Sacramento racial justice mural defaced in possible hate crime

Sacramento police detectives are investigating the vandalism of a Black Lives Matter mural as a possible bias or hate crime.

Sacramento Police Department spokesman Officer Karl Chan said officers were called to the Capital Stage Co. building Tuesday after the mural was vandalized with paint.

"At this time a motive for the vandalism has not been identified but the incident is being investigated as a possible bias or hate crime," Chan told The Sacramento Bee.

The building is home to a professional nonprofit theater company, which said in a Facebook post Thursday that it was "proud to support the #blacklivesmatter movement and message in our community."

The group said it is working with the artist to restore the mural.

The mural was splashed with black and yellow paint, colors that have been used by the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist organization.

Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela, who represents the area, said in a Facebook post that the choice of colors and target suggests that it may have been a "bias related event."

The artist, Leon Willis, told KCRA 3 that he was angry and frustrated.

"I think people feel threatened — there is an attempt to rewrite the narrative that’s been out there so long," Willis said.