BEACH (CBSLA) - The owner of a Long Beach hair salon says a portrait of George Floyd painted on her shop was vandalized during the recent looting and unrest.
Verde Salon owner Tiffany Sidwell tells us she decided to board up her Long Beach business last week to protect it from looters. When she heard that local artist Anna McBride was offering free plywood murals, she requested a portrait of George Floyd.
"I want other people to be able to enjoy it," Sidwell said. "I just wanted to show our community what we stand for and that we are supportive in this fight."
Anna McBride and her husband Kenny, who's also an artist, spent 10 hours to create the portrait. But when Tiffany arrived at her salon on Saturday, she found green paint covering Floyd's likeness.
"I just felt sick and so angry," she said. "I was getting upset, I was heated."
It didn't take long to figure out what happened. The building's security cameras caught an unidentified man coming down the sidewalk with some paint and a brush in hand.
He spent several minutes vandalizing the mural. When he was done, he just walked away.
"When I think about the big picture and that there's someone who lives within walking distance maybe who has that much hate in them, I am sad," Sidwell said.
"I wanted to come back and immediately Kenny and I knew we are not going to try to repair it, we're going to make it bigger and we're going to use our industrial grade graffiti protection," said McBride.
The couple got what they wanted.
"I put the gold rays because he is becoming a beacon to turn our outrage into action, to end racism and police brutality," McBride said.
When the salon reopens Saturday and removes the boards, Sidwell says she plans on donating it to the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, a group creating an outdoor gallery of plywood murals that were painted on boarded-up buildings over the past week.
"I think that it just makes a statement," she said. "You can't silence us and we're not going to stop."
As for the man seen in the security video, Sidwell tells us she did not file a police report, but she hopes he sees that his actions will not be tolerated in their community.
Anna and Kenny hope so too.
"I definitely want him to now that the community hurts because of something like that," Kenny said. "I think it's important to even have a dialogue with anybody that has these strong feelings because I think that's the only way we can bridge these issues."
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