OWENSBORO (WEHT) – The Owensboro Police Department has released an image of a person who may be responsible for racist graffiti at a local park.
Officers responded to Kendall Perkins Park on West 5th Street to reports of vandalism that had occurred to a mural. The vandalism included racial slurs and hate-based symbols.
The mural started late last year, with artists such as Aaron Kizer and others painting historical figures and famed Owensboro residents along a 700 foot wall at Kendall-Perkins Park.
“It was great, it was wonderful. The best looking pictures I’ve seen anyone draw,” said Deirdre Carbon of Owensboro, when asked what the mural looked like before the graffiti. Now, those who planned and painted it want to know why someone would ruin it.
“I was upset and disappointed in seeing it,” Kizer says.
“Very unfortunate that someone not in their right mind to do something like this because it was uncalled for, “adds Carbon.
Owensboro Police say the graffiti was discovered just before 8-30 this morning, with racist words and hate based symbols covering parts of the mural which so far includes historical figures such as Queen Nefertiti.
“When you have individuals that do something like that, that’s a lack of love, and you have to pray for them that do something like that,” said Samuel James of Owensboro.
“Painting is what I do. I can come down and repaint this thing a million times if I had to,” adds Kizer, who painted the first two panels. He is one of several artists involved in the mural. He was more concerned about the hateful messages.
“I see this as a message of hate trying to cover up hope, but we will be back to continue to put hope on top of it as long as we have to,” he says.
Members of the Northwest Neighborhood Alliance, who helped plan the mural, say they’re talking with city and county officials on the best way to move forward.
OPD Detectives did not say when the picture of the possible suspect was taken but police are asking for anyone with additional information to call them at 270-687-8888, or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 270687-8484.
(This story was originally published on January 6, 2021)