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LAPD Probes Swastikas Painted On Mural Depicting Black Panther Members

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles police Thursday were investigating the scrawling of four swastikas on an iconic South Los Angeles mural as a hate crime.

The vandalism was reported about 11:45 a.m. in the area of 48th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard, according to LAPD.

Social media images showed the mural was defaced by swastikas scrawled in white paint on the faces of prominent Black Panther members.

No suspects were in custody, according to LAPD. The swastikas were promptly scrubbed from the mural.

Police said the vandalism appears to be an isolated act and are asking for witnesses and anyone with possible security camera images to come forward.

California Rep. Karen Bass, who represents the district where the vandalism occurred, tweeted that "when people think of racism like this, they think about some far-off time in some far-off land. But this is today, in South Los Angeles, on Crenshaw. These are swastikas on Black faces. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

Longtime residents say they were hurt and shocked.

"I find it to be pretty deplorable that someone would do that," said one woman. "It basically exemplifies black power, black excellence."

Los Angeles City Councilmember Harris-Dawson put out a statement that said in part: "The hate crime that occurred in the Eighth District sometime on Thursday was a targeted and deliberate act to inflict fear and incite violence...This is yet another example of dangerous, racist sentiment and actions that are beginning to characterize this period of time, and we are not immune to it in Los Angeles."


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