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Police officer injured trying to stop Black Lives Matter mural vandalism

Painting "Black Lives Matter" at Trump Tower
Painting "Black Lives Matter" at Trump Tower 00:54

A police officer was injured Saturday while trying to stop the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower in New York City from being vandalized, CBS New York reports. It's the third time this week the mural has been vandalized.

A woman was seen on video pouring black paint on the mural and calling for the city to "re-fund" the police. "But you want to defund the police for Black people," she said.

The scene turned chaotic as police officers tried to arrest the woman, but she apparently resisted, causing one officer to fall hard to the concrete on Fifth Avenue, injuring his shoulder and writhing in pain. The woman was eventually taken into custody.

A second person was also arrested in connection with the incident. 

On Friday, two women were captured on video splattering blue paint on the new mural, which was also targeted earlier this week.

One of the women, 39-year-old Juliet Germanotta, was wearing a rainbow flag, a "Keep America Great" face mask, and an "All Lives Matter" shirt, CBS New York reports.

"It should be all lives. All includes Black lives, brown lives, white lives," Germanotta said.

"If cops wanted to put Blue Lives Matter, Dumbo will say 'no.' De Blasio is Dumbo," another woman said. 

The incident happened around 4 p.m. Friday, sparking screams of outrage from some witnesses.

Germanotta had announced her plans to vandalize the mural on Facebook. "So this Friday, 4 o'clock at Trump Tower, operation paint drop," she said in a video, showing cans of paint. 

Police said four people were involved in the vandalism, according to CBS New York. Germanotta and two others, 25-year-old D'Anna Morgan and 44-year-old Luis Martinez, were arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection to the vandalism. A 64-year-old woman was issued a summons for illegal posting of flyers.

The incident marked the second time the mural has been vandalized. Police recently put out more surveillance video of the suspect they're looking for in the first incident — a man who splattered red paint on the mural on Monday. 

"Black Lives Matter" mural vandalized with red paint along 5th Avenue outside Trump Tower in New York City
A portion of a "Black Lives Matter" mural that was vandalized with red paint along 5th Avenue outside Trump Tower is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, on July 13, 2020. MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

The city's Department of Transportation workers quickly repainted the mural after that incident, and they did again within hours after the second incident on Friday.

Protesters throw paint on a Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York
Workers clean paint thrown by protesters on the Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., July 17, 2020. ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

Mayor Bill de Blasio helped paint the mural earlier this month, and said the new mural will send a message that "Black lives, in fact, do matter."

"When we say 'Black Lives Matter,' there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement because there is no America without Black America," de Blasio said, The Associated Press reported. "We are acknowledging the truth of ourselves as Americans by saying 'Black Lives Matter.' We are righting a wrong."

President Trump said in tweets before the mural was painted that de Blasio "is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue," and he predicted that doing so would "further antagonize" the New York Police Department, which, he said, "vividly" remembers the "horrible BLM chant, 'Pigs in A Blanket, Fry 'Em Like Bacon.'" 

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